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Kentucky Group Sues Over Rejection of Specialty License Plate

ROCK, whose purpose is to ‘educate families about the harmful effects of pornography and sexual immorality,’ also wants its own ‘In God We Trust’ license plate

Kentucky Group Sues Over Rejection of Specialty License Plate

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This story should only be about a Christian group that is suing the state of Kentucky after its bid to get a specialty license plate that reads “In God We Trust” was rejected by the state Transportation Cabinet. But it’s also about porn—of course—the abolition of which seems to be the main focus of the work being done by Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK).

Indeed, even though the advancement of Christianity pervades the group’s website, albeit subtly, its stated goals as expressed on the Purpose of ROCK section could not be more clear:

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* ROCK educated families about the harmful effects of pornography and sexual immorality.

* ROCK informs communities of local sexually oriented businesses and their activities. 

* ROCK stands with local officials to enact and enforce the laws that govern sexually oriented businesses.

Its Areas of Concern section is similarly themed:

* The moral decline in our culture  

* Growth of sexually oriented businesses 

* Pornography and obscenity and the impact on communities and families

* Exploitation of women and children

* Efforts to undermine the principles upon which America was founded 

Why, then, was the specialty license plate request rejected?

In order to get a specialty plate in Kentucky, according to the story, “A group must, among other things, be a non-profit based in Kentucky, contain no discrimination against any race, color, religion, sex or national origin, not be affiliated with any political party, and not be created by a group that ‘has as its primary purpose the promotion of any specific faith, religion or anti-religion.’”

According to Fox News, a spokesperson for the Transportation Cabinet told a local affiliate, "It was the judgment of the special plate committee in this cabinet that it just did not meet the statutory criteria that this panel laid out.”

ROCK claims it was the last prohibition against promoting a specific faith.

"They stated that our primary purpose was the advancement of a particular religion because there is one bible verse that appears on the ROCK website," said MaryAnn Gramig, director of policy and operations for ROCK, who said the assessment was incorrect. “Even though ROCK is a faith-based organization, that’s not our primary purpose … we focus on areas of decency.”

Actually, they focus on the area of taking strip clubs and other adult establishments down, which is not exactly the same thing as promoting decency. For these people, promoting decency means forcing other people who believe differently out of business.

But what is truly astounding about ROCK is the fact that they would actually suppress the true Christian nature of their group in order to get a specialty license plate that exalts the Christian nature of the group.

In other words, they are willing to prevaricate about who they are in order to get around the biased laws of the secular state, so that they can use a tool of the state—the license plate—in order to disseminate their Christian theology, which is precisely what the state is trying to prevent.

It will be interesting to see how far this case goes, which politicians weigh in on which side, and the extent to which the courts are dragged into the inevitable politics of it. And make no mistake this case will be seen by the theocratic right wing as yet another example of the state exhibiting anti-Chrisitan bias.

That the truth is closer to the reverse will rarely, if ever, be expressed other than in invisible outlets like AVN.






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Tom Hymes

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