In Cops We Trust? Tennessee plates spark fears of theocratic policing
Thanks to a new formatting adjustments being rolled out on new licence plates across Tennessee, you will now find three types of drivers in the U.S. state: those who trust in God, those who don’t trust in God, and those pretending to trust in God to avoid being targeted by police and others.
The new blue-and-white plates are available in two designs, one bearing the phrase “In God We Trust”; and another without the phrase, but that’s not the only difference. In addition to the religious wording, which appears in small lettering, the letter-and-number sequence is reversed depending on which one you get. So, whereas the plates without the expression start with numbers – ie. 678 WXYZ – those with the “In God We Trust” start with letters, like XYZ 6789.
And though the plates were announced earlier this year, a new controversy surrounding the discrepancy is arising online, with some Tennessee drivers expressing concerns over being potentially targeted by police if they don’t publicly declare their admiration for the man upstairs. This, despite the fact that the Tennessee Department of Revenue insists the differentiation between formats is simply to insure there are enough different combinations to offer all drivers.
And according to the reddit comments section, there may be a fair number of ‘heathens’ who have chosen the godly plate option for the simple reason that they fear they’ll be targeted by police, traffic authorities, or overzealous civilians if they didn’t.