The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 14, 2014

Judge: Oklahoma plate not affront to Christians

From The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge has rejected a claim by an Oklahoma minister that the image on the state's license plate of a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward conveys a religious message that is counter to his Christian beliefs.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton dismissed the claim Tuesday filed against the state by Bethany pastor Keith Cressman.

Heaton wrote there is nothing about the image that suggests the Indian warrior is praying or that the arrow he is shooting is sacred, even though the image is inspired by artist Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture.

Cressman claimed the plate is an affront to his Christian beliefs and that being forced to display the image on his vehicle violated his First Amendment right against compelled speech.