FOREIGN NEWS

“I am God”: Court Fines State $150,000 and Grants Atheist Wish to have License Plate

A Kentucky court has granted an atheist the right to be issued a customized license plate “I’m God”. Bennie Hart had sued in November 2016 after the state of Kentucky refused his application for the said license on the grounds that it would cause distraction to other motorists.

In November 2019, the Kentucky department of transportation was found to have violated his first amendment which states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

Bennie Hart

In a court ruling last week, the court awarded $150,000 to the Freedom from Religion Foundation and ACLU-Kentucky.

‘I’m thankful to finally have the same opportunity to select a personal message for my license plate just as any other driver,’ Hart said. ‘There is nothing inappropriate about my view that religious beliefs are subject to individual interpretation.’  Hart said.

The court ruled that, ‘The Commonwealth [of Kentucky] went too far,’ ‘To allow such plates as “IM4GOD” and “LUVGOD” but reject “IM GOD” belies viewpoint neutrality.’ 

Hart said, he was raised in a religious home but self identify as an atheist nowadays. “Anyone can claim to be God” he said.

He was issued the same licences plate in the state of Ohio, where he lived for years without prohibition.

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