I must confess to the sin of envy. While this particular sin is not one that bedevils me as frequently as others, I still tend to experience it in two forms. The first usually tempts me when the topic turns to men like James Brown, Fabio, Frisch’s Big Boy, mid-90’s Michael Bolton, or Samson (pre-Delilah). You probably picked out a common theme there.
Right now I’d like to talk about the other envy that should be much easier to alleviate. It’s that little irritation I get every time I pull up to a red light behind a car with an Indiana “In God We trust” license plate. Or when I’m driving on the expressway and I pass an SUV with an Indiana “In God We trust” license plate. Or when I pull into a parking lot next to, well, hopefully you’re picking out another common theme.
Despite ROCK’s best efforts over the last year or so (see more details here), Kentucky still does not have our own In God We Trust (IGWT) plate. From the quotes I’ve read from various lawmakers, it seems as though misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the First Amendment (FA) is at least part of the problem. Groups like the ACLU and others have redefined the FA and grossly mischaracterized Jefferson’s private “separation of church and state” allusion in order to obliterate Christianity from American culture. That was never the intent of the Framers of the Constitution.
I recently read about some of the early drafts of the First Amendment. Below is the earliest draft, submitted by James Madison on June 7, 1789 (emphasis mine):
“The Civil Rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, nor on any pretext infringed. No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.”
I like the stronger wording there, the added emphasis on the protection of citizens’ rights to religious expression. To read more about the development of the FA, go here. Only by the most elastic, politically correct line of reasoning is it possible to conclude the Framers would see an IGWT license plate as an establishment of religion. Also telling is the fact that, until the Kentucky House Transportation Committee refused to hear ROCK’s case, they had legal momentum, having won an appeal of their case in the Senate Transportation Committee.
While litigation was never the preferred method of resolving this issue, the IGWT battle is one worth fighting. As ROCK President Bryan Wickens has stated repeatedly, those who purchase the IGWT plate will be able to donate additional money that will go directly to helping women, children, and families victimized by pornography and the sex industry. What better way to honor John Adams’ assertion that we are a “moral and religious people” than by simultaneously acknowledging God’s sovereignty and restoring those standards of decency that the Framers so fervently upheld?
ROCK’s In God We Trust license plate is a great idea in service of a great cause. Plus, it’s really pretty. I hope you’ll consider going back to the first link above and signing the petition today. Eventually I’d like to focus exclusively on just one envy problem; have I mentioned my Jonas Brothers issues?