COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - "I Believe." Two simple words have sparked yet another church/state controversy. A watchdog group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has sued in federal court to stop South Carolina from producing "I Believe" license plates featuring a cross. Three South Carolina pastors, a rabbi and the Hindu American Foundation contend that the creation of these tags offers preferential treatment to Christianity.
Our U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech on religious matters, but also expressly forbids any state-sponsored religion. While it's true that putting "I Believe" license plates on cars in our state would be strictly voluntary, it's also true that state government would be endorsing a design which represents Christianity, to the exclusion of other faiths.
Perhaps the controversy could be settled by simply eliminating any religious symbols. Displaying the words "I Believe" on your license plate could be subject to whatever interpretation you choose, faith-based or not. That's my Perspective, what's yours?