Secular News Daily is reporting a new Georgia law that will require "In God We Trust" on all car license plates. Georgians who don't like it will have to pay extra to get a state-approved sticker to cover it up!
Atheists are naturally up in arms about this glaring violation of the First Amendment. But I sort of like it. I believe this could be one of the best things that happened to secularism in America in the last ten years – if they're foolish enough to go through with it.
Why? Because it could force the Supreme Court to take "In God We Trust" off of our money.
Atheists have objected to "In God We Trust" on currency and as the national motto for decades, but the courts have been unsympathetic. The Supreme Court stated that "In God We Trust" and similar slogans are "protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content."
But having a dollar in your pocket is quite different than being required to drive around with "In God We Trust" on your car for everyone to see. Imagine what Christians would do if they had to drive around in cars that said, "Trust Reason, Because There Is No God." They would be quite within their rights to refuse.
It's hard to imagine that the Supreme Court will be able to sidestep this one. It will reach their doorstep. And once it's there, it's hard to imagine that they would force non-religious citizens to drive around advertising religious beliefs. Maybe I'm naïve, but I don't think so.
Now think about what happens next ... if it's unconstitutional for Georgia to force atheists to have "In God We Trust" on every car, how can you simultaneously allow the slogan on our money? Banning it on license plates while allowing it on money would require a lot of legal sleight-of-hand tricks.
I actually hope Georgia goes through with this discriminatory plan. It will become a perfect opportunity to fight back against the erosion of our First Amendment rights.