Those of you who’ve ever driven down that lovely stretch of I-65 in central Kentucky have no doubt encountered a lovely, black and white billboard proclaiming to all, sinner and saint alike, that “Hell is real.”(Seasoned interstate veterans will also recall the adult bookstore located directly across the highway… not that I’ve ever shopped there…)
Well, those salad days are over; no more biblically judgmental billboards, thanks in part to our godless secular legal system. From The Courier-Journal:
Senior Judge Geoffrey P. Morris gave those responsible for the billboards 60 days to remove them in a case filed in 2008 by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
He said the problem is not the religious content of the billboards, but rather the state’s right to regulate billboard placement to preserve highway safety and scenic beauty.
“Our courts will not regulate nor impose their religious beliefs on any party,” Morris wrote in an opinion he filed on Friday in LaRue Circuit Court. But “legislative bodies may regulate … the placing of billboards on our highways. … One can well imagine the obvious trashing of our highways if there was no regulation in place and every resident that happened to live beside a highway was free to place whatever size sign that he/she wished to place.”
Equating Judeo-Christian ethics with highway trash? The nerve! Fortunately, Scottsville resident Jimmy Harston — who installed the billboards in LaRue and Hart counties — isn’t so easily fooled:
[Harston] contends the state is censoring religious speech.
“The Lord just give this for me to do,” he said. He hopes the billboards will influence “somebody riding down the highway. Maybe they’re not living a good life.”
The signs are on “private property,” he added. “It’s just not fair. It’s just not good. People don’t mind it at all.”
Of course people don’t mind, Jimmy! Except the sinners… but since they’re already going to hell, their opinion is kind of moot. Where is Tom Riner on this when we need him?