by Fred Jackson
(AgapePress) – The state that became the first in the nation to officially endorse homosexual unions appears to be far less tolerant when it comes to Christians who want to share their faith.
The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has denied a request from a Protestant pastor and his wife for specialty license plates. One would read “Romans5,” and the other would read “Romans8” in reference to Romans 5:8. It is a verse that talks about God loving us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. In denying the request to Pastor and Mrs. Zins, the department said that having a Bible reference on a license plate might offend or confuse some people.
At a department hearing to appeal that decision, the couple brought in a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim who said the plates certainly would not offend them. Still, the appeal was denied.
Now the Zins are headed to court. A spokesman for the Rutherford Institute, which is representing the Zins, says the state's decision is unconstitutional. John Whitehead says the First Amendment does not permit government bureaucrats to decide for the people what is too offensive to appear on a personal vanity plate.
(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)
West Virginia Mom Battling to Post National Motto
by Rusty Pugh
(AgapePress) – When parents in a West Virginia school decided to place posters of the national motto in classrooms, they were met with opposition from a superintendent who took it upon himself to remove them.
Patricia Coan is on the policy council of the Mineral County, West Virginia, Head Start program. Last fall, a parent of a Head Start student bought posters bearing the words “In God We Trust.” Coan says they went through the proper channels before posting them and received legal permission. But shortly after putting them up, she says the district superintendent, Charles Kalbaugh, removed all the signs.
“He came in out of the complete blue and took them down, and we asked him why and he said he needed to get in touch with the lawyers,” she says. “He never brought it to our attention. He never asked us anything. If he had just come and asked us, it would have been all solved we could have showed him what the lawyers already told us.”
Coan believes she and the other parents are getting “the runaround.” She cannot understand why the national motto can’t be posted.
“The schools and the parents should be teaching children good morals and values,” Coan says. “Taking down items that are the very basis of our being, to take them down is ridiculous.”
Coan says she and the others are willing to fight for as long as it takes to have the posters put back up.