You knew that when South Carolina decided to issue Christian license plates that read “I Believe” (similar to the failed Florida license plate design seen below), a lawsuit would be coming:
The lawsuit has been filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
AU filed it on behalf of — get this — “four South Carolina clergy the Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Summers, Rabbi Sanford T. Marcus, the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Knight and the Rev. Dr. Neal Jones as well as the Hindu American Foundation.
The Summers v. Adams lawsuit charges that the Christian plate gives preferential government treatment to one faith. It asks the court to prevent South Carolina officials from producing the plates.”
That’s a beautiful roster of plaintiffs, no?
You can read the full lawsuit here (PDF).
So what sort of response would you expect?
Very positive ones from most people who… you know… have read the Constitution.
And very amusing ones from those who (presumably) haven’t.
Says AU’s Ilana Stern:
One opponent of our lawsuit asked if “Berry” (I’d assume he was attempting to reference Barry W. Lynn) is “a synonme” (perhaps he meant synonym) for “antichrist.” Another asked: “Are you again Christianity?” We here at AU are certainly neither again nor against Christianity; we believe in equal treatment for all faiths (and non-faiths) and we believe in safeguarding religious freedom.
We also received the regular slew of e-mails telling us to “Go to Hell” or “get a life.” But a bunch wanted to save us from the fiery underworld and included Bible quotes and offers to pray for the staff.
Most people were just angry. One correspondent condemned Lynn, likened him to a slayer of prophets, asserted that Barry’s soul was sold to unbelievers, questioned his personal faith and then signed his e-mail under the salutation “respectfully.” That was a nice touch.
Another favorite was an e-mail telling all of us at “the ACLU” that we are worthless jerks. This however, was not the only factual inaccuracy that found its way to my inbox. One rather agitated young man exclaimed: “I believe that North Carolina [sic] can put whatever they damn well want on their license plates and I believe that you are all a bunch of maggot sucking gutter trash scum.”…
But what was the best?
Of all the e-mails, I will leave you with my favorite: “Barry, you look demonic. I suppose you are one of the main reasons that the Ten Commandments were taken out of schools. Where you don’t see God you do see evil. You are one of the reasons that kids are killing kids in schools. You don’t have to answer to me but you will have to answer to God one day. Demon.”
That’s what’s known as a solid, rational, logical response…
Maybe churches should offer sermons on how to write hate mail. You know, bring in an English teacher, use those large screens to show proper grammar, explain what is and isn’t Constitutional.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian[/tags]