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I BELIEVE tag hits speed bump (rejoice)

It looks like Flori-duh’s latest state-sponsored proselytizing might have “hit a roadblock” (as reported on CNN). The plate design did not make it into a bill sent to Governor Crist on Tuesday.

Opponents of the plate said approving it would result in a court challenge because it violated the separation of church and state and gave the appearance the state was endorsing a particular religious preference.

Gee, ya think?

Supporters countered that not approving it could also result in a lawsuit.

Republican Sen. Ronda Storms, a plate proponent, said the state had created a “public forum” by allowing a variety of license plate designs with different messages. Restricting speech in that forum was also unconstitutional, Storms said.

Rhonda Storms is probably one of the most insane people ever to take public office. She is absolutely Katherine-Harris-Crazy, a filthy hypocrite, and a traitor to the Constitution.

Crazy or not, she has half a point. The state should not restrict speech in public forums. However, Sen. Storms needs to read the whole First Amendment, not just the part she likes (at this particular moment). The First Amendment also requires a separation of church and state — and this license plate violates that sacred separation. Let’s remember that anyone who wants to express their belief can still buy a bumper sticker that says “I Believe,” and can send a check to the organization that sponsored the plate.

Storms’ statements drip with irony

It is funny to hear Rhonda Storms complain about censorship. Storms didn’t have so much respect for the Constitution when the issue was speech with which she disagreed. Storms successfully pushed through a ban on recognition of gay pride events in Hillsborough County, Florida. (source). She also succeeded in having a shelf of so-called “gay books” removed from Hillsborough County’s public libraries.

County Commissioner Rhonda Storms raised objections to a shelf of books featured in her local library in honor of gay pride month. Storms claims she spoke for her rural and suburban constituents when she proposed that the county ban “acknowledging, promoting or participating” in gay pride events.

“I do not want to have to explain to my [6-year-old] daughter what it means to be questioning one’s sexuality … or what a transgender person is, or what a bisexual is or what a gay or lesbian is,” said Storms. She added that the library shouldn’t be “used as bully pulpit to introduce those concepts to a child outside of their parents’ purview.” (source) (second source)

Funny how putting books in the library is turning it into a “bully pulpit,” but there is no problem with putting one particular set of superstitions on the state’s license tags.

If you desire to see state sponsored religion on license plates, have no fear. South Carolina is on the march.

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