‘Non-Christian’ License Plate Prompts Oklahoma Lawsuit

An Oklahoma court has cleared the way for Methodist clergyman Keith Cressman to sue the state over his objection to  imagery on that state’s license plate.

The new license plates carry a photo of a statue called “Prayer for Rain,” of an Apache man shooting an arrow into the sky.

His 2011 lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City seeks a court order allowing him either to cover up the image on his plates or to get a personalized plate for the same cost as a standard license plate.

“Mr. Cressman’s (lawsuit) states a plausible compelled speech claim,” the appellate judges wrote Tuesday in a 39-page decision, reversing Judge Joe Heaton’s dismissal of the lawsuit. “He has alleged sufficient facts to suggest that the ‘Sacred Rain Arrow’ image on the standard Oklahoma license plate conveys a particularized message that others are likely to understand and to which he objects.”

Oklahoma has used American Indian imagery on license plates before, but something about this one evidently pushed the Rev. Cressman’s buttons.

Sigh. Maybe they should make a plain black and white plate for militant monotheists.