State Rep. Steve Hurst (D-Pandering) has prefiled a bill to require the words “God Bless America” on Alabama license plates. He wants everyone to know that Alabama is part of the Bible belt. Really? Gee, otherwise no one would ever have a clue.
Hurst said he got the idea when the saw the words “God Bless America” on a specialty prisoner of war car tag. “I thought why don’t we do the same thing for all the tags in the state of Alabama. That will let all the people in America know that we are a Bible Belt state,” Hurst said…
…Hurst said “God Bless America” would not replace anything currently on Alabama car tags. State law requires that the phrase “Heart of Dixie” be on Alabama plates. “Heart of Dixie” historically appeared at the top of plates, but was moved to the bottom of the tag when former Gov. Don Siegelman had the plates redesigned and put “Stars Fell on Alabama,” also a song title, at the top.
Of course, the reporters called an atheist to respond to this foolishness. Why can’t they ever call a moderate or progressive person of faith to comment? Most of us don’t think God wants us to build idols, whether they are 5,000 pound granite monuments or license plates. But Carol Moore, of the Atheist Law Center, has a point:
“It is entirely inappropriate to have it plastered over license plates. We have enough on license plates now that we don’t need something else,” Moore said. “We have a lot more serious problems in Alabama than what’s on the license plates. We need to make sure our children in public schools can read what’s already on the license plates.”
And it would be nice if we could at least consider respecting those who don’t share “Bible belt” beliefs — or those who don’t equate patriotism and religious faith.