So Brian Magee has put in an application for a personalized license plate that reads "ISNOGOD" which was rejected but he is appealing
Here is the story in the Grand Forks Herald
So I thought a discussion might be interesting in whether religious messages are appropriate or not. Would you wish that his request and any nontheist messages were accepted in future, or is it better that all religious plates be recalled and such messages banned?
While I understand that a license plate is issued by the state government and is a government document, I have never considered the message of a vanity plate to be a statement of endorsement by the government. I understand the person making the statement is the plate applicant, and they pay a premium for it. I have a vanity plate myself, I don't think the government is endorsing my wife's and my online screen names, which is what is on our plate. This is different then a state actually printing religious messages on the basic plate itself as some states have done.
However in this case Brian Magee has show that there is preferential treatment and by denying his application ND is and has been taking sides and seems to be actively promoting religion. It is so easy to let promotion happen when there is in a way "plausible deniability" that it is happening until someone shines a light on it as in this case, so is it better to simply disallow such plates at all to avoid any unnecessary entanglements between religion and government and simply not allow such messages. There are many, many, many ways to put your religion on your car, such as the Jesus fish. So why use a government issued license plate?
In any case I do want to give heart felt support to Brian Magee for doing this and bringing this to the public's attention. I will be writing a support letter to the ND Department of Transportation as they seem to be handling the appeal.
Anyone else have thoughts?