Apr 19 2014, 7:01am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
The MVC’s double standards regarding choice of motor vehicle license plate registration has sparked outrage and debate among freethinkers and liberty-lovers in New Jersey.
A woman who filed for a license plate labeled 8THIEST found out that it had been outright rejected by the MVC. However, when she decided to test their values and sense of fair play and applied for a license plate labeled BAPTIST, they heartily approved and accepted the request.
“There is nothing offensive about being atheist,” Morgan told NJ. “I should be able to express my sincerely held beliefs with a license plate just like everyone else.”
Such blatant hypocrisy and two-faced morality doesn’t look good in the 21st century. The lady, named Shannon Morgan is proud to be an atheist. She contends that it is her right and that right has been granted by the First Amendment which is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America.
“She believes that the commission’s decision to deny her a plate that reads '8THEIST' but to allow her one that reads 'BAPTIST' expresses a preference for theistic religious belief over non-theistic belief,” the lawsuit states.
However, the MVC’s fair is foul and foul is fair approach has brought out her ire. The lady insists that she is not being obnoxious by declaring to the world that she is an atheist. And now she has obtained the services of a religious liberty group which is helping her fight the system for her right to a little harmless self expression.
“The state of New Jersey is favoring religion while disparaging non-belief,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It simply has no right to do that. This license plate issue may seem like a small matter but it is indicative of a much larger problem – atheists are often treated by the government as second-class citizens.”
The support of religious causes, and the condemnation of non-religious interests, reeks of the ultimate form of hypocrisy and foul play. It plays into the hands of the most intolerant and bigoted forces of society.
When you start treating a decent law-abiding citizen as a pariah simply because he or she is an atheist then it is “so long freedom and justice”. The fact that many find a license plate titled 8THEIST offensive is not enough of a reason to ban it.
To offend is a part of the right to self expression and freedom means freedom in a lot of things. So long as a one’s nose does not interfere with the nose of another person, anything and everything is and should be allowed.
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