Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Has "In God We Trust" Become Indiana's Official License Plate
A little more than a week ago, Taking Down Words asked the question whether the "In God We Trust" license plate has become Indiana's official license plate based on reports by persons who visited local BMV branches that they had been issued the "In God We Trust" plate in place of the regular Indiana license plate without requesting it. Today, a friend of mine went to the BMV branch on Virginia Avenue and was asked by an employee whether he preferred he wanted the "green plate" or the "blue plate". The green plate meant Indiana's regular license plate, while the blue plate meant the "In God We Trust" plate.
By law, the BMV is required to issue you the regular Indiana license plate unless you reqest one of the special license plates from which there are several dozen to choose. The special license plates typically are accompanied by an additional fee, which is used to benefit a particular cause. The "In God We Trust" plate costs no more than the regular license plate because it benefits no specific group. Or does it? If the BMV is issuing the license plate as a regular license plate, it seems to me the state is stepping over the line to endorse a specific religion. The license plate was the brainchild of Eric Miller's Advance America, and the legislation authorizing it was authored by Rep. Woody Burton (R-Greenwood). It is clear BMV employees are being directed to issue the "In God We Trust" plate over the regular license plate. Would they do the same for a license plate which read "In Allah We Trust"?
Personally, I think the state has gone completely overboard with all of these special license plates. How is anyone supposed to know whether your automobile is plated with an Indiana license plate when there are so many different types of plates? This makes identification of vehicles used in the commission of a crime particularly difficult if a witness is unable to identify whether it's an Indiana-issued license plate, let alone the identifying numbers and letters on it.