‘In God We Trust’ is bad legislation
The Chattanooga Times May 21 editorial, “Beware of the Church of Government,” rightly summarizes problems associated with recent Tennessee legislation allowing drivers to add the phrase “In God We Trust” to their license plates.
The editorial is commendable given that some may mistakenly categorize it to be anti-religious. Of course, neither the editorial nor this letter should be read as opposing religion but rather as advocating for prudent governance.
In contrast, it is disappointing only one Tennessee lawmaker of 115 chose to risk voting against such ill-conceived legislation. If Tennessee drivers respond in similar numbers, might we expect only a single-digit percentage will opt out of appending “In God We Trust” to their plates? If so, that suggests a troubling thought experiment. Imagine noticing a vehicle in which the motto is conspicuously absent. What inferences might be made, for bad or for good, about the driver? The only inference that wise governance should permit is the logical one — “that driver is likely a Tennessee resident.” Any other inference is needlessly divisive at a time when we all could benefit from a sense of greater unity and less discord.
Patrick F. Lavin Hixson