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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

In NJ, ATHEIST Cannot Be On A Vanity Plate

Posted by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • 65 Replies

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/27/new-jersey-rejects-atheist-vanity-plate-being-offensive/

Every state has different rules governing what can and can't be displayed on vanity license plates. Not only do they vary, but many are vague about what combinations of letters and/or numbers are acceptable, which forces the state to determine acceptability on a case-by-case basis. Remember the 'ILVTOFU' controversy of 2011? Or what about Georgia's rejection of gay-themed license plates?

New Jersey resident David Silverman has published a tale on Twitter regarding his application to the state's Motor Vehicle Commission for a personalized license plate that reads "ATHEIST." Silverman says in his tweet that the reason given for the state's rejection of his godless vanity plate was that it's offensive.

We don't have much insight into how New Jersey decides which vanity plates are acceptable, but we did find this report published earlier this year on NJ.com that reveals a list of 1,085 words banned by the MVC for use on vanity plates. ATHEIST is not on the list (nor is THEIST, for that matter), but MVC spokesman Mike Horan told the reporter that applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, so the list has probably grown since then.

New Jersey's got another problem: David Silverman isn't just any atheist, he's the President of American Atheists, a group that's been around since the '60s with a track record of taking cities and states to court to uphold the rights of non-believers. It doesn't sound like Silverman was looking for a fight, but the Garden State just gave him one. He's already filed his first appeal.


^^^me speaking now

So is the word ATHEIST in and of itself offensive, that it shouldn't be permitted on a vanity license plate?


ETA:  I have discovered the ruling was overturned.  I do, however, think this is a good story that shows how poorly atheists and atheism is seen, that even the word can be seen as offensive.

by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:13 AM
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Replies (1-10):
unspecified42
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:14 AM
1 mom liked this

God forbid them good New Jersey Christians realize they're on the road with a non-believer!

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:16 AM


Quoting unspecified42:

God forbid them good New Jersey Christians realize they're on the road with a non-believer!

I'm in NJ, and hadn't heard of this before.

You pay extra for the plates, and people say all kinds of stupid things.

I plan on following the story, and will look to see if I can find something besides the blog post about it.  The idea that ATHEIST is offensive blows my mind.

URHonor
by Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM
4 moms liked this
I'm a NJ Catholic and it wouldn't offend me...because I have better things to focus on! Your reply was kinda rude, though. :)

Quoting unspecified42:

God forbid them good New Jersey Christians realize they're on the road with a non-believer!

JTROX
by Gold Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I wholly disagree with atheism, but I don't consider it offensive.

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM
6 moms liked this

Does anyone wonder if they would allow "LUVJESUS" or would say that's offensive?

unspecified42
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM
2 moms liked this

I used to have a personalized plate that I really loved (PMRN). I like the clever ones. I don't get how 'atheist' could be offensive, but then again it doesn't entirely surprise me. It just takes one hateful moron in a position of power to make a decision like that.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting unspecified42:

God forbid them good New Jersey Christians realize they're on the road with a non-believer!

I'm in NJ, and hadn't heard of this before.

You pay extra for the plates, and people say all kinds of stupid things.

I plan on following the story, and will look to see if I can find something besides the blog post about it.  The idea that ATHEIST is offensive blows my mind.



unspecified42
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM
7 moms liked this

Um, your state decided that the word 'atheist' is offensive and my joking reply reply was rude? Ok. lol

Quoting URHonor:

I'm a NJ Catholic and it wouldn't offend me...because I have better things to focus on! Your reply was kinda rude, though. :)

Quoting unspecified42:

God forbid them good New Jersey Christians realize they're on the road with a non-believer!



jllcali
by Jane on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM
3 moms liked this
I don't find it offensive. If the state allows other religious themed vanity plates, and not this one, THAT is offensive.
SmtmsAlwys
by Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM
1 mom liked this
Then no references to any religion should be allowed, either.
Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

I can't understand why that is not allowed. People put some really stupid shit on license plates.

Personally, I hate personalized license plates.

On a funnyn ote though...this reminds me of "Assman" on Seinfeld..lol

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