Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jesus Christ On a Plate

The Florida legislature has given preliminary approval to two new specialty license plates.

If you want Jesus on your license plate, the Florida Senate is looking out for you.

Religious specialty plates offered by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, and Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, made it onto a bill Friday even though many members had not seen images of those plates and none were produced for the debate.

Siplin didn’t mince words when asked what his ”Trinity” plate looks like, saying: ”It has a picture of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

It, along with a ”Preserving the Past” plate offered by Siplin, would benefit the Toomey Foundation for the Natural Sciences.

Storms’ ”I Believe” plate would benefit Faith in Teaching, an Orlando company that funds faith-based programs at schools. The design features a cross over a stained-glass window.

Several members had concerns about approving plates they had not seen. And one questioned using religious symbols at all.

”The issue is whether the state of Florida ought to be producing license plates with religious images on them,” said Sen. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, ”and I don’t believe that we should.”

Before the day was over, the Anti-Defamation League and the ACLU registered opposition, and across the hall in the House, proposals for the same plates were withdrawn from legislation.

It’s no surprise that Ronda Storms, who has made the news with her anti-gay tirades and other crazy-ass antics, is behind this patently unconstitutional stunt; she’s probably jealous that Michele Bachmann is getting all of the national attention as the current right-wing nutball and she wants to get in on the action. As for Mr. Siplin — a Democrat — he’s resurrecting a plate image that was tried a year ago and was crucified by the rest of the legislature. (South Carolina pinched the idea and now they’ve got it, proving that they may believe in blatant state support of Christianity if not the Ten Commandments.)

So let me see if I have this straight: the state of Florida has rising unemployment, a crumbling infrastructure, teachers are being threatened with layoffs and school districts are cutting back on classes and support staff, the real estate market is in the crapper, millions of Floridians can’t get decent health care, along with any number of other problems that a state faces in the middle of one of the worst recessions in memory. The annual legislation session ends next week with a ton of bills unpassed and unconsidered, but these geniuses have the time to consider adding two specialty license plates to the list of over 100 plates already available and which will most certainly draw lawsuits that will cost the state even more money to defend against… and will most certainly lose, assuming there’s a judge out there with the sense that God gave a goose.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

PS: Go here to see a picture of the sample license plate. Michelangelo it ain’t.