Hurst#039;s law would not be fair to all Alabamians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

Rep. Steve Hurst (D-Munford) recently proposed legislation that would place the phrase &#8220God Bless America” on all car tags issued in Alabama.

While most specialty tags would be exempt, the law would require that all Alabamians purchase a tag, inscribed across which would be their belief in an omnipotent God - whether they actually believe in God or not.

And a majority of our readers, it would appear, agree with Hurst. As of Monday, 68 readers had responded to our on-line poll about the legislation. 76 percent was in favor of Hurst's recommendation. 15 percent were against.

Hurst said he came up with the idea for the tag after seeing a prisoner of war specialty tag. He told the Associated Press:

&uot;I thought why don’t we do the same thing for all the tags in the state of Alabama. That will let all the people in America know that we are a Bible Belt state.”

Of that, there's no question. Traditionally, the south has been a bastion of Christianity and do we really need a song lyric emblazoned across the top of our car tags stating the obvious?

Most Alabamians and legislatures will support Hurst's bill full-force. But is this fair to non-Christians, or atheists or practitioners of other religions? Should they be forced to purchase a more expensive, specialty tag in order to not brand their vehicle with our God's name?

We think Rep. Hurst would serve the people of Alabama better by focusing on what benefits the entire state (improved schools, improved jobs). Concentrating on those issues would help all Alabamians, and not just the conspicuous majority that all Alabama lawmakers have a tendency to appease in bids for re-election.