‘In God We Trust:’ A group of atheists take federal legal action against Miss. about license plates
MISSISSIPPI – In God We Trust is on license plates in Mississippi and if you don’t pay a specialty label fee, this is the only way to do it.
As FOX13 discovered, a federal lawsuit has been filed to change that.
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Geoffrey Blackwell is an attorney for American atheists. He filed the license plate lawsuit on behalf of American Atheists and Mississippi Humanists in Federal Court.
“To drive their vehicles, they had to display the current standard license plate with ‘In God We Trust’ on it or pay an additional fee for the specialty plates,” Blackwell said.
According to the lawsuit, Mississippi violates residents’ freedom by forcing them to display the religious phrase.
The only way to avoid it is to buy specialty plates for $ 32. But there are no special plates for cars with personalized tag numbers or for recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and disabled drivers.
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“The lawsuit asks the court to order Mississippi to provide an alternative plate at no additional cost to those who object to the display of” In God We Trust “on their vehicles. It’s something other states say “In God we trust” about them, “Blackwell said.
The lawsuit also says the message is “rooted in hostility” against non-believers.
Tyler Francis, an Army National Guard from Olive Branch, said he sees the constitutionality of it all.
“I totally agree with them in expressing their concerns, I fight for their freedom to do so. Just like I fight for those who believe that it should be there and that we should be able to express “In God We Trust”. I am fighting for them too, ”said Francis.
But not everyone agrees.
Beatriz Ellis of Olive Branch said she didn’t understand why it was all the noise.
“We go to church and if you go to church you don’t need to have a tag on your car saying we believe in God in my opinion,” Ellis said.
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