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Jul 16 2008

ACTION ALERT from Edwin Kagin. ACTiON ALERT. American Religious Civil War comes to Kentucky via License Plates.

KENTUCKY ATHEISTS NEWS & NOTES Date: July 16, 2008


Kentucky Atheists, P.O. Box 666, Union, KY 41091; Email: [email protected]

Phone: (859) 384-7000; Fax: (859) 384-7324; Web: http://www.atheists.org/ky/

Editor’s personal web site: www.edwinkagin.com

Editor’s personal blog: http://edwinkagin.blogspot.com

Edited by:

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director, American Atheists, Inc.

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)

IT IS OKAY TO BE AN ATHEIST

To Unidentified Recipients:

It is happening here. The American Religious Civil War (ARCW) now takes additional treasonous steps into the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our governor, who replaced the fanatic who wanted to teach Intelligent Design in our public schools, now wants to offer, at no extra charge, a Kentucky license plate that says. “In God We Trust” (IGWT).

To be sure Kentucky has lots of optional specialty license plates that one can get by paying an extra fee. You know, for things like the Masons, :Boy Scouts, Humane Society, etc. And this is no real problem. There should be no serious objection if the state offers an IGWT license plate as a specialty plate at an extra fee as some states do.

But if the state gives out the IGWT plate at no extra charge, in place of the standard state license plate, then that is unlawful endorsement of religion over non-religion by the state. And that is in violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….”

And such an activity is also in gross violation of Section 5 of the Constitution of Kentucky, which says, under the heading “Religious Freedom:

“No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” (emphasis added)

Didn’t know about that, did you? Most folks don’t. It is actually stronger in its language than the First Amendment. And it will be one of the grounds for the lawsuit that will probably be filed if the state goes through with this unlawful attempt to force the religion of some on all of us.

This is a call for action. The governor and the legislature need to be reminded of the law and of their duties under the law, and of our right to be free of their attempts to make everyone play in their sandbox. You are urged to write letters to lawmakers and to the press on this issue. Send copies to this newsletter for possible publication.

We were once, in my childhood, “One Nation Indivisible.” Since lawmakers of lesser stuff than our founders modified this to “One nation under god indivisible,” we have become divisible. It need not have happened. It can be corrected. We can fix that which has been broken by those who defile the graves of our martyrs.

As a compromise, I will happily accept without complaint the idea of a free IGWT license plate, so long as the state also offers, at no additional charge, a plate that says, “It Is Okay to Be an Atheist.”

Suggest that to the would-be theocrats and watch them ring them bells.

Here is the story and a couple of initial reactions thereto.

Edwin.

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http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/461417.html

Posted on Tue, Jul. 15, 2008

Beshear seeks optional “In God We Trust” Ky. plate

The Associated Press

Related Content

External Linkhttp://www.courier-journal.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. –

Gov. Steve Beshear said he will seek legislation authorizing an “In God We Trust” auto license plate when lawmakers return to Frankfort early next year.

Beshear wants Kentucky drivers to be able to choose the license plate as an alternative to the current “Unbridled Spirit” plate the state issues.

Both plates would cost $21.

“‘In God We Trust’ is essentially our national motto,” Beshear told The Courier-Journal. “And that national motto belongs to every American and indeed every Kentuckian. In my opinion nobody should have to pay extra to have that national motto reflected on their license plate.”

Beshear’s transportation secretary, Joe Prather, sent a letter on Monday asking the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees to pass legislation creating the new license plates next year.

Rep. Jim Gooch sponsored similar legislation earlier this year. It passed the House unanimously, but failed in the Senate.

Beshear is scheduled to begin a series of town hall meetings on Thursday. Spokesman Dick Brown said the meetings will allow the governor to listen to the concerns of Kentuckians and to talk to them about his goals for the state.

“Certainly, it doesn’t hurt for people to see him without the filter of the media, so that they can judge for themselves the kind of job he’s doing, the kind of governor he is,” Brown said.

Beshear had gotten off to a rocky start with state lawmakers, who rejected his top legislative priority – a proposed constitutional amendment to allow casinos to open in the state.

Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson questioned Beshear’s motivation for proposing the license plate.

“Quite frankly, for him to come out with an issue like this as he begins a statewide image tour just smacks of politics,” Robertson said.

Robertson said Beshear’s call for such legislation would have appeared more sincere if he had gotten behind the earlier proposal.

Indiana lawmakers approved an “In God We Trust” license plate in 2006. More than 1.6 million motorists in that state have gotten them since they became available in January 2007.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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From reader Jan:

Maybe we should let Gov. Steve know that “EVERY Kentuckian” does NOT consider IGWT to “belong” to all. Contact info below. Pass it on to your lists.

http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/461417.html

Posted on Tue, Jul. 15, 2008

Beshear seeks optional “In God We Trust” Ky. plate The Associated Press

Gov. Steve Beshear said he will seek legislation authorizing an “In God We Trust” auto license plate when lawmakers return to Frankfort early next year.

Beshear wants Kentucky drivers to be able to choose the license plate as an alternative to the current “Unbridled Spirit” plate the state issues.

Both plates would cost $21.

“‘In God We Trust’ is essentially our national motto,” Beshear told The Courier-Journal. “And that national motto belongs to every American and indeed every Kentuckian. In my opinion nobody should have to pay extra to have that national motto reflected on their license plate.”

Beshear’s transportation secretary, Joe Prather, sent a letter on Monday asking the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees to pass legislation creating the new license plates next year.

Rep. Jim Gooch sponsored similar legislation earlier this year. It passed the House unanimously, but failed in the Senate.

Beshear is scheduled to begin a series of town hall meetings on Thursday. Spokesman Dick Brown said the meetings will allow the governor to listen to the concerns of Kentuckians and to talk to them about his goals for the state.

Contact Information

Capitol Webmail:

http://governor.ky.gov/contact

Capitol Website:

http://governor.ky.gov/

Capitol Address

700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100

Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: 502-564-2611

TTYD: 502-564-9551

Fax: 502-564-2517

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From reader Jan:

O.K. Heathens…let’s let Beshear know that Kentucky is crawling with infidels.

======

Dear Governor Beshear,

I am writing in regard to your statement in the July 16, 2008 Lexington Herald-Leader in which you say that you will seek legislation authorizing an “In God We Trust” license plate.

You stated:

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“’In God We Trust’ is essentially our national motto…and that national motto belongs to every American and every Kentuckian.”

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Your statement shows an astounding lack of knowledge about the “In God We Trust” motto itself and the diversity of belief in both America and Kentucky. Not “every” American or Kentuckian has a belief in the Abrahamic God or any god(dess)(es). Some Kentuckians hold absolutely no belief in any supernatural entities.

The “In God We Trust” motto was adopted during a time of divisiveness during the “Red Scare” paranoia of the shameful McCarthy era. “In God We Trust” replaced our original and more inclusive national motto of “E Pluribus Unum” – “Out of Many, One”.

In this day and age, people can purchase personalized license plate frames and bumperstickers of any type to publicly display their personal interests and beliefs. Therefore, I do not think it is necessary to involve the Kentucky legislature and taxpayer funds in creating this license plate to pander to the tyranny of the religious majority.

Please reconsider this proposed endeavor. The state of Kentucky has far more important things to focus on than creating such an inflammatory and exclusionary license plate.

Kentucky also cannot afford to waste taxpayer money on legal challenges to this ill conceived idea.

Sincerely,

Jan

(additional identifying information redacted. Edwin)

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From reader Frank:

I just sent this email to the Governor:

“Can a volunteer Vietnam-era atheist-in-the-foxhole

Army veteran of a law-abiding, family-raising, wage-

earning lifelong Kentuckian taxpayer get a Kentucky

auto license plate that says “In Reason I Trust”?

I’ll let y’all know what (if any) reply I get.

— Frank

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