Now South Carolina is offering one of those inane “I BELIEVE” license plates to drivers in their state, and yay, we’ve got a stupid poll to crash! You can vote “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down” on it, which was a bit of a dilemma for me — I kind of like the idea of the credulous being clearly labeled, and would approve of the idea of having “I BELIEVE” stamped on their foreheads if they wanted it. I resolved it by answering as if I were given the choice of getting this plate, to which I would say “NO WAY”.
Can I get one that says I DON’T Believe?
Didn’t think so.
Etha Williams says
Have you been reading Revelations?
2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3″Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. (Revelations 7:2-4).
S. Rivlin says
Would South Carolina provide plates for Jewish and Muslim believers? How about KKK plates? Spagetti Monster plates?
I’d much prefer this on my license plate: http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/1779/iwantobwalljb7.jpg
It would go well with vanity plates that said NOT, IN SCIENCE, YRA JERK, INGR8SEX, etc.
I want one with that cross on it. And underneath it could have the words “I reject this superstition.”
Well, I sorta wish they’d go for the simple “Believe” ala X-files. Then we could ask for “Doubt” and “Disbelieve” plates.
Where are the “I don’t believe” license plates?
Matt Penfold says
I want one with a picture of Darwin on it!
Etha, in reference to your post I would like to request as to exactly what species of pinnaped is being referenced in this matter of forehead seals. As this group of aquatic mammals is highly diverse I believe it may be difficult to discern what and whichever group from within the believers we are trying to salvate. I also am concerned with gravitational issues in this matter as the pinnaped group includes rather hefty members such as the Walrus and very small ones such as the Galapogos fur seal. I do believe that hairless apes such as homo sapiens may have some difficulty in keeping their designated pinnaped balanced appropriately on their foreheads during the time of Final Judgement before God. I hope my concerns have been duly noted.
Rey Fox says
Where does the money go when one buys one of those plates? If it didn’t line the pockets of some religious organization, then I might buy one, and find something nice to paste over the cross. Like…I dunno…a picture of Bill Cosby.
The Science Pundit says
Thumbs Up 46,402 (69%)
Thumbs Down 20,919 (31%)
Ryan F Stello says
And as with other AOL polls on religion, the religious fascists are great in number (and bad in language skillz…see JACKLUMPER18)
I would like a crucfix plate for my motorcycle reading: “ANTICHRIST.”
I still want one of these. Can I get one? Pretty please?
(h/t to pcarini from this thread.)
JohnnieCanuck, FCD says
My mother was a Seal. She came from a long line of Seals. Whether any of them ever balanced on someone’s forehead, I couldn’t say.
No pinnapeds, though.
Miss Agent Girl says
I smell a movie tie-in promo. The ultimate product placement.
ok…so they missed it by that much!
Mr. Spelling Person says
Pinniped, pinniped, pinniped.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Well, whatever pinniped(s) it was, it seems like the Caribbean monk seal is out.
Poll is still at 69/31. My mom is from South Carolina, and her family still lives there. It’s a Jesus-lovin’ state, that’s for sure.
JohnnieCanuck, FCD says
And to think I had it right and changed it to match, when my spell checker didn’t recognize it.
I almost get hit by cars all the time running Arnie (why would I think motorists are aware of pedestrians and obey traffic lights on a hospital campus? silly me), but the only time I was *inches* away from being clobbered (at a stoplight where I had the ‘WALK’ signal) was a woman driving a car with a license plate that said ‘JESUS’.
I fully support clearly identifying drivers who have JESUS as their copilot.
Mr. Spelling Person says
Further evidence, were any required, that spell checkers are the work of Satan. (For my part, I still cringe every time I type “spell checker”. By rights that should be a tool used at Hogwarts to ensure the correctness of incantations.)
Amber Culbertson-Faegre says
The problem, which often is ignored, is that the state would also have to offer plates for every other religion requested.
This becomes a quagmire similar to religious education in the public schools. Yes, we can teach all of the requested religions, but the school would be responsible to foot the bill. Can you imagine if the state of South Carolina had to keep up production of plates for the hundreds of different religions represented just within their own borders?
If you begin including religions, you must include ALL religions, and throw in a few plates for the non-believers. Otherwise, it becomes a violation of the Lemon test. But to include all of those religions would quickly become, as my father calls it, a “clusterfuck” of financial obligation and bureaucratic confusion.
Matt Penfold says
When I lived in Plymouth (The original place!) I was just around the corner from a convent attached to the Catholic cathedral. Whenever I was walking and saw a nun driving I got out of the way quick. They seemed to ignore all the traffic rules. I assume they thought Jesus was looking after them. Well I suppose he could have been, and it was him rather than quick reactions that saved me when a nun decided to turn into the road I was crossing without bothering to indicate.
Benjamin Franklin says
Not only is the licence plate stupid, it also goes against God and scripture (Matthew 6:1)
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
Let that be your bible lesson for today, pharyngulites.
Thumbs up 68% 46,423
Thumbs down 32% 21,466
We’ve got some work to do!
Etha, in reference to your post I would like to request as to exactly what species of pinnaped is being referenced in this matter of forehead seals.
Don’t be silly. The Bible isn’t talking about pinnipeds, it’s talking about SEALS. One of the books that didn’t make it into the current Bible specifies it further, stating you can have the picture (or autograph, if applied personally) of Jesse Ventura and no other, for “Lo, he is the SEALiest of men”.
PZ wrote: “I kind of like the idea of the credulous being clearly labeled, and would approve of the idea of having “I BELIEVE” stamped on their foreheads if they wanted it.”
Perhaps you’ll get your wish…?
Maybe you’ll get your own version, per Revelation 13:16-17, and Revelation 20:4, with describes the “other” mark. Ironically enough, this is quite feasible nowadays via RFID technology.
The poll drops a cookie, then if you return, looks for it to see if it should restrict you from voting again.
I’m just sayin’.
Peter Mc says
Matt: oh yes. I’m related to a nun. You see one behind the wheel of a car, you’re safer in a nearby tank of black mambas. My aunt passed her driving test in the days when the roads were a lot quieter, and never had to stop at a traffic light. Hail Marys change the lights, you see. She is now elderly, the roads are busier and her survival is one of the few things that might shake my atheism: the way she drives the death toll by now should be in the thousands. Every time she visits I check her radiator grille for blood and body parts. She drives by staying in 3rd gear, keeping it about 2500 rpm and varying the speed using the clutch. She blows a clutch up every 10000 miles.
She is by no means the worst: one of her community failed her driving test seven times once hitting a bus and the second time a milkman. On the seventh try the instructor wouldn’t let her complete the test. Incapable of driving a car, she got a moped (a 50cc scooter) and although she’s never been in any crashes there’s been a few in her rear view mirrors.
If you had I Believe plates and died horribly and slowly in a car wreck, I wonder what that would do to your faith.
specialty Plates here cost an extra $35, which goes to the related organization, like the Boy Scouts for example (there’s like 100 different plates available) The “Choose Life” plate, if it’d passed, would’ve have given the money to anti-abortion groups.
But this time the Governor scotched it, so for this they’ll only charge like five bucks to cover the state’s costs. They won’t even make any plates until they have enough prepaid orders to make the four grand they need to start. The Southern Baptist Convention wouldn’t put up the money like they did for the other plate. so :-)
but this passed both the house and the senate unanimously! so :-(
Any non-profit can apply to the DMV for a plate; it’ll be cool if some islamic group tries it. :-)
Thank you, Mr. Spelling Person. pinniped, pinniped, pinniped, pinniped, pinniped. I am the better for this correction. Also, do forgive my neglect of the slash in my closing tag, thus rendering everything after the species name in italics.
“I didn’t see a constitutional problem with it,” he told the Times. “We have other plates with religious symbols on them and phrases like ‘In God We Trust.’ Just because it’s a cross, some very closed-minded people don’t believe it should be on a plate.”
If the state is endorsing a cross symbol on a license plate then it is promoting one religion over another, which is a violation of the establishment clause of the first ammendment. In “god” we trust does not mention the name of any god, so isn’t promoting one religion over another. There are no cross symbols on money.
I also must thank you, Mr. Spelling Person. I was reading pinna-ped literally, which seemed very odd, and didn’t mesh at all with what little I know of marine mammals.
ERV @ #21
Funny thing is that the license plate said exactly what I would’ve been screaming at the driver.
Of course it would pass unanimously. This doesn’t surprise me at all.
Lest we forget…
Suth Carlina iz the mosts blessid state in Merika. Eye em greatfull my guvmint showd mi howe to spel “I Believe” sew now evryone nose how Christshun we iz.
Az u kan sea, wee allso ar vary well educamated.
God Bles Yaw’l!
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
As a resident of South Carolina, I can say that I support the I believe license plate. I also support these versions of it.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
Yes, and none of you have stupid people in your state or in your state’s government.
Mr.speeding Persson. says
Mr.Myers we need more crashing power on this one.
Activate Kenny termination commenter rally beacon.
Bad Albert says
“I kind of like the idea of the credulous being clearly labeled”
I don’t know if it’s true or not but there’s a story from the days of the Roman Empire that during a meeting of the senate someone suggested all slaves should wear some sort of uniform. The idea was dropped when another senator pointed out it might not be a good idea to let the slaves know just how many of them there really were.
SC already has a license plate for just about everything else, from Bob Jones University to the Chiropractic Associations and we’ve already got a one that say ‘In God We Trust’. Actually, we’ve also got one that says ‘In Reason We Trust’ (http://lowcountry.humanists.net/IRWT.html) from the Secular Humanists of the Low Country. But maybe we need something more obvious.
Hank Roberts says
So — why is this name in the small print under that sample license plate? > James Moore
Looking him up, can’t tell without more effort if he’s anti- or neutral- or pro-evolution, but he’s writing about Darwin:
Moore is co-author of the biography Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist and The Post Darwin Controversies. He’s been researching and teaching Darwin for more than 30 years in Cambridge, England.
Hank Roberts says
Oh, wait — coincidence of names, apparently the “James Moore” on the photo is an Associated Press photographer who took a picture of the sample plate.
Per that story, this sample is just one of many. And, sorry, the sponsor already said he won’t favor an “I Don’t Believe” version.
“… This handout photo supplied by Craig Dobson from Faith in Teaching on Thursday April 17, 2008, shows a proposed specialty license plate. The Florida legislature is considering a specialty license plate design that would include a cross, a stained glass window and the words “I Believe”. If approved it would be the first state to have a license plate featuring a religious symbol that it is not part of a college logo. (AP Photo/James Moore, Faith in Teaching,HO)”
Hank Roberts says
Oh, wait, this license plate idea apparently died in April. No date on the original story posted?
coincidence of names, apparently the “James Moore” on the photo
There’s a lot of us “James Moores”. There’s me, there’s the Darwin biographer, a couple of anthropologists I know, and the guy who wrote Bush’s Brain, which is why I’m surprised I’m not on the no-fly list. There’s also a conservative politico in Canada with the name, but I’m trying to get him kicked out of the club.
Wicked Lad says
I’m ambivalent on the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” question. Today in Philadelphia I saw an Iniana license plate that bore the slogan, “In God we Trust.”
Karen Simon says
I am a believer But I am also a thinker, a searcher, a leaner and an evolutionist. I don’t take the bible at face value or any other book or person for that matter. So please P.Z. don’t paint me or those who think and question like I do with the same brush you paint those ridiculous fundies. I am not them. We may sing from the same hymnal, but we are not on the same page.
David Marjanović, OM says
Only if you give the genus name a capital letter next time.
Unfortunately, this is one of the videos YouTube lets me watch.
Thumbs up 67% 46,453
Thumbs down 33% 22,440
We’re behind 2 to 1.
Can i get `stick religion up yo ass’ on my plate ?
Tony P says
This is a good idea as far as I’m concerned. Then we can stop them and ridicule their beliefs.
I’m even for having it tattooed on their foreheads so when they’re not in their cars we can still make fun of them.
The Florida one should just have a picture of a butt on it. It *couldn’t* be uglier that way. Ah, in the last few centuries we have gone from illuminated manuscripts and Michelangelo to clip art and Jesus light switch plates. So much for the Reformation.
Etha Williams, OM says
@#28 buckyball —
Ironically, this was also quite feasible using 1st/2nd century AD technology, like branding or tattooing.
Even if I did believe I would still give this plate a thumbs down, it is almost as tacky as a Jesus PEZ dispenser.
Don’t give them any ideas. I worked briefly in South Carolina many years ago, and I still remember the nearby buffet restaurant that sold Mammy salt and pepper shakers at the register.
Emmet Caulfield says
No, you can’t. Your religion is not state-approved. Please join a denomination acceptable to the State of Florida and try again. Hint: you’re shit outta luck unless that’s fundagelical christardism.
America: on paper, the best country on earth; in practice, not so much.
Nuns are Dangerous behind the wheel? NUNS? You people need to experience the exquisite terroro of sharing the road with the Hasidim (of New York state’s lower environs.
I was going to describe some of the things I have seen – but everyone would think I was kidding.
Haven’t they achieved bumper sticker technology yet in Florida?
Seems like the proper way to express such things.
Alan Kellogg says
…I’ll have pepperoni.
…The sky is blue for a simple reason.
…that PZ and God would get along just fine.
…Blackwater wouldn’t last long under a serious criminal investigation.
…that if every drop of rain that fell produced a flower, people would be absolutely sick of roses.
…On the Origin of Species does a damn good job of establishing evolution as the best mechanism for explaining the current state of the natural world.
…I’ll end this comment here.
@ Hank Roberts #44
“Oh, wait, this license plate idea apparently died in April. No date on the original story posted?”
This AOL story is about South Carolina, and says above the picture:
“In April, Florida rejected a similar design, shown below.”
So the picture is of the reject April Florida proposal and we don’t know what the South Carolina proposal looks like. Google only finds the Florida picture attached to the stories. Nice that they’re trying to approve something which hasn’t even been distributed publicly.
“The “Choose Life” plate, if it’d passed, would’ve have given the money to anti-abortion groups.”
It seems that the Choose Life plate has cleared all the hurdles and will be issued:
If anyone wants to keep track,
here’s a fairly complete collection of the current “I’m superstitious” plates:
A list of the “Choose Life” plates available:
Excuse me, I need to go retch.
64% for? Pitiful response.
W L says
astroande @ 19, perhaps they were raptured? Were there 144,000 of them at last count?
If comment #31 is true, I don’t know that I care so much about someone having the license plate. Although, I do agree with what some were saying about having both sides available. Maybe the local secular group can request on; making sure they have the 4 thousand orders needed… I was thinking something along the lines of “Without god – Doing fine”? Whaddaya reckon?
Barry Pearson says
Matt Penfold #24:
A recent “surprise” was seeing a woman driving while wearing a Niqab (just slits for eyes)! (Stockport, UK). When I think just how much I use peripheral vision ….
It seems that the Choose Life plate has cleared all the hurdles and will be issued:
Aww, shit! I’d heard they dropped this.
And this money goes for pregnant woman harassment.
I’ll see you your nuns et al. driving and raise you the average French driver…
There’s the guy who was going in reverse, at speed, on the motorway…
There’s the ones who don’t grok basic physics and things like turning radius…
There’s the many people who still use the old rules for roundabouts and drive straight into the traffic…
There’s everyone, who seem to think the horn is a subsitute for brakes, signals, rules, and experience…
And then there’s the government, who decided to cut down the trees lining the roads because people kept crashing into them…
Peter Mc says
JackC at 57: I propose an English nuns vs. your New York state’s Hasidim destruction Derby. Winner to take on the Barry’s Stockport niqab-wearing Muslims in the finals.
The license plate should read: “I am insane, therefore I believe.”
South Carolina- The Deranged State
I’m from SC. In all fairness they also have tags that say “In Reason We Trust”. I saw someone with one a couple weeks back:
Karen Simon @ 47
“We may sing from the same hymnal, but we are not on the same page.” You may take umbrage at being painted with the same brush, but this does not in any way alter the realty that you are in the same can of paint. So if I killed you lightly, this would reduce your chance of death than if I killed you heavily? Good old semantic nonsense being applied to one who claims to be a thinker and a searcher. Your thoughts are just as atrophied and your search has gotten you knowhere.
Karen Simon says
Intolerance is intolerance no matter if a Christian, Muslim, or Atheist spew it. Sadly we are not going to go away, so why hate us because pure logic is not our game? Let me ask you this. Does being as intolerant as the fundies have anything to do with logic? All I am asking for is meaningful discourse without rancor no matter what I believe. Telling me that I am full of crap does not get us anywhere. We can learn from one another without trying to convert each other. Respect me and I will respect you. I am not going to go away simply because I love science. So let’s try to get along.
Karen @ 72 My intolerance is for all manner of nonsense, whether it be astrology, superstition, or religion. The latter I hold in extreme contempt because it is the most pernicious of all the states of unreason. Astrology and superstition will not harm me per se, but religion has the extreme potential to be life threatening and maintaining a
system of never questioning a more logical explanation for our existence. Religion will never prove that there are gods who caused the universe to explode into existence and that we are the result of a power that was present then and is still present. Would we have concepts of imaginary gods if we did not have brains? Where did the idea of a god develop but in our brains? And where also did ideas develop with the aid of reason that there are no gods but also in the brain? Can this be ever so simple and direct?
As you said, logic is not your game, whether it be simple or pure, and the former will always elude you and your kind and never devolve into the pure form for it has to be born of the simplest rational thought of which you and all religionist lack. My brain tells me this; why doesn’t yours? Learn from one another? What have you to teach me that I already know and regard with the utmost contempt? As for learning nothing from your kind is so downright farcical that it just begs for extreme ridicule. We were able to figure it out for ourselves by sheer observation and reason, and yet you are not capable of the same? What does this say of your mental faculities in the face of abject and blatant reality? Are you admitting to being unable to think for yourself and come to a logical conclusion as others have done? No one prompted or cajoled me into atheism; the evidence and lack thereof was sufficient to get the thought processes onto a higher plane. I have never looked or thought backward since sloughing off this cancer of the brain, the bane of humankind and rational thought that is religion.
I will not say that you are full of crap, but your mind seems to be replaced by iy in copious amounts. How true the statement that, sadly we are not going away: yes the stricken world will have to endure the pox of religion as long as their are humans on it and the stricken brains that perpetuate and propagate this deranged insanity. In closing, I do not respect you for the irrational thoughts you hold, and your love for science I find demeaning and so damn insincere.
Here in Indiana, all specialty plates come with a fee. The plate that says “In God We Trust” is free. My money well spent.
I agree with # 21 above, “I fully support clearly identifying drivers who have JESUS as their copilot.”
Nick Gotts says
Holbach prides him/herself on being the most intransigent atheist around, but if you’re really interested in “meaningful discourse without rancor”, there are plenty of us willing to take part. However, it does tend to be pretty forthright, and if you evade awkward questions or make assertions without being prepared to back them up, you WILL get insulted. If you don’t, you MAY still get insulted – so don’t stick around if you’re thin-skinned.
Just to get us started, you say you’re “a believer”. So am I: I believe the sun is a gigantic ball of plasma within which nuclear fusion is going on, I believe there are no unicorns on Mars, I believe there are infinitely many prime numbers, I believe religion – particularly Abrahamic religion – is both absurd and dangerous, I believe my wife, son and dog love me. Come to that, my dog’s a believer too: when she sees my right hand stray anywhere near my back pocket, she believes she’s going to get a dog biscuit. So we all three have something in common. What do you believe (that you want to discuss here), and why?
I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract
-Berry, Buck, Mills, Stipe