Monday, March 1, 2010

Why isn’t the DMV, “GODLESS”?

I moved to Louisiana from California early 2007 and duly registered my car in my new home state. There’s a Department of Motor Vehicles website,, where Louisianans can request a personalized license plate. The requested wording of the customized plate can be typed in and it immediately lets you know if the plate is available or if it is considered “inappropriate”.

I typed in the following personalized license plates and found that they had been taken and were therefore presently driving the roads of Louisiana. GOD4ME, ME4GOD, 4GOD, ALL4GOD, GOD4ALL, GO2GOD, 1WTHGOD, LOVEGOD, GOD4U, GOD, 4JESUS, JESUS4U, JESUS, CHRIST, and many more I’m sure. I just ran out of ideas. I’ve been an atheist all my life and coming from the very un-religious England to the very religious Louisiana, I thought I’d have some fun. I typed in, GODLESS, saw that it was available, and filed the application.

I received the following short email: -

“Your plate request cannot be approved.”

This made the secular hares on the back of my neck stand up. “Is this not blatant bias on the side of religion by the government run Department of Motor Vehicles of Louisiana, and therefore a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment and the Louisiana Constitution” I hear you cry? Bearing in mind the enactment of the Louisiana Science Education Act which is effectively a back-door attempt to include creationism in the science curricula, I’m sure the DMV’s answer would be, “Yes… so what’s your point?”

I wrote back to the DMV explaining the inequality of the situation. I also mentioned that I was a member of NOSHA. To my surprise, and I must admit, a little disappointment that the fight was over so soon, I received the following email: -

Your request for the prestige plate, "GODLESS", has been reconsidered and will be approved.

So, I’ve paid my SIXTY FIVE BUCKS, and after waiting the required SIXTEEN WEEKS, (I guess that’s par for the course for a government organization), I recieved my GODLESS plate. Three cheers for NOSHA and also for, if not a separation of church and state, at least equal treatment for theist and non theist alike. One would have hoped that all government organizations would be secular, but from the license plates stated above, that ship has long sailed.

I’d like to throw down the gauntlet to my fellow freethinkers and ask them to apply for similar theistically un-flattering license plates. You don’t have to buy them; just push the edges of the DMV’s religious tolerance envelope.

Some relatively tame and cryptic ideas are, OVERGOD, 4GETGOD, (forget god), ENUFGOD, (enough god), WHY GOD, Y JESUS, YY4 GOD, (too wise for god), 26E4GOD, (too sexy for god), 2QT4GOD, (too cute for god), GOD LOL, (god, laugh out load). Some more radical plates could read, I H8GOD, GODH8R, H8JESUS, H8FAITH, GODSBAD, GOD SUX, MAD GOD, CRZYGOD, CYCOGOD, DAMNGOD. Some suggestions that would probably be rejected on the grounds of vulgarity are are, FAWQGOD, FCK GOD, 4Q GOD, FU GOD, GOD WTF, (god, what the f***), GOD BFD, (god, big f****** deal), DOGKCUF, (read it backwards), but, what the hell?… I mean heck.

Or, if you can perform miracles, like getting the DMV to do the right thing, how about, I AM GOD?