An atheist who – in theory – does not believe in God, fought and won the right to declare himself God on his vehicle’s vanity plate.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Ben Hart requested the vanity plate IM GOD from the Kentucky Bureau of Motor Vehicles and it was rejected by state officials. He then sued Kentucky with the help of the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
The state of Kentucky originally denied the plate because it was “obscene and vulgar” and later because it was “not in good taste,” but Hart (who is theoretically irreligious) claimed religious discrimination.
It deserves repeating; a man who claims to be irreligious declared himself God and then accused the State of Kentucky of discriminating against his religion.
Hart’s attorney argued…
“Under the First Amendment, government officials do not have the authority to censor messages simply because they dislike them. And in this instance, personalized license plates are a form of individual speech equally deserving of First Amendment protection.”
They continued, “Hart has a right to select a personalized plate message that reflects his philosophical views, just as any other driver may select an individual message for their personalized plate. Just as others may select religious messages, Ben Hart, an atheist, has a right to comment on religion.”
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said…
“As the court affirmed, the denial of Ben Hart’s choice of a license plate was pure discrimination. We are delighted that the court realized the bias the state of Kentucky was displaying toward nonbelievers.”
Of course, Hart’s license place was not a statement of unbelief, but a statement of belief.
Pulpit & Pen commends the outcome of this unfortunate waste of taxpayer resources; Ben Hart has a constitutional right to religion. And in his religion, he believes himself to be God (as all atheists do).
There is hardly a more heart-felt statement for an atheist to make than “I am God.” In their hearts, they believe it. They are the lords of their own heart, the captains of their own conscience, and the savior of their own souls. Like Lucifer, they desire to sit upon the throne of God and decree themselves to be their own sovereign kings.
Hart’s license plate is not true, but at least his sentiment is honest.
The atheist thought he was making a point. In fact, he was. He was making the point that every atheist believes in God; they just believe they are Him. Now quick, somebody in Kentucky get the vanity plate, RMNS 1 18.