Friday, August 11, 2006

Carpenter Takes On Burton's "In God We Trust" Plates

For your Friday fun, Star columnist Dan Carpenter over at Expresso takes his crack at Rep. Woody Burton's new "In God We Trust" special license plates which BMV Commissioner Joel Silverman proudly announced yesterday that the BMV had printed up a half of a million of while dodging questions from reporters about the agency's computer fiasco:

I have always ranked state Rep. Woody Burton right up there with Will Shriner and Red Skelton among Hoosier humorists. But the reliable Greenwood Republican's latest squirt of the seltzer bottle bids fair to make the whole state a laughingstock.

With a half-million of Woody's "In God We Trust" license plates being planned for by a Bureau of Motor Vehicles eager to quiet the religious right and distract its customers, our image as rustic sheep who can't keep religion personal and government practical will be reinforced from sea to shining sea.

This isn't about faith. It's about power and pandering. If Burton and his legislative congregation trust in God so much, why don't they heed his commandment to love their neighbors and quit trying to break up families just because the kids are adopted and the parents are gay?

Many are the religious Hoosiers who will hate, not their neighbors, but this state-sanctioned hypocrisy. Couldn't the folks in charge push the cynicism just a notch further and assess a fee? Heaven knows there are plenty of temporal needs going unmet. Right?

I can't wait until the BMV is faced with a decision over a group's desire for a special license plate which reads "In Satan We Trust", or "In Allah We Trust" or whatever else someone can conjure up. The ICLU's Ken Falk hinted at this when he said, "I guess a good question is whether the state is going to be willing to support people who want to proclaim a counter message," Falk said.

Anyone notice how many rings and gold bracelets Woody wears. Who's he trying to be? Liberace? Where I grew up Woody, real men don't wear a bunch of rings and bracelets. Them are for girls. But we know Woody's true passion is for women (note the plural) so we shouldn't be confused by this expression.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine tells me Woody really enjoys showing homes to women when he's selling real estate.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that how he met his current wife anon 2:53?

Anonymous said...

Can Woody just go away already?

America's Worst State Legislature.

Wilson46201 said...

AI often represents the better angels of the GOP but the real GOP power is in the likes of the Burtons ...

FDR said "All we have to fear is fear itself" but Bush/Cheney says "All we have is fear itself"

Bruce Parker said...

Does it make sense to compare Allah and Satan? It is a religiously intolerant comparison. Come on...

Anonymous said...

In AI's defense, it's fair to muse about this given the General Assembly's WE WILL RULE YOU WITH CHRISTIAN PRAYERS stance and the knowledge that as far as Bosma (wedge-pandering), Burton (probably really believes it) and the rest of their uneducated ilk (ditto) are concerned, Allah and Satan are the same thing.

Advance Indiana said...

Don't be an idiot Bruce. There was no comparison of Allah to Satan. You obviously don't understand Ken Falk's quote in my post or you wouldn't have raised that issue. And yes anonymous, Burton did make a statement that the reference to "God" encompassed "Allah." I don't think you would find many Muslims who would agree that "In God We Trust" refers to Allah.

Anonymous said...

AI, I think the comparison between Allah and Satan is pretty blatant in your text, but not in the quote - in what you wrote. Bruce understood the subtext of juxtaposing "In Satan we trust" and "In Allah we trust" just fine. Try not to bad-mouth your readers when you're wrong, huh?

Love said...

Better to trust God than a human.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there AI. Your right on about Bruce. I've read his posts at Bilerico. He's an idiot and then some.

Bruce Parker said...

Well, I don't feel compelled to offer a spirited defense of my intellect. I will also avoid personal attacks. I am a little puzzled about the increase in personal attacks and conservative rhetoric regurgitation on a blog I use to really respect for being a very informative up to the minute source of local news. But, that is not my concern.

I am instead concerned with the use of Allah and Satan in one breath as comparable entities. I will presume a certain amount of intellect by the blogger and readership of AI and not go into great detail regarding the clear differences between the two figures and will instead talk about the potential repercussions of allowing comparisons like these to go unchallenged.

Religious freedom (and for that matter, separation of church and state) is an essential element of our democratic ideal driven governance system. As we go further and further down the path of adopting Christianity as our official religion we get closer and closer to making it okay for good and evil (defined in biblical terms) to be defining factors in national and international policy decisions. This is particularly troubling.

Even if it was a mistake or a case of too quick typing that led to the comparison, the point remains that it is a comparison that furthers the religious rights goals of enshrining Christianity as our state religion and demonizing other religions. Particularly when said demonization goes as far as it often does to ensure a republican victory in election seasons.

Clearly, with Dick Cheney and AI's pronouncements we are already at greater risks of terrorism because Lieberman lost his party's primary. For the sake of Apple Pie, Baseball, Hamburgers, Grandmothers, and fluffy kittens we have all hope he wins this fall.

Advance Indiana said...

Bruce--anyone who has spent any time reading this blog knows how critical I have been of attempts of the Christian right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. I frankly am stunned by your comments. I know you are very sore about the criticisms I have directed at IE, but to twist my words to suggest I support the adoption of christianity as our official religion ("it is a comparison that furthers the religious rights goals of enshrining Christianity as our state religion and demonizing other religions") is simply beyond the pale. No reasonable person could possibly make that conclusion based upon what I wrote. The point is that if the government has a license plate which reads "In God We Trust" how are they going to turn down requests from people with opposing views. The worshiping of Allah under Muslim faith is an opposing view to worshiping God under Christianity. There aren't many, but there are people who worship Satan. The list goes on and on. The fact that you choose to twist these words to mean something else says more about your personal beef with me than anything about what I written.

steve said...

I read AI's post as poking fun at the Christian right and one of their favorite messengers Woody Burton. I don't get how AI is promoting Christianity Bruce. The post is about some comments Dan Carpenter made poking fun at Burton.

Bruce Parker said...

Apparently, I have to make it publicly known that disagreeing with what you write doesn't equal a personal beef. You have always been nothing but nice to me and the only negative response to any of your IE posts that I have given was to give you my correct last name. Perhaps, calling me an idiot is a personal beef challenging some of your ideas is, I thought, the point of blogs.

Advance Indiana said...

Note that your comments get posted here Bruce no matter how much I may disagree with them. That's not the same with many other blogs, which selectively decide which comments to post. You and I see this matter very differently. I won't even get into your assertion over at another blog site that I was using gender expression to insult (get a sense of humor--Woody Burton is the biggest gay basher in the General Assembly--of course you wouln't know that since you've lived here such a short time). Or perhaps we could argue some more about a past post of your's in which you asserted that Indiana's GLBT community was racist--even as you referred to African-Americans in that very post as "black folk"--and you're now lecturing me on insults?

Bruce Parker said...

Okay, I could be missing something here. Is your objection to "black folk" to the term black? or folk?

"Black" is currently the preferred term of the black community for political organizing. For example, Indiana Black Pride or the National Black Justice Coalition. "Folk" is a term my family uses alot being from Kentucky. I never thought to question my use of it but realized it was worth looking into. The online definitions I found define it as...

1. The common people of a society or region considered as the representatives of a traditional way of life and especially as the originators or carriers of the customs, beliefs, and arts that make up a distinctive culture: a leader who came from the folk.
2. A nation; a people.
3. Informal People in general. Often used in the plural: Folks around here are very friendly.
4. People of a specified group or kind. Often used in the plural: city folks; rich folk.


Although all the definitions seem okay to me.. I often use it to refer to people in general.

Did I miss something?

Open to learn,

Bruce

Anonymous said...

Come on guys...

Move on, AI.

Move on, Bruce.

The real issue is Woody Burton and his silly allies. They're dangerous and they have power.

There are two Burtons rubbing on my nerves--one state, one federal. Doesn't our idiot quotient kick in pretty soon?

Woody wants a God plate for his car. Dan thinks Vince Foster was murdered and to prove his point, shoots pumpkins in his backyard to judge splatter pattern. Then, as if he thinks he has credibility, introduces that evidence into the House journal. And no one blinks--they print it!

Now Silverman is pandering to W. Burton (a.k.a. Roly Poly) And Silverman, whatever else you say, isn't a stupid man.

That's the danger in giving Burtons and their ilk power. Sooner or later, the bright ones have to start pandering to them.

I worship the dollar and want my own license plate. "In Benjamen I Trust." Where do I apply?

Lafblog said...

Ok, I read through it all -- and I find two strains that seem to be running parallel in a weird way.

AI - you called Bruce an idiot for seeing a connection you don't believe you drew. Unnecessary foul.

Bruce senses a gender-biased slam at Woddy Burton -- as do I-- and it's beneath AI's integrity to do that. I know many things about politicians locally that I could use to slam or maybe even slander them, but that is beneath me. Frankly, it pulls us into the same mud our opponents want to use.

Do I respect the Burtons? NO... Do I want to see them sent home? YES.. Will publishing comments that imply he's overly feminine get rid of him or make the GLBT community less marginalized? NO...

Let's focus on the job and stop slamming each other.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that conservatives find internal cohesiveness by villifying others (unity through a common enemy), while progressives often suffer from discord among their ranks because they are as critical of themselves as others. It's an admirable quality of progressive minds, although it very often seems to lead them to lose focus and a sense of priority. Something akin to letting the better be the enemy of the good.

This thread strikes me as a perfect example, with both writers somewhat guilty of falling prey to it. For example, if someone wanted to one-up both of you and prove that he or she were the most politically correct, he or she could point out that treating an association with Satan as a sign of religious intolerance is itself a sign of intolerance for the religious beliefs of satanists.

As a practical matter, though, it seems pretty unproductive to accuse either Al or Bruce, both of whom are clearly progressive thinkers, of being something other than that.

Anonymous said...

dan,

I suppose your money is not any good either... because it says the same thing... I believe that you should work for free.... and dan... do you know how dinosaurs became extinct....???? they all turned GAY>> hahahah..

Anonymous said...

I look forward to putting this plate on both my SUV's. I hope it offends as many of you leftists as possible!

Anonymous said...

Burton was quoted as saying something about the license plate having the American Flag and the words of our founding fathers. But, that wasn't our country's motto until 1956 when politicians wanted to both separate ourselves from communism, which was officially atheist, and to gain the blind support of American voters. (How many Americans would have voted for the guy that voted against "In God We Trust") It was just another way to take peoples attention away from the real issues. Sort of like the "Flag Burning" and "Gay Marriage" debates of today. Comments?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if it is legal to put a sticker over the "In God We Trust"?. I personally put my trust in the Flying Spaghetti Monster and feel it is necessary to let the world know how I feel.

They allow the FOP stickers right?

I have never had a traffic ticket in my life. Would replacing the logo with "In Darwin I Trust"? increase my chances?

Anonymous said...

The entire thing disgusts me. It is blatant government support of religion. The phrase "In God We Trust" has always meant a Christian god in America. Anyone trying to say that it is generic is full of it.

Beyond that it doesn't matter whether the phrase refers to Yaweh, Allah, Vishnu, Odin, Zues, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. All that matters is that it is provided by the state at no extra cost to the licensee. That is government support of a religous message.

Is there any legal action to oppose this?

One Eyed Jack