Mississippi’s new standard state-issued license plate says “In God We Trust,” and three state politicians are using the criticisms filed to reinforce the backwardness of the state, according to the Friendly Atheist.
The issued license plate essentially places a tax on Mississippi’s non-Christian residents, who now have the choice to promote God on their car or pay the state for an alternative plate.
Groups such as the American Humanist Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have requested state officials to offer their residents a free alternative. The default plate “violates multiple constitutional provisions and statutes,” according to a letter sent to Attorney General Jim Hood and Department of Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is running for governor and ran a campaign ad claiming that Mississippi’s values were being attacked by liberal outsiders from California and Washington; however, complaints on the license plates came from Mississippi residents.
Treasurer Lynn Fitch and her opponent Mark Baker are running for attorney general. Like Lt. Gov. Reeves, they are campaigning on the discrimination of atheists and other non-Christians in Mississippi and disregarding the law, as they vie for the top law enforcement position in the state.
The spokesperson for the American Humanist Association, Sarah Henry, responded to the campaigns. “The state is forcing its own residents to publicly proclaim an allegiance to God or pay an additional, higher fee,” she said in the statement. “The American Humanist Association is asking the governor’s office to respect the free speech of all Mississippians by providing a state-issued license plate that does not make a theistic claim at no additional charge.”