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Commentary

Forced to 'Act as a Billboard': Atheists Outraged at 'In God We Trust' on MS License Plates

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Objective truth is a difficult piece to fit into the jigsaw puzzle of leftist ideology. Christians believe that objective truth comes from God. So when liberal atheists feel forced to drive around with the name of truth on their cars, it makes sense that they’re not happy.

In a recent culture battle brewing in Mississippi, a group of atheists and humanists is going to court to try to force the state to offer free license plates that exclude the phrase, “In God We Trust,” calling it “divisive and exclusionary.”

On Tuesday, American Atheists and the Mississippi Humanist Association — along with three residents of the state — declared that it is a violation of First Amendment rights to force residents to display a religious phrase or pay a fee for specialized plates.

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“No state may force a person to be a mouthpiece for the government’s preferred message,” the lawsuit said.

“Yet the State of Mississippi demands exactly that from every single car owner in the state.”

According to WLOX-TV, American Atheists attorney Geoffrey T. Blackwell said, “Every minute they spend on the streets of Mississippi, atheists are forced to act as a billboard for the state’s religious message.”

Do you think Mississippi should change the license plate?

A very small billboard, at least.

The license plate features the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi with the 2014 addition of “In God We Trust.” The phrase that caused the lawsuit is so small on the plate that it’s unlikely to even be visible from the road.

Yet these liberals are taking the time to fight it in court.

In a tweet showing his support for the standardized plate, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said, “I know Mississippi’s values are our strength…and I meant it when I said as Governor I would defend our values every single day!”

“I will defend ‘In God We Trust’ on our tag, on our tag, on our flag, and on our state seal….Every. Single. Day.”

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Reeves was right to imply that this phrase is a part of the state’s values, as Mississippi is one of the most religious states in the U.S., according to World Population Review.

However, anti-religion protesters were quick to dispute the addition of Christian language to the state’s official symbols. In 2020, when “In God We Trust” was chosen for the state’s new flag design, The Satanic Temple also threatened to sue the state, according to WLOX.

The plaintiffs in this case are correct in saying that the state cannot impose religion on residents — and if that were the true issue here I would give them more grace.

However, it seems like these people are just looking for a reason to protest, as having a phrase that is common to U.S. history on a license plate does not do anything to force religion upon anyone — especially when it is only a small portion of the plate and reflects a principle that the nation was founded on.

If atheists’ goal is to effectively remove this historic phrase from our nation’s verbal repertoire, they’re going to have to go back in time to 1864 and change the original minting of the two-cent coin.

They should also take the issue up with their beloved President Joe Biden, because “In God We Trust” is the nation’s motto.

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Rachel Bratton is an Editorial Intern at the Western Journal. She is currently earning her degree in Communications and Christian Studies at Grand Canyon University.
Rachel Bratton is an Editorial Intern at the Western Journal. She is currently earning her degree at Grand Canyon University, where she has contributed to research on civil discourse.




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