The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has an editorial that, among other things, suggests that the Bureau of Motor Vehicle is breaking the law in its practices with respect to distributing the “In God We Trust” license plate. It appears that the BMV is distributing the plates without requiring an application required for the specialty plate.
IC 9-18-24.5-4(1) says:
A person . . . may receive an “In God We Trust” license plate . . . after doing the following: (1) Completing an application for an In God We Trust license plate.
IC 9-18-2-9 further requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to “use due diligence in examining and determining the genuineness, regularity, and legality of” any application.
By sidestepping this bit of red-tape, the BMV is giving every indication of preferring the message on this specialty plate over other non-religious messages. This appearance is compounded by the fact that the BMV’s practices with respect to the IGWT plates is costing a fair amount of money:
The emphasis on distributing the specialty plate is especially puzzling considering the agencyâ€™s recent efforts to control costs. The â€œIn God We Trustâ€ plate costs more to make than the blue-and-green standard tag â€“ 50 cents more per plate, to be precise. With 824,504 â€œIn God We Trustâ€ plates distributed as of last Saturday, thatâ€™s an additional $412,000 the agency has spent on plates. Six months into the year, that takes a hefty chunk out of the $1â€‚million annual inventory cost savings the BMV boasts will be realized by replacing the one- or two-digit county indicator plates with a county sticker.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think a government agency should ignore legislative requirements and waste taxpayer money to promote a religious message. I suppose that makes me a radical of some sort.
Phil Burk says
No, Doug, it just makes you part of the Godless Secular Humanist conspiracy. Welcome to the club. Betcha didn’t even know you petitioned for entry, didja?
I was on vacation last week in Florida and saw several plates from Alabama & South Carolina with the same message, slightly different design. Does anybody know if they are considered specialty plates which there is an addtional fee or if they are an option of the standard issue plates?
HA! YOU guys don’t have your own plate, do ya? Guess you’re not one of the cool kids.
I agree that it is inappropriate to promote the god of civil religion in this manner. Adding in the inefficiency, this rivals the old system of taking the money from the specialty tags and giving it the two major political parties instead of running the BMV.
Some members of my family deemed me a member of the “Godless Secular Humanist” club when I told them I wouldn’t support the IGWT plate, unless it was deemed a specialty plate with an appropriate fee. (And even then — where does the fee go? To God?)
I didn’t realize it was possible to be a devout Catholic/Godless Secular Humanist, but apparently my support of separation of church and state makes me so.
God must have a sense of humor. It’s unpossible to explain Woody Burton any other way.
whats the law say about putting some blank blue sticker over the IGWT inscription? I like the blue field, and the red/white trim; but I just have issues with so-called “christianists” forcing their belief on others. I personally believe in a “benevolent higher power”, btw.
Just might like to stick a radio station bumper sticker- In Rock we Trust; or anything else-perhaps “E Pluribus Cannibis”(giggle!) or a pagan pentagram- like on US military aircraft.
But of course, i dont want to be a “moving target ” for the Police, either.
what do you know?
e-mail me email@example.com. thanks!
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