I saw one of these in my neighborhood yesterday, and the plate frame prevented me from realizing it wasn’t a new kind of PA plate:
Thank the gods it’s Indiana–so far. Does anyone have specific thoughts on these? I understand that there are two major schools of thought about church/state interaction (the neutral view and the nonpreferential view), and the people who are urging the state to print these certainly fall into the nonpreferential category (though I don’t see too much openness to the concept of “In Krishna We Trust”).
Personally (I guess I will give my opinion), I think the nonpreferential camp is pretty silly. Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore have made an excellent case for the neutral intent of Jefferson and Madison, and any government treatment of religion (even nonpreferential treatment among religions) necessarily means that taxpayers’ money is being funneled into religions that they do not endorse or accept as true (think: Faith-Based Initiatives). Government funding of religious organizations or causes is no different from coercive tithes, which were, of course, a flagship issue for founders like Madison and average people fleeing religious oppression in Europe.
On an even more basic level, however, I think the nonpreferential treatment of religion is dangerous because any kind of supernatural claim, given enough support, can count as a religion and demand “equal” treatment from the government. Government funding should be merit-based (and free from religious influence), not dished out among people who have in common a love of vastly different supernatural beliefs.