LA Times wrote:The state says the new "In God We Trust" plate is not a specialty plate â€” like dozens of others it offers â€” but rather a second "standard" plate, like the one that features a pastoral scene, and is thus not subject to special fees.
As expected, the ACLU has filed suit regarding the fairness of offering the religious plate without the additional fee, since it is, in essence, free promotion of a particular religion by a government office.
I should point out, the only other affiliation-based plates that do not currently require the extra fee, as far as I know, are the plates that designate military veterans and other military service affiliations. Mike McDaniel (R) mentioned this point on "Indiana Week in Review" to link the wholesomeness of promoting religion to supporting our veterans, implying that those who opposed free access to the IGWT plates were unpatriotic enough to also force military veterans pay the fee for their special plates. (The ACLU hasn't mentioned the military plates at all, as far as I can tell.)
Meanwhile, the quote most often given in support of the new plates isn't from legislators, but from Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute (a faith-based organization, though the papers rarely mention that):
Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute, supports the free plates. "In God We Trust" is the national motto, he said.
"We mention God in the Declaration of Independence and in many of our founding documents and so I think it's very appropriate and legitimate to encourage the dissemination of this phrase," Smith told the newspaper.
Ah, welcome to Indiana.
Personally, I'm taking the same position I do with displaying the 10 Commandments on government property: sure, go ahead, but you have to allow other religions to display their creeds, too. I really don't have anything against someone making a show of support for their religion (or non-religion), it's the implied governmental favoritism that bugs me. There's no way they'd ever allow an "In Goddess/Science/Buddha/etc. We Trust" plate, after all.
Also, I don't understand why the Bureau of Motor Vehicles feels it's appropriate to waive the minimum $15 administrative fee for this particular plate. Because they couldn't figure out who should profit from the fees collected? That's ludicrous. Our governor is on a mad privatization spree, selling off everything he can get his hands on, from the toll road, to the state lottery and prison management. Why couldn't the fee be applied to road construction or education, or something else that benefits everyone?
LA Times article
Indiana Family Institute