Kentucky has reversed course on its religious license plate ban, but a lot of questions remain unanswered, including what they plan to do about an atheist’s message.
As I posted about yesterday, a women made headlines after the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles told her she would have to change her “PRAY4” license plate or else she’d be penalized.
Susi Burton raised hell about that request — and for good reason. There was nothing wrong with her plate. Kentucky law prohibits plates disparaging or promoting a particular faith, but her message was hardly unique to one religion.
Maybe due to all the negative press, the state told her on Thursday that they weren’t going to take away her plate after all.
Burton said Matthew Henderson, a lawyer with the state, told her that she should have never gotten the letter to begin with because it didn’t go through the proper channels.
She said Henderson even brought her a new plate after meeting earlier in the day with Gov. Matt Bevin.
Naitore Djigbenou, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Cabinet, said the state department of vehicle regulations erred in interpreting the statue in Burton’s case.
The state won’t explain exactly what mistake occurred, whose mistake it was, or what the rules are now. The fact that Gov. Bevin got involved isn’t surprising — he’s always in the picture when Christians aren’t getting their way.
More importantly, the officials definitely haven’t explained why Burton’s “PRAY4” license plate is okay but atheist Ben Hart‘s “IM GOD” plate remains banned. (He has filed a lawsuit over the matter.)
What reason, other than anti-atheist animus, could they have for saying he’s breaking the rules but she’s not? At some point, they’re going to have to apply the rules consistently. If they don’t, the courts will force them to do it.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)