Red County = Red Buses?

Normally when I drive across Orange County I rarely pay any attention to the OCTA buses which drive up and down the streets of the OC. Occasionally I look up just to see where they are heading or what the route number is, but I personally have not ridden any of the buses.

When the buses flash their routes they say things like: “Go Angels” (during the freeway series, don’t expect it this year), “Happy Holidays,” and “Happy New Year.” However, today I saw “God Bless the USA.”

Maybe this is just the OCTA caving into the bumper ribbon craze of yellow and red, white, and blue ribbons which contain “God Bless America” but this is on a county bus which carries people of all different backgrounds or faiths (even those who don’t believe in God).

More to my argument after the jump…

No government may sponsor or endorse any religion (bent during the Bush administration) according to the first amendment. If a government does post a religious saying then according to the Supreme Court all other religious (including the non-religious) must be given the right to post their messages as well.

My cousin recently went through a similar issue regarding the nativity scene in Temecula, but I reminded him that the city provided spaces for other religious groups in the same spot thus making the issue null and void (the scene wasn’t sponsored by the city, it was by a local church which is also another issue altogether).

To some this may be treasonous language for some in the OC but not everyone holds the same religious or conservative beliefs that others have in the county. Trust me I know what it’s like to speak out and take the brunt of insults and name calling.

I was wondering what the readers think of this issue: Should the saying remain on the buses, should an alternative be proposed, or should the OCTA remove the saying from the buses?

Let me know what you think, I’m open to all sides in this debate.

2 Comments so far

  1. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 25th, 2005 @ 5:28 pm

    I agree with you in principal – government agencies shouldn’t be favoring one religion over any others (or the lack thereof). Even as a pretty hardcore atheist, I don’t see the buses as much of an issue, and unfortunately it’s not something that could be ruled against in court, especially considering the phrases on our money, in our motto, and in the pledge.

    I have a feeling that it’s just one of their messages that most people haven’t ever seen, and OCTA’s likely never gotten any comments on it. I’d bet a small letter writing campaign could drop them pretty quick.

    What surprized me most about your message was in your first paragraph – You’ve really never written the bus? I used to ride it all the time, for work and to just get around. Compared to many places, we have a hell of a bus system in the OC.

  2. Michael Randall (unregistered) on January 25th, 2005 @ 5:50 pm

    Compared to some of the other mass transit systems I have had the pleasure of riding, among them the Las Vegas Monorail, the Seattle Bus System, the New York Subways (especially through Wall Street during rush Hour), The blue, gold, and red lines in Los Angeles, BART and Muni, the French RER and the London Tube, the OCTA system just seems to me like a waste of time when getting from Point A to Point B.

    When CenterLine opens I will be one of the first to ride it, but the buses are no match for my good old clunker of a car.

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