July 15th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Georgia delays new car tag over 'In God We Trust' confusion

By Phil Gast, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Confusion over whether the motto "In God We Trust" might appear on Georgia's new license plate prompted officials to announce Friday another round of online voting in which citizens can endorse their favorite design.

The brouhaha began after the state posted eight semifinalist designs selected by art school faculty. Three of the entries provided by those who submitted designs included the "In God We Trust" decal, which Georgians have the option of buying for $1. Two plates included the names of counties, and three had no label.

Many voters apparently believed that the motto was not an option and would appear on the Georgia plate if one of those three designs were selected.

"It was a misconception that it was an integral part of the license plate design," said Timothy Mitchell, assistant director of the Georgia Department of Revenue's Tax Law & Policy Office.

The vote page had nothing to indicate that the motto and county names were included to show how the winning plate might appear.

Voters picked the three designs with "In God We Trust" as the finalists. The motto would be placed where the county name normally appears.

"It was obvious people were voting for or against things that are not going to be part of the tag," said Brian Robinson, deputy chief of staff for communications for Gov. Nathan Deal. The voting redo stems "from a deep sense of fairness to artists and the public."

About 400,000 people took part in the initial voting.

Deal, who was supposed to announce the winning design Friday, instead announced the new voting, which begins Monday and will last three weeks. The eight designs will be back on the website, sans the motto or county names.

Hemant Mehta, who operates the Friendly Atheist website, wrote Friday, "Kudos to state officials for correcting their own mistake, although they could've done it a long time ago and saved the state a lot of unnecessary hassle."

Deal and the state's lieutenant governor and revenue commissioner will make the final design selection.

About 100,000 Georgians have purchased the "In God We Trust" label since it went on sale, Mitchell said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Georgia • United States

soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Randy D

    Lord help us, for we have proven time and time again that even with your blessings, we (USA) cannot help ourselves.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  2. mylifemyway

    All this herbert juarez guy can come up with is telling people to stick their heads up their butts... Seems he knows a lot about the subject. On a more intelligent note, people are welcome to believe whatever they want... Just don't go ramming it up our @ss as herbert would suggest. When people start to realize you can be a good person without fear of damnation, the world will be much better off!

    July 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      not telling them to just noticing that they are already there.read the entire exchanges before you comment and you'll look a lot brighter.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  3. R. Spalding

    The God that they are really talking about is not the one you think. Examine the numerous satanic symbols on the back of a U.S.dollar bill and perhaps you’ll understand. It is really any secret who controls American finance, legislation, media and etcetera? I like the late Harold Rosenthal quote as a hint…”Of course we are God’s chosen people, but our God is Lucifer and Lucifer is very much alive.”

    July 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @R. Spalding

      Satan doesn't exist. Never has. Never will


      July 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • ForestSound

      @David, you're just being ignorant. Satan likes it when people deny his existence. Both denial and obsession with him work for him perfectly to make humans turn against God.

      July 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey -FS...

      You Said: "@David(Johnson), you're just being ignorant. Satan likes it when people deny his existence. Both denial and obsession with him work for him perfectly to make humans turn against God."

      According to whom...? And... what specific evidence do you have to support this outside of the bible...? I know what the bible 'says.'

      See if you can come up with something that is 'verifiable' outside of some writings, before calling someone 'ignorant.'



      July 18, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  4. grease monkey

    Better motto "With GM we rust."

    How come god lets cars rust anyway? He can't be trusted.

    July 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  5. John

    "In God We Trust" may have been official as the US motto but it was in 1776 that it was first uttered concerning US policy

    July 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • John

      "1956" sorry

      July 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  6. Adelina

    Why mot ? In Minnesota you an pay to put a loon on your plate. No difference.

    July 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You're right... it's a looney idea...

      July 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  7. Queen Lattice

    it's a gd car tag people. why all the fuss? a car tag should have its numbers and letters to identify the car/driver it belongs to. people are so f'n stupid sometimes, it's a wonder anything ever gets done

    July 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  8. JimInTX

    He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake. Properties held true by both the Invisible Sky Friend and Santa. I want my state to allow me to buy a decal that reads "My Invislble Sky Friend is the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

    July 16, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Joshua

      Or you can finally let go of when your priest touched you and just go on with your life, for people who claim to have no ties to the church, athesis sure do talk about the church a lot.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • JDinMississippi

      Hey Josh,

      I'm currently working on my thesis on the Intellectual history of Confederate volunteers. Oh...you were trying to spell atheist. Nevermind...I do not converse with intellectual inferiors. There is no God, read between the lines.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • herbert juarez

      There is no God.Wow what incredible personal insight and wisdom, and You alone know this?Millions of people for thousands of years have been wrong and You got it right,how important you are! thank You for alerting the rest of the world.In order to converse with your intellectual equal,might i suggest you place your head between your knees and look up .

      July 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Joshua

      Hey, I was typing on my phone so whatever, I spelled a word wrong, I guess I dont gotta worry cause theres no God, cause if there was, he'd hate me for that... I wish I had some anti-matter around to erase you from exsistance.

      July 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      herbert juarez wrote: "Millions of people for thousands of years have been wrong.."

      Well, they were simply victims of the Greatest Fraud ever perpetrated...

      July 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      i see you took the advise i gave jd a bit too literally, but since you 've jammed your head up your colon that far check yourself for polyps it might save your life.

      July 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      @herbert juarez

      A response all too typical of the level of intelligence displayed by those victims (and perpetrators) of this greatest of all frauds...

      July 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      ears stuck up there?Atypical response no" good" American Christian could ever suggest that a persons head could be stuck in such a place but i'm being generous to You and your kind .The colon fits and You wear it well

      July 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ herbert juarez
      Were you this upset when you found out Santa and the Easter bunny weren't real too?
      Here are a few more for you...

      Your mother's back will be just fine if you step on a crack.
      It won't rain if you kill a spider.
      Black cats really aren't that bad.
      You won't get harry palms from playing with "it"

      There are lots more... do you want any specific myths busted? or have we touched on the big ones for you?

      July 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      the only questions i have for you is why you'd stick your head up lardos colon?how's the view?can you keep checking your own palms from there?

      July 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @herbert juarez
      Oh the wit... stop it, you're too much... tee hee hee hee hee hee....
      is that all you got? Really? Please, give your keyboard back to daddy or mommy now.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      you on the other hand are no wit at all, although you pretend to be one at cnn.speaking of your other hand, how hard is it to type with hairy palms?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  9. Luis Wu

    Why would anyone trust a mythical being? That's like saying I trust the Easter bunny.

    July 16, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Joshua

      Even tho its a motto, a lot of people believe in a Creator, God, programmer in the sky, if its their choice to believe then so be it. Would you drag gays out of their house for a choice thats against their DNA, they cant pass on their genes. So why would you drag out christians for a choice thats not hurting you, just dont buy the damn plates and there.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Joshy's baby sitter

      What did daddy tell you about playing on his computer ? When you get big enough to go to school and go through puberty, if you pass the IQ test, you might take a class or two, and you will learn that all species on the planet exhibit same s'ex behaviors, and then you might ask why insects do things "against their DNA". Then after mommy explains the birds and the bees, you will go "oh wait, ... if I say s'exual orientation is a choice, that means I also had to make the choice, and that means I liked both boys and girls. Maybe I don't want my friends to know that".
      So Joshy run out side and play before mommy and daddy come home and catch you playing on their computer again.

      July 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Ron

      I do believe in the Creators, my Gods but that doesn't mean I believe in what Christians call god. It seems strange to me that so many states are putting up the "In god we trust" on their plates. It's simply another attempt to push evangelical christianity on everyone. My Gods don't required anyone to plaster their names on everything so people can see it. In the bible, I believe such a thing would be considered idolatry, which the bible clearly condemns. Then there is the 'pray rally' by Gov. Perry in Texas. These things are simply an attempt to push Christianity on the people. Let someone else have a plate that represents another religion and I'll bet anything that these same people will scream because "we're a Christians nation", which we've never been. I'm very tired of this sect thinking it can rule and push itself on others. If you have to sell your religion and beliefs, what real good is it!

      July 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  10. Read

    Read the article, people. The confusion was whether the phrase would be required. It is an option, so nobody is being forced to do anything.
    BTW, Christ will reign one day. Please seriously consider his claims, as they WILL affect you one day.

    July 16, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • shamgar50

      Bet you believe in Unicorns too.

      July 16, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Wanna buy the Brooklyn bridge?

      July 16, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • SnowVeil

      @Read: Amen.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • News Flash

      "Please seriously consider his claims"
      What "claims" are those ? Are you sure they were not made by others about him.
      If he had to make "claims", instead of just proving the whole ball of wax to be true, (wasn't he omnipotent), I think it's a bit suspect, no ?

      July 16, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Luke

      So when will your Christ rise again? According to biblical literature, the Christ was suppose to return in the 1st Century – we're still waiting. Do cite sources. No copying and pasting. I check references via simple Google searches. Thanks.

      July 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • riffenberg

      No Luke, biblical sources don't say Jesus was suppose to return at the end of the first century. Where are your sources? After=all you demand sources. Where are yours? If you mean,Matthew,24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." , Generation can mean AGE. This age shall not pass. Look it up in a thingy called," Strong's Concordance". Oh, and use the KJV with the Strongs.
      It doesn't matter if Georgia has, "In God we trust or not" I'll still put "in God we trust all over my car. I'm not going to have some twit, atheist shove his beliefs on me.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The biblical definition of a generation can be found is Psalm 90.
      "The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
      26 Psalms 90:10
      This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew.
      "Therefore all the generations from Abraham down to David are 14 generations; and from David down to the Babylonian captivity are 14 generations; and from the Babylonian captivity down to messiah, are 14 generations."
      – Matthew 1:17
      Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of Generation in order to tell a specific chronological story.

      Even we we put aside that argument, there is further scripture indicating that the Second Coming was expected shortly after Christ's zombification.
      “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
      —1 John 2:18

      That was 2,000 years ago. It would appear that everyone's favourite Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead since then and will remain so.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  11. Go Georgia!!

    Does CNN have a policy against linking to other websites? Why not link to the friendly atheist quote? I don't get it.

    July 16, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  12. SnowVeil

    So normal use of the word "God" is not prohibited in USA yet. I hear Americans use it a lot only in cussing and in asking for undeserving blessing.

    July 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  13. andrew

    The "Political Christians" in Georgia can't stuff such things down other's throats any more than any other bunch of "Political Christians" in any other state can.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  14. just a thought No 1

    Dare I say, 'In God We Trust' can also apply to atiests, because the thing that is most important to a person is his/her god.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Perhaps you don't understand the definition of atheist: Atheists don't believe in ANY god.

      July 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Peace2All

      Say wut...?


      July 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • AbuMaia

      "In God We Trust" is no longer an appropriate motto for state or nation. There are many of us who do not trust in any god(s), so the "We" is no longer accurate, if it ever was. You may trust in god. I and others like me do not.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      If atheism is a religion, as you imply, then they, (atheists) also have the right to be free to practice it, just like you.
      Actually I DO trust him.....to kill more babies when the next tsunami comes along. Yeah, you can trust him alright.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • truth

      tallulah13, AbuMaia, et al. Actually, athiests do believe in a god. Their god could be money, power, themselves, selfish ambition, self gratification, etc... but make no mistake, athiests serve their god(s) wholeheartedly.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Their god could also be science, medicine. homeless children, the arts, politics, or education.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Jose

      Actually, Atheism is not a religion. To say Atheism is a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby, it's not a valid and sound statement. Also, Atheism means to have no belief in a god(s). So to someone say money is "god" for an atheist is moronic. God can be interpreted in many ways, but to give it form in something like money or politics is ignorant and simply false.

      July 16, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • shamgar50

      truth, and your’s is ignorance.

      July 16, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • John

      Athiests believe in nothing , meaning they must not believe in their own existence , better to be agnostic

      July 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      If you choose to write your own dictionary, then you get to live with the consequences, meanwhile :
      "atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. I do believe in something. I believe that some people occasionally write really really dumb posts.

      July 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • djconklin

      >Actually, Atheism is not a religion.

      Religion is simply your value construct of reality. That which is valued the highest is your god.

      July 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Can we please stick to the real definitions of these words.
      Religion: A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

      God (uppercase): the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe
      god (lowercase): one of several deitires, especially a male deity, presiding over some portion of wordly affairs

      If you start redefining the core concepts of theological debate, nobody will be able to make their point effectively on either side.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  15. rmccann

    Will any of the first 400k votes count? What a waste of time if the governor's office is going to choose the winner anyway. I voted the first time and will again, but I feel the final choice should not be anything other than the voting results. That is how democracy works in my home state, isn't it?

    July 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      I believe the point of the revote is that the voting site was misleading, and therefore people may not have been voting based on incorrect information.

      July 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  16. icy

    i love that there is a choice and if someone wants to have the in God we trust this is allowed. freedom of speech works both ways.

    July 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  17. DamianKnight

    Annnnnnnd...cue angry debate between athiests and believers!

    July 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Lycidas


      July 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • asrael

      Cue the reminder about the correct spelling of "atheist"...

      July 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  18. frank

    Surely this is the work of Beelzebub!!

    July 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  19. Adelina

    It is a Christian nation and it should say in Jesus We Trust. USA needs to get back to its real roots.

    July 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • KAJD

      Why change something that works? In God we trust is sufficient, and can apply to any religion. Jews and Muslims believe in God, Hindus as well....we all have our own concept of GOD and who he / she / it is. Let's leave that part to the individual!

      July 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • HeavenVeil

      Adelina I want to lick your roots.

      July 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ben

      Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.

      July 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • tesul98

      Check your facts – we are a secular nation.

      July 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • asrael

      Yeah, those unreal roots are obviously not working too well...

      July 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • SnowVeil

      The above Adelina is a fake though she said something right.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Adelina

      The above SnowVeil is right though she said something fake.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  20. Reality

    Not again!!! We went through this license nonsense not too long ago!!!

    "In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. It is also the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. The phrase has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957. "

    Pick your god and get on with your life!!! I suggest "Mom Nature"!!!

    Next topic!!!

    July 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.