Should have known the progress implied by Obama's victory in the proud-to-be-racist-and-stupid state was too good to last. The Hoosiers are pissing on the nation's parade with a court decision that turns the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution into toilet paper.
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling Monday that affirmed Indiana's "In God We Trust" plates are constitutional.
The appeals court upheld an earlier trial court judgment against the ACLU of Indiana, which claimed that motorists who ask for God plates get special treatment because they don't have to pay a $15 administrative fee charged for specialty plates.
In its decision, the appeals court affirmed that Indiana offers two alternatives to standard license plates and that the fee structure for those plates is "uniformly applicable to all similarly situated license plates."
Indiana also offers specialty license plates for organizations, which requires the $15 administrative fee, under state statute.
The court ruled that the "In God We Trust" plate, along with another, "Lincoln's Boyhood Home," are simply alternatives to the standard plate and that the fact that motorists who choose them aren't subject to the additional fee is not arbitrary.
No, it's not arbitrary. It's un-fucking-constitutional.
(More after the jump.)
I'm not a lawyer, but it's hard not to wonder if the Indiana ACLU screwed the pooch by challenging the fee structure rather than making the straightforward First Amendment case that government agencies cannot promote religion. Period.
As I wrote back in July, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will push the 2009 General Assembly to approve the same plate for Kentucky.
Yesterday Beshear announced that Kentucky is facing a $456 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30. If he actually wastes a single second of the 30-day legislative session trying to use tax dollars to publicize an invisible sky wizard, we should impeach his ass.
If you need more evidence, let's review the stunning ignorance of our only guv - an actual lawyer, by the way - of history, law, and the constitution.
Beshear said vehicle owners could get the plates -- which have been controversial in other states, including Indiana -- as an alternative to the current standard-issue "Unbridled Spirit" plate at no extra cost.
" 'In God We Trust' is essentially our national motto," he said in an interview. "And that national motto belongs to every American and indeed every Kentuckian. In my opinion nobody should have to pay extra to have that national motto reflected on their license plate."
Is it too much to ask that elected officials know a smidgeon of American history? "In God We Trust" did not become the national motto until 1956, when McCarthyist witch hunts intimidated Congress into replacing the 174-year-old motto adopted by the actual Founders in 1782: "E pluribus unum," or for those of you who flunked Latin, "Out of many, one," a reference to the federalism that unites diverse states.
It was during the commie scares of the 1950s that "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance (which, by the way, was written in the 1892 by a Socialist who wanted a secular substitute for the prayers recited by children in Catholic schools), and that "so help me God" was added to the oath to tell the truth in court.
The Founders, who deliberately and decisively kept all mention of god out of the Constitution, would have been horrified.
"In God We Trust" was added to coinage during the Civil War, in a blatant and futile attempt to pacify Southerners who were, at the time, claiming divine christian justification for slavery.
The proper interpretation of the "In God We Trust" phrase on our money is: "God says n*****s aren't human, so we can enslave, starve, beat, rape and murder them all we want."
How about that one, Stevie? How about a license plate that reads: "God says n*****s aren't human, so we can enslave, starve, beat, rape and murder them all we want."
The two million Kentucky racists who voted against our new President-elect should like that one a lot.
The national ACLU needs to step it up and put a stop to this government-promoting-god shit once and for all. It's gone on way too long.
Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic.