Ohio License Plates May Include God in the Background

Remember when the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted held an online poll to decide which “I voted” sticker would be given out to voters this November? Two of the stickers mentioned God, but your votes helped another sticker rise to the top!

Now, Governor John Kasich is using an online poll to help decide the slogans that will appear in the background on the state’s new license plates and drivers licenses.

And, wouldn’t you know it, one of the slogans happens to be “With God All Things Are Possible”…

The names of famous Ohioans, sports teams, historic sites, slogans, and other snippets of information are all game. The design, the product of the Columbus College of Art & Design, features a red aviation-wing triangle on the top with the outline of the state and “Ohio” in capitals.

The background behind the large black license plate numbers and letters will include numerous snippets of Ohio-specific phrases and mottos in faded print that citizens can select via http://myplate.ohio.gov. They may pick from a number of suggestions made on the Web site or propose their own. A committee will make the final selections from the suggestions.

Despite the placement of the slogan in the image above, it looks like (if chosen) the slogans would appear in the background — right where all those placeholder words currently rest.

It’s going to be tough for the Godly slogan (which is also the state motto) to be knocked out of any top slot since several of them will be considered by the committee, but one way to help push it aside it to vote for several of the other options. You can vote 10 times in any 24-hour period, so get to it! We have about 40 days (ha!) to make this happen.

(via Mid Ohio Atheists)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Achess

    I don’t get it; how can this be legal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    All blank A4 paper has contained pictures of god for years.

    • Drew M.

      Oh, that’s good!

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      That’s true. He’s invisible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    “With God All Things Are Possible” is apparently the State motto, introduced in 1959.
    Another example of the Red-scare induced breaching of the Constitution, it would seem.

  • Rod Chlebek

    Seriously, are they messing with us? Don’t they know? Are they just doing it to be annoying?

    • Annie

      I think they realize that atheists have a lot of spare time this time of year… as our Christian neighbors are all busy writing Christmas cards, shopping, decking the halls, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/Grikmeer Rob Grikmeer

    Birthplace of Aviation? Surely France has that accolade in 1793… (and that’s ignoring all the bugs, bats and birds that got there while we were still figuring out fire)

    Possibly birthplace of POWERED Aviation, but even then Henri Giffard installed a steam engine in a Balloon in 1852.

    Birthplace of fixed-wing-powered-aviation is the closest it can claim…

    • Gus Snarp

      Which is the kind of aviation that transformed the world. How many people have ever used any other kind of aircraft?

  • http://anonatheist.wordpress.com/ Mike Hunt

    I went there and recommended “Keeping Church and State Separate.”  Perhaps if everyone voted for the same thing it’ll be on there also.

  • Jane LeBlanc

    Is there any way to know what the top non-religious statement is so that we can pool our votes together?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    When I lived in the South, North Carolina put “First in Flight” on its license plates, since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk. Ohioans raised hell about it. Some local disc jockeys joked that Ohio had every right to put “First in Bicycle Repair” on their plates.

    • Randy S.

      Thanks for this John. “First in Bicycle Repair”.LOL! Ohio has used “Birthplace of Aviation” on their plates. It featured images of the Wright Bros. plane and the Space Shuttle (NASA-Glenn Research Center is in Brookpark, a Cleveland suburb). I am proud of these things. Science and technology, unlike god/s are actually real, and unlike religion, actually makes life better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001071231218 Andrew Pfaff

    I’m thinking the “DiscoverOhio.com” one would be the best. It advertises their state and encourages tourism by redirecting people to their website.

  • roerter

    This poll seems deliberately bloated to avoid Pharyngulation (Hemantification?). I mean c’mon:  “Ladybug”??? “Steel”??? “40,948 Square Miles”??? These are supposed to be finalists for the state license plate?

    • Mairanna

       Ladybugs are Ohio’s state insect, Robert.  Don’t you think that’s important???  LOL!

    • Gus Snarp

      Yeah, as an Ohioan, almost all of these options are awful. Almost as if they want the god one to have the appearance of competition without actual competition.

  • Poolio

    I split my votes between “The Heart of It All” and “So Much To Discover”.  They seemed sufficiently upbeat, vague, and warm-n-fuzzy to actually garner lots of votes.  I agree that we should consolidate our votes to help make them count.

    • Mairanna

      We need to do what Poolio did.  I did the same thing:  I picked two different slogans and voted for them each 5 times today and will continue to each day.  Need to “stack” the proverbial “deck”! My slogans are: “est. 1803″ and “The Buckeye State”.  

      • Gus Snarp

        All of the above are good choices. Ohioans are quite fond of the “heart of it all” slogan. Unfortunately, I don’t actually think we’ve got a chance in hell of altering the outcome. It looks like there will actually be a lot of phrases scattered about the plate, and who knows which one will end up prominently at the bottom. I expect it to be randomized from among the chosen phrases. Enough phrases will be used that the religious one is almost guaranteed to make it in. To keep it out, we actually may need to boost the vote count on ALL the other choices. So if that’s the case the thing to do is to vote for a different ten every day and we just need a whole lot of people playing along.

  • Anonymous

    I think that “With God All Things Are Possible” is a testable hypothesis.  In keeping with the other options I suggest a simple experiment.  Anyone with God can climb up a tall building and then jump from the roof.  Those who sprout angel wings and fly have demonstrated that “all things” are indeed possible.  Those without God can take the elevator down rather than fly.  No hand gliders, parachutes or mechanical means of flight are permitted.  This is a test of faith after all.

    Do we have any Christian volunteers?

    • Anonymous

      With God, it’s possible that Ohio is part of New Jersey.

    • wjsilver

      I bet Jesus wouldn’t even volunteer for that.

      • Anonymous

        Oh ye of little faith. ;)

    • not as lost as you

      it is funny you don’t have anything to believe in my friend. I can assure you when something happens and your more afraid than you have ever been……you will be asking for gods help! lol you need to open your mind you cant disregard that jesus was a real man that has more stories documented than anyone i can thing of! even muslims acknowledge he was real so even if you cant find any tangeble proof of gods existance, there is something bigger than us brother>>>>

      • Annie

        I’m not hoverFrog, but I have been more afraid than you have ever been, and it did not bring me to believe there was a god, but rather, to believe there certainly was not.  And I can tell you, I do believe in a lot.  I believe in the good will of others.  I believe in the knowledge of doctors.  I believe in a body’s willingness to persevere.  I have been to the proverbial hell and back, and it did not bring me to believe in any mythological creature or supernatural superhero.  In my most troubling times, I have seen other people who have clung to imaginary friends, but sadly, that did not bring them any farther in life’s journey.  This idea that any god would help an individual over others is ridiculous and impractical.  In the words of Mark Twain, on the anniversary of his birth, I will quote him by saying, “If Jesus were alive today, the last thing he’d be is a Christian.”

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

          Jesus wasn’t that great. 
          He was a magician who threatened you with Hell.

        • Sandy

          Just a thought for you.  If we Christians are right and there is a Heaven and Hell, ALL non-believers will go to Hell and they lose EVERYTHING.  If we are wrong, and there is no Heaven and Hell, what have we lost in leading a believer’s life? NOTHING!

          • Parse

            Sandy,
            Pascal’s wager is an old, tired, long-refuted argument.  If you’re actually interested in a response, I’d recommend that you read Greta Christina’s post on Why Pascal’s Wager Sucks.

          • Annie

            Pascal’s wager aside, I generally stay in my pajamas until about noon on Sundays.  Nothing to lose!  Love it.

            But seriously.  Imagine this, if you will, Sandy.  Due to no fault or effort of your own, you were born in a distant land that had never ever heard of Jesus or Christians.  At age four, before any missionaries had a chance to reach your village to take away all of your family’s holy relics and replace them with plastic crucifixes, you die.  Now, from what you wrote above, your god would send you to hell for this?  Your random capitalization above would have been better suited for the “Ifs” in your statement.  IF I am wrong, and IF there is a heaven and hell, honestly, I have no desire to spend eternity with such a cruel, ruthless god, a god who would enjoy watching little innocent children rot in hell simply because they were not born in a convenient locale.

          • Anonymous

            Really?  Pascal’s Wager.  Really?

            Anyway on the assumption that “what have we lost…” is a genuine question why not have a think about that.  How much time do you spend on your religion?  How much money?  Do you tithe perhaps?  If you tithe 10% and earn an average of $40k a year for 50 years that’s $2m that it’s cost you.  Plus 2500 days of your life spend in church (50 days a year over 50 years).  Add to that all the time wasted on your knees praying to your imaginary friend.

            That’s not quite everything as you suggest but it is still an awful lot.

            The funny thing is a god who would damn people to hell for no greater crime than questioning is unworthy of worship.  If there is a god and he wants to damn good people then he is such a shit that we should resist this tyrant with all our might.

          • Ann Onymous

            Only truth and reason. And, y’know, time spent campaigning against others’ rights and restating Pascal’s Wager on atheist blogs. Among other things.

            • Ann Onymous

              Also, since apparently I can’t add images in an edit:

      • rhodent

        Dear not as lost as you,

        Your comment is what we call a “drive-by sermon,” similar to a drive-by shooting. It is not interesting, it is not original, it is not helpful to the discussion here, and it is not worthy of any further response. Please have your questions and comments reflect a sincere desire for mutual understanding.

      • Anonymous

        NALAY, when did I say that I had nothing to believe in?  There are plenty of things that I believe in.  

        Your argument is a thinly disguised “no atheists in foxholes” gambit (you did try to disguise it didn’t you?), it’s a nice aphorism but when you take the time to consider it for a moment you’ll easily see what an empty assertion it really is.  Try this: ask a  bunch of atheists if they have anything to believe in.  Tick off the responses.
        A) Yes
        B) No
        C) Get away from me you lunatic

        When you’ve compiled a suitable sample of responses you can analyse your results.  I am confident that there will be more A responses than B but don’t be surprised if some are C.

        you cant disregard that jesus was a real man that has more stories documented than anyone i can thing of

        Anyone?  Seriously?  More stories than Barack Obama?  More stories than Neil Armstrong?  More stories than Albert Einstein?  How about a contemporary of Jesus (assuming he lived in the first century), how about Boudica?  How about Seneca the Younger?  I mean Seneca actually left some writings behind.  Surely you’ve heard of Seneca’s Dialogues or Oedipus?

        even if you cant find any tangeble proof of gods existance, there is something bigger than us

        Of course there are things bigger than us.  Elephants are bigger than us.  Moons are bigger than us.  The whole galaxy is huge compared to either of us.  I’ve actually seen an elephant and fed a baby one.  I’ve looked at the moon through a telescope.  I’ve not managed to explore the entire universe (sadly) but I’ve familiarised myself a little with the bits we can find.  What we have is evidence for these real things.  What you have for gods or God is a lack of evidence.  When you are able to produce evidence for gods then I will consider it again.  Until such time please don’t make assertions that you can’t back up. It makes you look less than sincere.

      • Floydhart

        When Satan temped Christ he said you do not temot the Lord your God::

    • Mjs

      Obviously YOU should be the volunteer!

      • http://www.mygodlesslife.com/ Tris

        I don’t think hoverFrog is a Christian. Perhaps you didn’t quite grasp what it was that was being asked?

      • hoverFrog

        I don’t have any gods.  I’ll be in the control group in the elevator.

  • http://mygodlesslife.com Tris

    I should like to see, ‘All things that are possible with God, are possible without him”.

  • Anonymous

    I fully agree with that. If people are convinced they are doing god’s will there is no crime they won’t commit

  • Lgirl

    I’m with jane we should pool our votes.

  • Zeke

    Obviously “Rubber Capital of the World” is the only possible choice!

    • Annie

      That’s the one that is getting all of my votes.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

        Bad girl!

  • Anonymous

    I’m bummed that there’s no entry there about Cleveland being a Plum.  I mean, c’mon!

    I went with Roller Coaster Capital of the World.  :-)

  • Ntngander

    I kind of wanted to go with “So Much To Discover”,  but I live in Ohio, so, like the god quote, I know it ain’t true.

  • Matt Marshall

    I like the idea of voting for a common phrase, but am troubled by this language on the ODPS website: “We’ll review your suggestions and unveil the final version later in 2012.” There’s nothing that says they’re holding themselves to a strict counting of votes.

  • rhodent

    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1. Regardless of which slogans they pick, this is going to be hideous license plate (way too busy), and could even be dangerous if people from other states drive to close in order to try to read the text (don’t try to tell me that nobody would do that).

    2. There needs to be an option for the slogan “Rivers that burn!”

  • Nancy Norton

    I went for 5 votes for Wright Brothers and 5 votes for Roller Coaster Capital.

  • Drew M.

    I’ve been voting for”The Buckeye State” since It’ll probably piss off Michigan fans.

    Win-won.

  • http://twitter.com/bastionofsass Bastion Of Sass

    What’s wrong with the traditional “O”s at both ends and high in the middle”?

  • Eshonkwi

    With God All Things Are Possible


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