Appeals court: Oklahoma license plate not religious message

Ponca City Now - August 5, 2015 8:41 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal appeals court says Oklahoma’s standard license plates, which show an Apache warrior shooting an arrow into the sky, do not contain a religious message.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Tuesday upheld an Oklahoma federal judge who had tossed out a Bethany pastor’s lawsuit against the state. Keith Cressman said the plate endorsed a polytheistic religion.

The plate was inspired by Allan Houser’s "Sacred Rain Arrow" statue, but the 10th Circuit noted a state task force in 2007 wanted a new plate to market Oklahoma to potential tourists.

Cressman said the Sacred Arrow image conveyed a message that there are multiple gods and that the arrow was an "intermediary for prayer." In legend, a warrior shot an arrow in an effort to bring rain.

 

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