Texas Has Approved a License Plate with the Phrase ‘One State Under God’ Next to Three Crosses

Remember when the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles wanted your input on some proposed “specialty license plate designs”?

Well, they ignored everything you said and just approved this one:

By a 4-3 vote on Thursday, the state board decided to allow the religious design created by Glory Gang, a nonprofit youth organization, to be accepted into their specialty plate program, angering some who felt the state was favoring one religion over another.

The Liberty Institute, which works to protect religious freedoms for individuals, groups, and churches, believes that the phrase “One State Under God” is a reflection of Texas voters and Texas values, as a well as Texas’ support for the private religious speech of all in the state.

They stated on their blog that the specialty plate was not controversial, despite what many were saying. “In the state of Texas, the phrase ‘One State Under God’ is, in fact, decidedly noncontroversial and widely supported.”

A portion of the sales from that plate will now go to Glory Gang so that they can continue proselytizing to at-risk children. In other words, Texas now supports a Christian ministry as they give children “food, clothing, back to school back-packs, shoes, Christmas gifts & stockings, Summer Camp scholarships and Biblical training.”

Bribing kids with Jesus so they can get the things they need. How low can you go…?

(Thanks to Kandy for the link)

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.

  • http://cafeofthecosmicdance.blogspot.com/ Paul Sunstone

    So far as I know, the only good idea Texas Governor Perry ever had in his life was that Texas should secede from the United States.

  • Achess

    How can this be legal…?

    • Gus Snarp

      It can’t.

    • TheBlackCat

      It’s not.

    • Rich Wilson

      Well, much as we think it shouldn’t be legal, unless a court deems otherwise, it is legal.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        First Amendment. It’s illegal because it’s a state-sponsored endorsement of religion.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Pretty sure it isn’t. And unconstitutional, to boot.

      • Rich Wilson

        Unless you have a SCOTUS citation, then it’s not unconstitutional.  Unconstitutional, by definition, is what at least five members of the SCOTUS decide is unconstitutional.  Interpretation of the constitution thankfully is not up for public vote.

        You know I don’t like it any more than you do, but let’s not start making up our own reality.    

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          I’m not a lawyer, I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s in violation of the US Constitution. You know, the one that applies not only to the federal government, but is also binding on the states…

        • Jerome Haltom

          I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the phrase “unconstitutional” when you really mean “if it made it to SCOTUS the case would or should be ruled unconstitutional”.

  • Rod Chlebek

    Two words… Black marker.

    • Trace

      you vandal! :)

  • Tim

    “Texas – one state under Oklahoma”

    • xombie

      Hahaha I don’t even live anywhere near Texas but I’d get a Texas plate registered just to have that!

  • Anonymous

    I congratulate the state of Texas for being inclusive of the religious beliefs of their citizens. Since I don’t for a minute doubt that they honor our Constitution and would therefore never favor one religion over another, I humbly submit another design that should have no trouble passing muster.

    • Trace

      That is a good one.

      I think a more effective one would be a plate with the “one state under god” motto but with a star or David, a crescent, or an icon normally associated with the Catholic church: sacred heart, a rosary or the v. of Guadalupe (I am sure evangelicals would love any one of those).

      Unfortunately I don’t know how to make it.

      • Anonymous

        Ask and Ye Shall Recieve ;-)

        • Trace

          Thanks! ;)

  • Manticore Pinion

    If it’s a specialty plate, doesn’t that mean you elect to have it, rather than it being default? If so, where are the other religions’ plates?

    • Anonymous

      Other religions?  I know those words… but together, like that, I don’t understand. 

      • Manticore Pinion

        wat

  • http://twitter.com/CoboWowbo Cobo Wowbo

    Alright Mexico, you can have Texas. Go ahead, just take it. The rest of us don’t mind.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      In fact, we’re begging you to take Texas — PLEASE!

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    They stated on their blog that the specialty plate was not controversial, despite what many were saying.

    How dumb can you get?  If “many” are saying its controversial, then guess what? It’s caused a controversy and it is therefore… controversial!

    • TheBlackCat

      It’s not controversial amongst people who actually matter.  Who cares what those uppity atheists think?

  • http://twitter.com/LarryMathys ÷) Larry Mathys

    Doesn’t our Governor believe the POTUS is waging war on religion?  War on religion my ass.

    What I can’t wait for is to be able to snap a picture of one of these vanity plates with truck nuts dangling beneath it.

    http://www.rail-bender.com/2011/12/christianity-is-vanity-plate.html

  • Gus Snarp

    The Liberty Institute, which works to protect religious freedoms for individuals, groups, and churches

    So I assume that the Liberty Institute will be working with Muslim groups to get a version of the plate approved which includes a crescent moon instead of the three crosses, with money going to a local madrassa as well as Jewish groups to get a Star of David version approved, not to mention the FSM version…

    I mean, unless they want this one to be found unconstitutional, they’ll have to do at least that much. Of course, with the money going to a religious group this way, I don’t think they can get around this plate being a clear endorsement of a particular religion by the state.

    • Nazani14

      Exactly, because “God”  doesn’t belong to the Xians.

  • Dan

    Meanwhile, Perry objected the confederate flag design – and thus the board followed orders and denied it 8-0.

    Now, The Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing. They’ve sued to have it in other states too. http://m.nbcdfw.com/nbcdfw/pm_108123/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=vN8UCLuT

    In addition,

    • Gus Snarp

      I hope the fact that the Confederate flag stands for treason comes up in court. It just doesn’t seem right to put a symbol dedicated to the destruction of the United States on a license plate.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        I’m gobsmacked by the number of people who claim, straight-faced, that the Confederate flag is “a symbol of their heritage”, and not a symbol of hate and treason. How far up your own ass do you have to be to honestly believe that?!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

          It’s very aggravating to hear that defense

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

            Oh, I know, talk about tying your tail in a knot!

            And then when you try to explain why and how it’s treasonous… *SMH* well, all I ever get in return is some bullshit about “the War of Northern Aggression” and “States Rights”.

            *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

              I gave up arguing with them. They turn around and tell me the “liberal educators” have “distorted” the flag’ true meanings…. -___- *headdesk* *facepalm*

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                Weirdest sight ever: black dude in cowboy get-up… sporting a Confederate belt buckle AND flying a Confederate flag in the form of a bandanna.

                • Rich Wilson

                  I always cringe when I see a black person wearing something with that Washington DC Football team .  Actually I cringe when I see it at all, but it seems double strange for any racial minority.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Heh, if it hadn’t been for my seatbelt, I’d have fallen right out of my chair!

  • Dan

    In addition, they have some nice alternative options for plates like cancer research and preventing child abuse. You can see those plates here:

    https://rts.texasonline.state.tx.us/NASApp/txdotrts/SpecialPlateOrderServlet?grpid=60&pltid=277

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

      Including Boy Scouts of America (isn’t that a Mormon front?) and Choose Life

  • Anonymous

    I liked the part where they pretended to give a damn but in the end didn’t.

  • Nude0007

    the problem I have is where the money’s going. They can profess stupidity all day long, just don’t send the money to a religious organization.  Somebody call the FFRF!

    • Reasongal

      I found the article and notified FFRF, then Hemant – I’m a former Texan, and I have family there.  It’s so blatant it’s mind-boggling.

  • bentleydw

    They have a similar plate here in Arkansas (go figure!). Here’s what one of our Arkansas Society of Freethinkers board members did…

  • T-Rex

    They forgot to put in the power lines that connect those utility poles. Dummies.

  • http://twitter.com/luckiestbrick Meredith DeMaagd

    As a teacher in the state of Texas, I contest that phrase every day. It’s part of the Texas Pledge, don’t you know … yes, not only are we subjected to the US Pledge of Allegiance every morning, but also the Texas Pledge, so I have to stay silent on “under god” TWICE in about 30 seconds. 

    On the upside, they also recently approved a license plate for my college in Michigan, which is actually nicer looking than the ones you would get in Michigan…

    • Gus Snarp

      I’ve heard all sorts of things to make me think Texas was crazy, but I usually assume they’re not that much different from other southern states, but a Texas Pledge? Texas is definitely crazy.

    • Trace

      “not only are we subjected to the US Pledge of Allegiance every morning, but also the Texas Pledge”

      Yikes!  I did not know that. :(

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Texas. Has. It’s own. Pledge.

      Whaaaaaat.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-McEwen/100000140153585 Erin McEwen

      And they JUST added “under God” to the Texas pledge a few years ago. It seriously scares me how backwards we are.

  • Silo Mowbray

    Man, those Jesus people sure are freakish.

  • Annaigaw

    Imagine how much money these plates must be costing states in attorney and court fees. What a waste of needed revenue. Excuse me Christians, but can you STOP for just a little while so we have time to fix our roads, bridges, schools…etc.?  Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Glory “Gang”? Hmmm….okay.
    In any case, I hope a lawsuit will be filed so this license plate will not go forward.
    Why does Glory Gang get to have funds come to them so easily?
    I know of some much better nonprofits that could use funding but they aren’t trying to go through the state. While I realize the state is not giving public funds to this group, they are giving preference to one nonprofit over the hundreds or thousands of others in the state.

  • Timothy

    One more reason I never want to go to texas.

  • Annie

    I think it is time to add an eighth deadly sin:  vanity….plates.

  • Tom

    Why put *any* symbol on a license plate, other than the actual license information?  Any and all additional markings simply make the number itself
    less clear and readable.  Would you put logos and slogans in the unused peripheral space of a legal document?  A fire-exit sign? 

    What is this obsession with embellishing something that should be clear, plain and functional and, moreover, is a government-issued, legally required item?  You’ve got the whole rest of the car to customise to your heart’s content already!

    • Sinfanti

      It might be to raise more revenue.  People will pay a surcharge to get their plate a bit more personalized.  Similar to getting vanity plates.

  • Anonymous

    As we all know, Jesus would have used a vanity plate if he’d been offered one by the Romans.

  • http://twitter.com/jes3ica Jessica Franken

    Except for all the controversy, it is noncontroversial.

  • Instinctriptide

    that seems blatantly un-constitutional

  • Sinfanti

    Actually it seems kind of fitting for Texas to have a plate with an execution device on it.  Perhaps the tagline should be modified to “One State Killing More People Than Any Other”.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I wonder how they would respond if someone were to put a decal under the crosses.
    http://www.drawing-factory.com/image-files/how-to-draw-flames-25.jpg

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t figured out how to delete a post when it doesn’t turn out as intended. 

  • Gregory Lynn

    I moved to South Carolina recently and went to register my car. They asked what license plate I wanted and I said, “just the regular one” and they responded with “The ‘Under God’ one or the other one?”

    So glad I moved here.  Really.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    Oh, no, they’re not trying to institute a theocracy at ALL…

  • Anonymous

    Can we give Texas back to Mexico now…………….?


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