South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer Releases Statement About License Plate Decision

South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer is quite pissed off that a judge ruled the “I Believe” license plates were unconstitutional.

He writes on his website:

For those who say proclaiming “I believe” violates the constitution by giving preference to Christianity, I think this lawsuit clearly discriminates against persons of faith. I will ask the state Attorney General to vigorously appeal this ruling because it is time that people stand up for their beliefs. Enough is enough.

This is absurd. As Sandhya Bathija of Americans United writes, “This lawsuit actually prevents discrimination against persons of faith, and that’s more than evident.”

Bauer goes on:

I could say that this is yet another example of judicial activism, of federal judges out of control. My instincts tell me that it’s even deeper than that. I think it’s another attack on Christianity and I’m not going to sit by and watch this one happen.

Someone should tell Bauer that two of the plaintiffs, Rev. Tom Summers and Rev. Monty Knight, are Christians…

In fact, here’s what Summers said about the case:

“I received some emails that asked how I, as a Christian minister, could be involved with this,” Summers said.

“But what I told them is that it is very Christian to be involved in a matter like this,” Summers continued. “One of the core values of Christianity is equality and fairness. This case is wrapped up on a human level on the issue of fairness. For a license plate to be displayed that is government sanctioned only for one faith group, it makes other faith groups in our state feel very isolated.”

What does Bauer say about this again?

… I think it’s another attack on Christianity and I’m not going to sit by and watch this one happen.

Right.

One more excerpt from Bauer:

I am proud and unrelenting in my support of the Legislature’s unanimous enactment of this plate.
Why? Because the “I believe” plate reflects core values that are meaningful to our society, promoting love, joy, and comfort in our spiritual lives, and accommodating to every citizen’s right of free exercise of any and all religions

All religions? Then why is there a Christian cross on the plate? And what about people of no faith?

Bauer doesn’t care. He doesn’t get the notion that there are people who don’t subscribe to Christianity and some of us who find Christian beliefs offensive.

Separation of church and state benefits everybody. There’s no need for the state to issue this license plate. The judge made the right decision and Bauer doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

The Lt. Gov. also mentions he doesn’t like how the judge awarded AU and another group their rightful attorneys’ fees. Bathija has a suggestion for him:

In the end, Bauer claims he is “offended” that Americans United was rewarded attorneys’ fees in this case. Well, here’s some advice to him and the South Carolina legislature on how to avoid that in the future: stop violating the Constitution.


  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Maybe if they changed the license plates to read “I’ll believe anything” they would pass muster.

    I don’t like the “I believe” plates because if they believe that a God tortures people for eternity, it is only a small step to start emulating the supposed God they worship. The notion of a bunch of devout Christians “listening” and acting on “voices in their heads” and taking biblical law in their own hands is quite threatening.

  • Shaggy

    My fraternity uses the expression “I Believe” everywhere in their literature.

    I am offended that this Lieutenant Governor feels it acceptable to appropriate this expression for his own barmy religion.

    Sheesh. ;-)

    (No seriously, if there was no cross, just the expression “I Believe,” or even the option of “I Believe” with any different kind of symbol, that would be a much different story.)

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    The lame arguments for the plate are even worse than the plate itself. Next they’ll be telling us the Christian cross displayed on the plate is not a Christian symbol but marks the place where someone is buried.

    What these Christians don’t get is that they would indeed be a persecuted minority with minority rights if it were not for this rule they have broken.

  • MG

    It sickens me to see people like Bauer who think that their religious beliefs should take precedence over the law. They try to get away with everything these days by claiming that they are being discriminated against.

  • JD

    This is one case where (at least some) Christians are trying to gather special rights for themselves, all while claiming other groups are doing the same thing, when they aren’t.

  • http://PrayersToTheAtheistGod.blogspot.com Nathaniel

    Too many christians seem to think “freedom of religion” means “you can be baptist, methodist, or even lutheran!”

  • Don

    I wonder if this ruling will have any bearing in Indiana with their “in god we trust” plates. I would love to see those taken off the streets.

  • Vas

    “I don’t understand why witnessing for fundamental, enduring [read Christian] values is controversial or threatening.” South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer

    I’m sure you don’t.

    I think it’s another attack on Christianity and I’m not going to sit by and watch this one happen.

    Damn skippy it’s another attack on Christianity, good observation there ya dim bulb. So don’t sit by, go ahead and make all the fuss you want. Call Virginia Foxx and the two of you half wits can run up the stars and bars and let loose your rebel yell, die atheist scum. While you are at it smite those health care reform terrorists. Man I feel sorry for any SC people of reason, every time I turn on the news something appallingly stupid is going on in SC. are you all a bunch of backward greenswamp hicks? Probably not but your elected officials certainly give that impression to the rest of the country, sad for you.

  • Jenea

    How is it that there are no comments on his posting on his site? I expected to see a whole bunch of “Amens.” Are they moderated, do you think, and the moderator is at church or something?

    This makes me. So. Cranky. Argh!

  • Brian Westley

    Now HERE is some interesting reading:
    http://www.blogactive.com/2009/08/rumors-confirmed.html

  • http://3harpiesltd.org/ocb Judith Bandsma

    Vas, not all of us are “backward greenswamp hicks”. And we do what we can but it can be dangerous to try too hard. Those swamps hold a lot of secrets.

  • R’Chard

    WHY is it so hard for these folks? Could one not make an adequate vehicular statement with a license plate frame, and a bumper sticker or three, and a little chrome fishy, and a glow-in-the-dark Jesus on the dash next to the radar detector?

  • lneely

    Somebody’s sensibilities have been hurt! Quick call the waaaahmbulance!

  • The Other Tom

    Bauer:

    I could say that this is yet another example of judicial activism, of federal judges out of control. My instincts tell me that it’s even deeper than that. I think it’s another attack on Christianity and I’m not going to sit by and watch this one happen.

    Perhaps before he goes any further he should stop to read Deuteronomy 17:12…

    The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death.

    Fortunately for Mr. Bauer, I don’t believe in that stuff, and most of his followers don’t bother actually reading their bibles. But, it does show he’s a hypocrite.

  • Vas

    Judith,
    I believe you that it is dangerous. It so outrages me when I hear stuff like this. I have been to SC and my business partner’s family is from there, SC is just a spooky and hateful place in my experience. I’m always shocked by the things some people from there say. I know not everyone from SC is backwards but can’t help but think, from personal experience, that SC is more than a bit more backwards than other places around this country. It sounds as if you are implying that an atheist has reason to fear for their safety if they dare to be too public about their lack of belief, what a sorry state of affairs, what an outrage, what an affront to common decency, it is so sad.

  • StarScream

    I’d like to call attention to the phrase, often used as a descriptive–”Christian.” Plowearmarked by doofus guvner when he said “But what I told them is that it is very Christian

    These people understand religious labels as moral labels. They don’t get it. They don’t understand the complexity of the issue. They like simpleton slogans. They like people like Ray Comfort to tell them their wishes do concur.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com pinkydead

    This is an attack on Christianity in the same way that the Civil Rights Movement was an attack on white people.

  • http://3harpiesltd.org/ocb Judith Bandsma

    Vas, 2 things about SC:

    The state has recently been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 19th century and

    Here in Charleston, the natives are a lot like the Chinese; they eat a lot of rice and worship their ancestors.

    We were just about to get out when my husband ended up out of work for 2 years and now we’re still filling in the hole that left us.

  • muggle

    What gets me is that they never get that just like they don’t want to support those other religions, anyone non-Christian doesn’t want to support theirs. Seem to think they should be made to, regardless. Has this guy read the Constitution?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Stephen Corbert is from South Carolina, so it can’t be all bad. Of course, he left…

  • Vas

    If anyone skipped over the link provided by Brain Westley, (see above post by Brain) go back and click on it. Interesting reading indeed. This is from a quality source, I’ve been following this guy’s work for some time now, man he a relentless son of a bitch, a bulldog for his cause. Just go click the link and read it, it’s well worth your time.

  • muggle

    Took your advice, vas, and did so. Brian, great link. What an interesting site! But I was even more amused by LeHaye.

  • John Frederick

    I am so saddened to hear the anger and vitriol spouted at my state on this site. I fully support the constitutional belief that all Americans are free to express their beliefs, as you do hereon this site. I count among my dearest friends people from all walks of life. South Carolina is no different than any other place on earth. We welcome all types of people. We do not have to agree on every issue to get along. What is the harm in expressing your belief, whatever it may be.


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