Making Florida highways that much more scenic


Aren’t you looking forward to seeing a tortured corpse adorning cars in your neighborhood?

That hideous plate is one of the options railroaded through the Florida legislature.

Religious specialty plates offered by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, and Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, made it onto a bill Friday even though many members had not seen images of those plates and none was produced for the debate.

Siplin didn’t mince words when asked what his “Trinity” plate looks like, saying, “It has a picture of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” It, along with a “Preserving the Past” plate offered by Siplin, would benefit the Toomey Foundation for the Natural Sciences.

Storms’ “I Believe” plate would benefit Faith in Teaching, an Orlando company that funds faith-based programs at schools. Its design features a cross over a stained-glass window.

It’s not just the hideous design and offensive obeisance to religion by the state…it’s that the money from these idols will be siphoned off to dubious organizations. “Faith in Teaching” is obviously non-secular; the Toomey Foundation might be a bit better, but I’m immediately suspicious of purported science organizations that plaster bible verses on all of their web pages.


  1. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Wow, that doesn’t look like his most important speaking, which was the sermon on the mount. That contained things like the golden rule…

  2. NewEnglandBob says

    How come they didn’t show the naked lower half of Jesus instead of the naked upper half?

    There should be a corresponding “Stamp out religion” plate or a “Torture bearded naked guy” plate.

    I am going to change my name to Sam Ple.

  3. Pygmy Loris says

    How could this possibly be constitutional? I still don’t get how we can be siphoning government money to religious organizations that clearly have a religious mission.

  4. says

    FLORIDA RESIDENTS: please request these plates along with blasphemous custom wording. pleasy pleasy please? If they don’t let you do it then it will probably make the proccess of getting them out of the dmv quicker, and if not, well how frickin awesome would it be to have a plate like that? its win win.

  5. says

    nails @7- when I moved to the American Midwest last year, I wanted to get a custom license plate that said “ATHEIST” more than *anything*. The idea of getting that on a dead-jesus plate is even better,

  6. says

    Wow, that doesn’t look like his most important speaking, which was the sermon on the mount. That contained things like the golden rule…

  7. Nix says

    Forget the racial thing. Why have they cut off Jesus’s lower arms and turned his upper left arm inside-out? Also, isn’t it rather uncomplimentary to stick Jesus next to your exhaust pipe?

    License plates: where really bad art meets blasphemy.

  8. Dutchdoc says

    a tortured corpse ?

    Oh COME ON, now, PZ! That’s not torture!
    He’s simply being subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’!

  9. says

    Excellent!! Finally, a “sexually explicit” license plate.

    What? Yep:
    US Code: TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 110 > § 2256
    “sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated—
    (iv) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or”

    Let’s hear it for homoerotic jewish zombie snuff porn!

  10. raven says

    Needs more blood, a lot more. For someone with a crown of thorns, who was scourged, and then had nails pounded into him, there is a serious lack of realism.

    Why settle for a corpse picture on your car when you could get a bloody corpse one?

  11. Dahan says

    Now I’m not an artist or designer, but I’ve got to say that that’s just awful.

    Wait! What was I thinking! I AM and artist and a designer! In that case, let me explain what I meant by it being “awful”.

    If you were a student of mine and brought something like this to class trying to fulfill an assignment, you’d better be ready to dazzle me with some amazing art-speak about anti-modernism or such. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you though. Nothing I know can justify crap.

  12. Happy Tentacles says


    Is that what happens in the Sunshine State – a dead turquoise-hued amputee displayed in public? On the Internet, it would be illegal.

  13. says

    How would the respond if someone wanted a Jewish plate with a blue 6 pointed star in the middle? Or an Atheist plate with a red A? Come on Florida, how about some equal time?

  14. Ian A. A. Watson says

    I’m loving the lovely pallid colour of the corpse.

    Someone remind me; was Jesus pulled out of a frozen lake before being crucified?

  15. Ian A. A. Watson says

    I’m loving the lovely pallid colour of the corpse.

    Someone remind me; was Jesus pulled out of a frozen lake before being crucified?

    #20: I’d like to see a Wiccan plate, myself.

  16. Alyson Miers says

    The bluish dead guy sort of detracts from that “sunshine state” theme. That “buddy Jesus” farce they had in Dogma would look a lot better.

  17. Ian A. A. Watson says

    Sorry for the double-post. Typepad claimed it didn’t work the first time.

  18. dogmeatib says

    100 personalized plates? How the hell can law enforcement even keep track of them all? This goes far beyond idiotic and I’m not even going to mention the plate itself…

  19. Barak says

    I really don’t understand it.
    Every man can put as many stickers as he wants of “I believe” on his car. Why do they try to push it so it will be on the official license plate? What’s their motivation?

    BTW, what about a fuzzy Jesus on a cross doll hanging on the mirror, do you think it will sell?

  20. mikecbraun says

    Not only was Jesus white and/or bluish, according to the portraits of him in the hospital I work in, he also had a sweeeeeet mullet. He also must have had some faint, ethereal glow about him at all times as well.

  21. Holbach says

    I think the best plate would have the state pictured nailed to a cross, with a suitable caption: “Nailed on a state of insanity’.

  22. inkadu says

    This is the first time I´ve seen serratus anterior so clearly defined outside of an anatomy text book.

    Jesus must have worked out.

  23. eddie says

    Blue skin? Is this some kinda anti-watchmen thing?

    Also, it’s florida. Isn’t the dead guy meant to be chained to the back of the truck not nailed.

    Re #29 – HAHAHAHAHAHAHA awesome!

  24. Abdul Alhazred says

    A crucifix on a license plate? Where it will get mud on it and stuff?

    In the rush to prove something by putting a religious message on license plate, someone didn’t this this through.

  25. Marcus says

    I think if Jesus had arrived about 1950 years later than he allegedly did, and in the US, he would have ended up following the Grateful Dead and making handmade jewelery.

  26. Carlie says

    I still can’t stand that there are personalized plates at all. There should be one design for each state, period. Isn’t part of the point of license plates to be able to identify a car? It would be a lot easier to track down, say, the person who did a hit and run on you if you can id at least the state of the car from the glimpse of plate you saw as you went down. This way, you have to remember some vague idea of a picture of a bird, or maybe it was a manatee, and then figure out from how many states have those which it might have been. And if you say the plate looked like a dead guy, come on. Nobody’s going to believe that.

  27. MRRoberts says

    As a Valrico, Florida resident, I apologize. Rhonda Storms is sort of like our Michelle Bachmann.

  28. Carlie says

    Oh, no. I just got a vision in my head of someone having the dead jesus plate and Truck Nutz.

  29. ckitching says

    Florida has 100 speciality plates? That’s insane. Here’s a revolutionary idea. How about get rid of all of them, and let people decorate the rest of their car with inane bumper-stickers instead. It’ll reduce the costs involved in creating the plates, and make life easier for law enforcement.

    Should be a win-win for Republicans to get on-board with. Yet, I somehow suspect that they’ll be the staunchest opposition to such a move.

  30. Felix says

    #34 inkadu,
    bread, wine and fish. Walk around, ride donkeys when available.
    Being God allegedly also helps.

  31. Betz says

    @#7. It’s the new license-plate edition of the blasphemy challenge! Assume maximum of three numbers or letters on each side. How about these on that there awful, awful plate:


  32. Quiet Desperation says

    Hey Floridians! You should draw nipple rings on every Jesus plate you see.

    Zombie Jesus stage 1! Can’t wait to see him in his final form!

    No you don’t. After he resurrects, he’s got 500,000,000 hit points, and has a “Holy Crap” attack that inflicts every status ailment in the game on your characters.

  33. Kausik Datta says

    Call it whatever you want, but I think his pained expression stems from the fact that he is having to carry a massive orange on his shoulders… That can’t be fun!
    But hey, he IS pretty well sculpted (check the pects)!!

  34. AlanC says

    And remember that Sen. Storms pushed last year’s ID initiative (OK, she didn’t call it that) in my state legislature. Rep. Hayes (oh, he of the “nobody never seen no half insect, half monkey” statement of ill repute, on the floor of the state capitol nonetheless!!!!!) was her parallel sponsor of the legislation in the House. She became infamous for, when questioned of “what are the weaknesses you want taught?” and “what is the intent of this legislation; what problem does it address?” questions from her (unfortunately) few peers, could only read from the text of the bill! She didn’t even understand (or refused to admit she understood for fear of its religious underpinnings being exposed) what her own bill would do. It’s only because of the ineptitude of Storms and Hayes actually getting on the same script that caused the bills to die through closure of the legislative session before action. This was hardly good news; only a clock “time-out” prevented these travesties of un-science from becoming law in this state. We Florida Citizens for Science are watching Sen. Storms and Rep. Hayes for their next BS. Brandon, we’re with you!

  35. Newfie says

    Fun factoid: The common depiction of Christ is thought to be based on Cesare Borgia. You know, son of the Pope and his mistress.

    I just love learning new things like this. Thanks. :)

  36. says

    My very first licence plate (in Canada) and the lady asked me if I wanted a differnt one and I said no way…
    ALEC 666
    betcha didn’t know Satan’s real name was Alec :P

  37. Crudely Wrott says

    The creos are still pissed off about those “Arrive Stoned” license plate frames that were so popular back in the 70s down in Florida.

    But a corpse? What was wrong with the stupid dove? Or how about the holier-that-thou praying hands? But a corpse?

    Ok, in the end we all get to be one but I thought we were talking a religion of eternal life here. A corpse? In permanent display on your car? What do you drive, a hearse?

  38. Thom says

    I’m sure many of you have similar plates in your state. In Indiana, we’re given a choice between a plate that reads “In God We Trust” in bold, and one with the Indiana state crest. It’s massively irritating, though I can say I’m happy we don’t have creepydead Jesus as an option too. In solidarity with comment #6, seriously WTF is going on?

  39. charley says

    What a nice design. Dead Jesus basking in the Florida sun with the words “Sunshine State” for a caption. WTF.

  40. funda62 says

    And I thought the “choose life” plates were sickening. This is a gross miscarriage of separation of church and state. FFRF we need you stat!

  41. Blue Fielder says

    Thom @ #61: In Indiana, we’re given a choice between a plate that reads “In God We Trust” in bold, and an ugly-as-all-fucking-get-out one with the Indiana state crest.

    Fixed it for you.

  42. Owlmirror says

    Sometimes I am evil, part MCMXL.XI.i:

    I note that, like the plate linked to above at snopes, the large central sun looks vaguely like an “O”. A devious person might request a plate reading “SAD MAS” (and even explain it innocuously as meaning “Sad master”).

    Those who are evil, will, of course, snicker and say “Looks like someone forgot the safeword.”

  43. Benjamin Geiger says

    I didn’t realize Ms. Storms was from Valrico. (Sheesh. I thought Bartow was bad. I guess crazy flows along SR60.)

  44. Diego says

    How is it possible that this is the first I’ve heard of this hideous thing? I guess we already have a quarter bazillion specialty plates in this state so why not have one that conveniently announces to the world “I’m a tasteless bastard who is militant about my faith”? At least then you’ll know not to park next to them in case they want to evangelize. I am only kidding though, there can be nothing good about this kind of church/state squishiness.

  45. Diego says

    Of course… it’s a Ronda Storms sponsored idea. It’s the sort of thing I have come to expect from the Florida version of Michelle Bachman.

  46. Atilla says

    We should get our own “Preserving the Past” plate showing the good priests inventing waterboarding in a 10th century Spanish dungeon. P.S. Does anyone know where I can get a glow in the dark Jesus crucifix? The kind that crazy radio preacher out of Juarez used to sell in the ’60s.

  47. littlejohn says

    Thom: I’m from Indiana too. I’m sick of those damn god plates, as the cops call them on the cop scanner. It’s especially irritating that “In God We Trust” plates are the only vanity plates you don’t have to pay extra for. Indiana may be, technically, a northern state, but it’s the most redneck place I’ve ever lived. And I’ve lived in both West Virginia and South Carolina. (Cue banjo music…)

  48. mvXfer says

    The image looks incredibly awkward. Was anyone else reminded of “The Butterfly Effect” when Ashton Kutcher’s character wakes up without arms?

    If I lived in Florida, I would try to get this plate with the custom tag “NAL DIT” or “NOT GOD.”

  49. Eric Paulsen says

    Ken Cope – Wow. I didn’t know Jesus was Bluish.

    Bluish, Jewish, it’s all good baby. Anyhow, I see a plate that could be alterd with a couple of clothes pins on his nipples and a ball gag in his mouth.

  50. Sophist FCD says

    Of course, Dr. Manhattan is Jesus! It all makes sense — the resurrection, the miracles, the crimefighting — everything. Though the question of who was doing nuclear physics research in ancient Judea still needs to be answered…

  51. Fl bluefish says


    These tags are not cheap….I think there is profit in addition to what they give away.

    And at #35….The Deep South is mostly north of Florida, although the Bible belt does cut across the top of the state….Dixie County..etc..
    Racism seems to be just about everywhere.
    Sadly,I’ve run in to quite a bit of it up north and out west.

  52. Tenorino says

    Wow a torture theme for a license plate… How original!
    Are they planning to do one on waterboarding?

  53. Samantha Vimes says

    If the causes were better, I can see this one has a lot of joke potential.

    There are just so many possibilities.

  54. says

    Forget that you know it’s supposed to be Jesus (or what white Christians think Jesus must have looked like), ignore the crown of thorns, pretend his arms are folded behind his head.

    There. It’s a seventies porn star getting a blow job. That ought to freak out the Bible-squeezers.

  55. oldtree says

    who’s the white guy with the funky hat? “jesus?” they say he’s a bad mother… shut your mouth, he never knocked up that chick.

  56. David Marjanović, OM says


    Odin was the one who hung in a tree 3 days and 3 nights, wasn’t he? Not enough letters, though:

    OD INN
    WOD EN


  57. Sean Michael says


    ALF ODR (“Al-Fodr”, All-Father)

    I’m sure the humor would be lost on the Christians, most of whom don’t even know the details of their own myths, let alone others (nor how they interact, as Odin being nailed to Yggdrasil is quite likely a bit of Christian revisionism of the old Norse myths.

  58. Jules says

    This would tick off all the Jews in Boca. They don’t have a plate. My Bubbeh would be fuming.

  59. Pierce R. Butler says

    Part Jesus, part Blue Man, part Venus de Milo – only her boobs are shapelier.

    The graphics dept at the Fla DMV is famous for screwups – their first attempt at a Florida panther looked more like a starved alley cat, and the state generic plate, seen from a distance, resembles a Pac-Man in mid-munch.

  60. says

    Apparently I’m late to the party … apologies. But I do have my own Florida-based take on this travesty.

    Meanwhile, my fave suggestion for personalizing this plate, if it’s approved, is:


    And for those who wonder whether we could have a Jewish plate, a Buddhist plate, an FSM plate (originally dreamed up right here at Pharyngula) … don’t hold your breath. The House sponsor of the “I BELIEVE” plate last year, a Miami Democrat, said that he would not be able to support an atheist plate if it came to a vote. Point being, from the Florida Leg’s perspective: screw constitutionality, you’ll get one religion and like it.

  61. Andrew Beaumont says

    Ugh.. Florida should change its slogan to “Zombie Jesus State”. That bluish tint is not just an artistic rendering.

  62. ice weasel says

    And now you know why I sold the house in Valrico and moved north of the MD line.

    nuff said.