One task that falls to governments
Of each of our united states
Is regulating new designs
That ornament our license plates.
Some groups are favored: some are not—
You know the trouble this creates—
And governments start taking sides
(in search of votes) in these debates.
Wisconsin, now, will be the scene
As two designs await their fates
Will Madison, this week, approve
“In God We Trust”? The nation waits.
If you want to support the Veterans Trust Fund in Wisconsin, the good news is that there may soon be a license plate you can buy to donate to the group and publicly show your support. The bad news is, if you are an atheist and want to support the VTF, your public support will come with “In God We Trust” on this special license plate.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking issue with an “In God We Trust” license plate that soon could be available in Wisconsin.
“It sends an exclusionary message,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Madison-based group’s co-president and co-founder. “First of all, if a non-believer wanted to help out veterans they are going to be precluded from buying this plate. This is obviously an attempt to push religion.”
An attempt to push religion? Of course not… not when viewed from the privileged perspective of a religious majority:
The initial $15 cost of the plate will be donated to the state’s Veterans Trust Fund. Each additional year, a $25 donation will be paid by the license plate owner, with the money going toward the state Department of Veterans Affairs for the care of residents in the state’s veterans homes.
A bill sponsor, Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, said he doesn’t think the state’s offering of the license plate is too close a connection or blurring any lines between church and state.
“Nobody is being forced to get one,” Kaufert said. “This is on a completely voluntary basis.”
The state is simply taking the position that anyone who cares enough to donate to the Veterans Trust Fund must necessarily be a good, God-fearing, all-American sort. No one is forcing the unpatriotic, godless veteran-haters to buy a plate.
How could that possibly be blurring a church/state line?