‘In God We Trust:’ Atheists group file federal lawsuit against Miss. over license plates

MISSISSIPPI — In God We Trust is on license plates in Mississippi and if you don’t pay a specialty tag fee that’s the only way it comes.    

As FOX13 found out a federal lawsuit has been filed to change that.  

TRENDING: Olive Branch man arrested after allegedly selling over an ounce of fentanyl to police

Geoffrey Blackwell is an attorney for American Atheists. He filed the license plate lawsuit on behalf of American Atheists and Mississippi Humanists in Federal Court.

“In order to drive their vehicles, they had to display the current standard license plate with “In God We Trust” on it or pay an extra fee for specialty plates,” Blackwell said.

According to the lawsuit, Mississippi is violating residents’ freedom by forcing them to display the religious phrase.

The only way to avoid it is by buying specialized plates for $32. But there are no specialty plates for cars with custom tag numbers or for RV’s, motorcycles and disabled drivers. 

TRENDING: Mississippi audit shows nearly $118M in unemployment incorrectly paid out during pandemic

“The lawsuit asks the court to direct Mississippi to provide an alternative plate at no additional costs for people who object to displaying “In God We Trust” on their vehicles. This is something other states that say “In God We Trust” on them,” Blackwell said.   

The lawsuit also states the message is “rooted in hostility” against non-believers. 

Tyler Francis, an Army National Guardsman from Olive Branch, said he sees the constitutionality of it all.

“I am totally on board with them expressing their concerns I fight for their freedom to do that. Just like I fight for those who believe it should be on there and we should be able to express “In God We Trust.” I fight for them too,” Francis said.   

But not everyone agrees.

Beatriz Ellis of Olive Branch said she didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

“We go to church and if you go to church you don’t have to have a tag on your car to say we believe in God in my opinion,” Ellis said.