From the same wonderful people that gave you Governor Howard Dean

I occasionally appreciate a witty vanity license plate, but I’d never have one of my own. (This was Photoshopped, people.) I’ve had too many cars of mine vandalized to make it any more readily identifiable. And there are rules about them — nothing obscene or patently offensive, for one.

Now, in Vermont, we have a guy who’s kinda proud of his religious faith. In fact, he wants to proclaim his faith to the world, and spread the word of his faith to all who see his car. So he applied to have “JN36TN” as his license plate, referring to the Biblical passage John 3:16.

I gotta admit, as someone who doesn’t ascribe to any religious faith, I’m getting a little tired of the John 3:16. I’m a confirmed born-again agnostic, and I know the exact text of that quote. It’s been seared — seared — into my subconscious by the zealots who tout it at every and any opportunity. It didn’t convert me the first time I encountered it, the hundredth, or the thousandth, and I don’t think it ever will. It’s gotten to the point where “John 3:16” has passed right through cliche’ stage to cultural icon (remember “Austin 3:16,” anyone?) to annoyance.

But I’ve been re-reading my Constitution, I don’t recall any passages that specify “freedom from annoyance.”

Yeah, this guy’s a bit of a zealot. And if I never see a reference to “John 3:16” in my life again, I’d be content. But the whole point of the state selling vanity plates to citizens (at a significant premium) is to let them express themselves, to put out what they consider a valuable message to other people. And if this guy over in Vermont is willing to pony up the bucks to get “JN36TN” on his car, shut up, take his money, and give him his plate.

And the more it pisses off the ACLU, the better.

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  1. PTG September 2, 2005
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