Driving in Neutral by J. Douglas Johnson

Quodlibet

Driving in Neutral

I can't believe I'm writing this, but three cheers for the Kentucky Department of Motor Vehicles. "Obscene or vulgar" is how the Kentucky DMV categorized Kevin Hart's request to have "I'm God" emblazoned on his personalized license plates.

Mr. Hart then filed a lawsuit in federal court (of course) with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (of course, of course). The court ruled in Mr. Hart's favor (of course), writing, "To allow such plates as 'IM4GOD' and 'LUVGOD' but reject 'IM GOD' belies viewpoint neutrality."

The court may be indifferent as to whether a man believes in God or blasphemes him, but there's nothing neutral about it. As Anthony Esolen once put it, there's no such thing as a beach ordinance that's neutral on nudity. It's either a nude beach or it isn't.

J. Douglas Johnson is the executive editor of Touchstone and the executive director of the Fellowship of St. James.

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