I had avoided putting up a link to Charleston City Paper's columnist Jack Hunter because I didn't think very highly of it.
It's dubbed "Refusing to allow 'I Believe' plates is an exercise in bad manners." And the logic just isn't very sound, and, at best, I think it's just trying to stir up a fuss.
Read more stories on this subject in our license plates topic page.Take this passage:
And South Carolinians of any faith or unfaith belong to a primarily Christian culture. Religious symbolism today is handled in a way that would be considered unacceptable if applied to any other cultural facet. Imagine a court denying New York the option of issuing Statue of Liberty license plates because not every New Yorker subscribes to the idea of liberty? No self-respecting New Yorker would stand for this. And Lord knows, any grown-up who would waste his time standing before a court to argue against allowing South Carolinians the same right to the same sort of simple cultural expressions is worse than a bad American -- he's a bad neighbor.
Uh, sure, makes sense, except for that whole guarantee of liberty is in the 5th Amendment: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property."
But, I still haven't said why I'm blathering about it. I am because a pair of letters to the City Paper do a pretty good job of poking holes in Hunter's piece.
Take this part of Herb Silverman's response:
Hunter makes the analogy of a dinner guest's rudely criticizing the food prepared by his or her host, rather than adapting to the situation. Like Hunter, I am a citizen of this country and no more a guest of this country than he is. A good neighbor does not try to impose beliefs on others or seek government assistance to do so.
As for my own stance on the whole issue, I've said the ideological debate is red herring at this time. We don't need to be wasting precious state funding on a costly legal battle.
But, Hunter certainly isn't alone in his support of the tags. Some 350, including Attorney General Henry McMaster and Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, rallied at an Upstate church in protest of the judge's injunction against the plate.
An appeal by South Carolina is pending and may or may not happen.