State rep angers atheists in TN
State Representative Bill Sanderson (R) has introduced a bill to place the national motto “In God We Trust” on Tennessee license plates.
OneNewsNow asked Sanderson if a U.S. Supreme Court decision – one allowing Texas to bar a Confederate veterans’ plate because the plates represent government speech – might interfere with the Tennessee proposal.
“There are 19 states that already have ‘In God We Trust’ or some form of that on their plates,” Sanderson responds. “And in many of those cases, the bill sponsors have requested an opinion from their state attorney general making sure that it doesn’t cross the barrier between church and state – and in no case has an attorney general ruled that it would be an infraction of the separation of church and state.”
Although the bill (HB26) was only recently introduced, Sanderson says he’s already getting hate mail.
“There are just some folks who, I think, feel that we’re trying to press something on them,” he say. “But I think really the opposite of that is true: I think they’re trying to press something on us.”
If passed, auto owners would get “In God We Trust” on new plates issued each year, starting July 1. Those who object would be permitted to keep their old plates.
The bill was filed in the House on January 11; Sanderson is currently looking for a Senate sponsor.
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