By Chris Conroy
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager
The free speech police are at it again! This time in the state of Kentucky.
For the past eight years, Kentucky Dr. Susan Burton has had a license plate on her car. It is a state issued plate that says "PRAY-4." Imagine her surprise when she got a letter in the mail after all this time telling her that her license plate doesn't meet state law requirements.
So what's the problem with PRAY-4 on a license plate? It could mean PRAY-4 peace, PRAY-4 me, PRAY-4 you, PRAY-4 your dog, your cat, your home... you get the picture. Even some atheists pray the "the Serenity Prayer."
The letter said her plate does not follow the state law that prevents vulgar, offensive, and religious plates. That's a double standard because you can get a state issued license plate for your car in Kentucky that says "In God We Trust." Is there really a big difference between PRAY-4 and "In God We Trust"?
Well, they're back peddling in Kentucky. The transportation cabinet looked into it and said it was an incorrect request and that the interpretation of the statute resulted in a preliminary rejection of her request. They also said they are working with her to reissue her plate. I sincerely PRAY-4 Dr. Burton to get her license plate back and that the state takes a moment to read the first amendment:
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
In states that allow personalized license plates you can see all kinds of clever and personal things. In cases like this it shows what a person stands for. Truly as long as a plate doesn't threaten other religions, isn't vulgar or offensive in nature, it should be allowed.
Respecting the right to free speech, and using good judgment makes this A Better Heartland.