Florida Set To Approve Christianity-Promoting License Plate

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Florida lawmakers may approve a new license that includes a cross and the words "I Believe."

Even though Florida now has more than 100 specialized license tags, the Republican-controlled Legislature may soon add one more: a colorful license plate that features the words ''I Believe'' set among a resplendent sunrise and the image of a cross in front of stained-glass window.

Florida already has tags that feature manatees, the Challenger space shuttle, panthers, and football teams. In 1999, lawmakers approved a controversial ''Choose Life'' tag that was seen by some critics as promoting a religious anti-abortion message and was initially challenged in the courts.

Republicans now think it's time to give something to motorists who care about their faith, not their favorite football team.

''They may not be into the manatee, they may not be into Challenger,'' Bullard said. ``That segment, which is a large segment of the population, can now get a tag that they like and can express their beliefs.''

Sen. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who is sponsoring a measure that would create four different plates -- including the ''I Believe'' tag as well as a lighthouse tag and a ''In God We Trust'' plate -- said he saw no problem with letting motorists decide if they want to pay the extra $25 to buy a special tag.

''That's that the option of every driver who owns a vehicle,'' Fasano said. ``They can decide if they want to have a license plate with a cross in front of a stained-glass window. It's not different from choosing a Choose Life license plate or a manatee license pate or a Florida State University or University of Florida license plate.''

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said the possibility of a state-sanctioned tag with a cross should prompt to Florida lawmakers to rethink the whole ''crazy'' system of license plates.

'Maybe at this point the Legislature should begin rethinking whether a message on a state-manufactured plate, whether `I support panthers' or 'I'm a Christian,' might be better on a bumper sticker,'' Simon said.

Those who propose a specialty license tag in Florida must pay a $60,000 fee and conduct a survey that would show that people want to buy the tag. The organization backing the ''I Believe'' license plate turned in a survey that state officials have questioned. The bills now moving in the House and Senate, however, would require organizers to resubmit a new survey before the state will start selling the tags.

The extra money earned from the sale of the ''I Believe'' license plate would go to an Orlando based nonprofit called Faith in Teaching that says on its website that money from the plates would be used for grants to ''continue faith-based education for the youth of Florida.'' The group did not return a call seeking comment.

Simon, however, questioned the idea of having the state collect money that could wind up in the hands of churches.

''I don't think the state should be a collection agency,'' Simon said.


 

Posted by gmaduck on 2008-04-24 17:44:43
Can I have equal rights? I want a plate that says "I don't believe in fairy tales." Maybe it can have a picture of my "god," the flying spaghetti monster
I AM SURE YOU CAN GMADUCK
Posted by littlelisalynnagain on 2008-04-29 06:43:52
yes, I am sure you can have equal rights, even if they display your ignorance and sarcasim....
sovereign
Posted by sovereignjohn on 2008-04-29 11:49:01
I live in Indiana and Indiana offers a license plate that reads: In God We Trust. This is a great license plate cause I took digital pictures of these hypocrites as they went speeding pass me on the highway at 20mph over the speed limit. Laws, what laws? Christians are assholes and you can prove it by watching them break the law on the highway and as they pull out in front of you, and give you the finger as they read your peace bumper sticker.

Worship Satan No Longer?
Welcome Atheist !
Posted by jimbob on 2008-05-03 09:31:31
This is a great idea, can't wait to order my plate! It may bring more unbelievers into the fold! Praise God.
pyrates
Posted by Elise on 2008-05-20 12:21:03
the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is retaliating. we will be demanding FSM license plates.
 

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