Mississippi's New Official License Plates Contain Incredible 4-Word Message
They did it — and some are outraged.
Mississippi has joined a number of states that have put the national motto of “In God We Trust” on their license plates.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed the legislation last year, and the plates became available this month.
I was proud to sign legislation in 2014 that added the United States National Motto, “In God We Trust,” to the Mississippi State Seal. Today, I am equally delighted to announce that it will adorn our new Mississippi license plates. They will be available starting in January 2019. pic.twitter.com/VXHZ0q7Qvi
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) May 10, 2018
One difference between Mississippi and other states is their “In God We Trust” plates are an option that comes with an additional fee.
Fox News reported that those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
In the case of Mississippi, however, “In God We Trust” is part of a new plate design that all residents will receive after they pay their mandatory renewal fee, according to The Hill.
The Associated Press reported that vehicle owners who don’t want the new plate design can choose a different one, but the other options come with an additional fee.
This did not go over well with everyone.
“To display any statement on the back of one’s vehicle is to promote that statement,” David Niose, the legal director for the American Humanist Association, said in a news release.
“The problem, obviously, is that many individuals do not believe in a God, let alone trust in him, her, or it,” Niose said. “Thus, to create a standard license plate that displays that phrase, with no alternative at an equal cost that avoids such a statement, unconstitutionally endorses religion.”
“In God We Trust” isn’t prominently displayed on the plate. The motto appears on the state seal, which is faded out.
What do you think of the new Mississippi license plate? pic.twitter.com/2Jwk3QrSBF
— WJDQ Q101 (@Q101Meridian) January 3, 2019
The plate also has plenty of supporters and defenders.
Absolutely love this.
— Candace Fairley (@MariaFair) May 10, 2018
Every State should have those words!!!
— Jeanne S. Tomlinson (@jstmedic) January 3, 2019
Not sure why some people are upset that “In God We Trust” is on the new MS license plate. It’s been the official motto of the United States since 1864, and it’s not changing anytime soon. And guess what? It’s on our money too.
— Ethan Robinson (@amazingly_ethan) January 3, 2019
Jon Pritchett, president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, said the plates are constitutional, according to Fox News.
“We have been misinformed and misled by generations of public policy, education, and media leaders on the so-called ‘separation of church and state,'” he said. “The concept has been so pervasive that we generally accept the idea that it is inappropriate to bring any faith-based ideas to the public square.
“The idea that we should separate religion — of any faith or denomination — from politics is not only false, it is virtually impossible.”
Mississippi started issuing the new plates this week.
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