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Jay Greeson

What is on your license plate?

On my vehicle, I have a specialty plate for my college alma mater.

It's a few extra bucks a year, sure, but I have a day job after all.

In high school, I had a vanity plate — Jay 22. Yes, it was a very high school thing to do, and in the years since, it has been the punchline of more than a few good- natured barbs.

So I, more than most, understand the desire to want to express personal sentiments on a tag plate.

For the majority of us, we show up at the courthouse, renew our vehicle registration and get our sticker.

But because we are in a place where the pandering of political posers dominates the headlines, we are now forced to debate whether "In God We Trust" should be on our car plates.

Yes, now at a time when the national storyline is who is not going to attend our next president's inauguration rather than who is. Yes, now when we are all looking around wondering if the next generation is going to be better off than the current one. Yes, now at a time when our schools are struggling, our roads are ragged and our health is far from healthy, I need some mid-state state rep standing on his soapbox making sure his "record" checks the religion box the next time his name is on a ballot.

This paper's Andy Sher, who covers state and regional politics, quoted Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, the sponsor of the bill, as follows:

"Our government was founded on religious belief. I'm not trying to cram anything down anyone's throat. We're not saying 'Jesus Christ.'"

No, Bill, you are not saying Jesus Christ, but is that a good thing, because we all know that is exactly what you meant. In fact, we're wondering why, if you are pushing your chips into the middle of the religious poker table, are you hedging your bets?

Why are you trying to find cover when all of us know exactly what you're trying to force next to everyone's tailpipe?

And to be factually accurate here, Bill, this great country was not founded on religious belief as much as it was created in the glorious notion of religious freedom.

So, in that regard, calling back to the Founding Fathers is a floundering failure, Bill.

And let's go a step further.

We heard a friend recently discussing the importance of placement and perspective in prayer. She quoted Matthew 6:5-6:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

(That friend was leading our Sunday 9 a.m. service in case you were wondering).

Hey, if you want to trot out a specialized plate with a religious sentiment, go crazy, Bill. Make it an option people can choose. Of course, that would technically be a vanity plate and, well, to be honest, vanity and religion are too connected already.

But to mandate it is wrong.

It's not what the Founding Fathers would have wanted or what our heavenly Father would either, in my opinion.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6343.

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