The Driver’s License of the Beast

Our guest columnist is the attorney for Kaye Beach, a good Christian woman from Norman, Oklahoma.

On March 8, 2011, Ms. Beach attempted to apply for a renewal driver’s license at Fusion Tag Agency, a motor license agent of the Defendant Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (“DPS”), in Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

Notwithstanding her satisfaction or ability to satisfy any other relevant requirements for obtaining a renewal driver’s license, Ms. Beach’s attempt to apply was rejected by the DPS agent Fusion Tag Agency.

The DPS agent informed Ms. Beach it was required by law to take a high-resolution digital facial photograph, and that she could not apply for or obtain a renewal license without allowing the DPS agent to capture her biometric facial photograph or fingerprints.

Ms. Beach requested and was denied an accommodation on account of her sincerely held religious beliefs and religiously motivated practice, which are more fully set forth below…

Ms. Beach is forbidden by her sincerely held religious beliefs to allow a high-resolution facial photograph, or facial biometric, or other biometrics, in a format compliant with international standards, to be captured and placed into and shared with other entities and jurisdictions in a database managed and accessible by international entities.

Ms. Beach has learned that the interoperability and open architecture format for the high-resolution biometric facial photograph used by motor license agents as required by DPS to take the photographs for driver’s licenses is an internationally set format, determined by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) intended to be “interoperable,” and that the database into which her facial biometric data is placed is managed and accessed by a self-described international organization called the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (“AAMVA”) and/or its member jurisdictions and corporate entities.

Ms. Beach’s religiously motivated practice is abstaining from allowing her biometric information to be captured, placed into and shared with other entities and jurisdictions in an international system of identification she believes manifests certain Biblical prophecies and prohibitions.

Ms. Beach’s religiously motivated practice is based on her sincerely held religious beliefs that the Bible, specifically Revelations 13:16-18 and 14:9-11, explicitly commands believers to not participate in a global numbering identification system using the number of man, and eternally condemns participation in that system.

The State’s requirement that Ms. Beach, in order to obtain a driver’s license, must submit biometric information which is placed into an international system of identification and numbering and shared with other entities and jurisdictions, and refusal to provide an accommodation to Ms. Beach on account of her sincerely held religious beliefs and religiously motivated practice, substantially burdens her free exercise of religion, in violation of the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, Okla. Stat. tit. 51, §253.

Beach v. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety [The Rutherford Institute/PDF]

Woman sues state over mandatory ‘mark of the beast’ [WND]


Clearly she’s too dumb to drive.

Plus, is that a picture of Mike Lee? It looks like him acting butch. God! I hate that asshole. What’s with the rainbow? Did Hawaii turn gay as well as muslim?

@Benedick: We don’t force Jehovah’s Witnesses to give their diabetic children insulin, even when the lack of medical treatment will kill the child, and that prohibition is very tenuously found in the bible. The number of the beast thing is a much more explicit verse.

I bet she wins this one. Stinque Shyster Crew? Thoughts?

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: Loser. Like the burqa cases — you can’t take a driver’s license photo with a bag over your head, no matter how sincerely your husband holds a belief that you ought to. I’m waiting for Lefty to tee off on the Jehovah’s Wintesses cases.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: It seems frivolous. Options? Don’t drive. Because what else is numbered and filed: license plate, VIN number, not to mention the birth certificate, which is frequently accompanied by a footprint taken at birth.

Oh and plus, she’s an idiot, such as.

There are some nutcases on the bench in Cleveland County, so it’s kind of a crap shoot. Still, I think she’ll be told she doesn’t have to get a driver’s license if she feels that way. And good luck surviving in Norman without a car. Not one of America’s most walkable cities.

One of the many Customer Service Stories That’d Make You Cry:

I knew right off the bat this one was gonna be trouble since no customer information came through the bank’s telephone queue. Lady on the other end mumbling barely coherently about how I–as in me, personally–had bounced her check. I told her I’d like to help her, but I need additional information in order to locate her account. Did she have her account number? No? How about Social Security number? Oh, boy that was the wrong thing to say. The gist of the ensuing monologue was that she couldn’t give me her Social Security number because then the gummit might get it, to which I logically–and foolishly–pointed out that they already have it since they gave it to her. Aaaaaannnnnnnd click! I’m sure I ended up on an anti-gummit/satanist blacklist over that.

No picture, no drivee.

To lady who has a fear of numbers. BTW, we are using a global numbering system… 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0.

Just don’t tell her they’re Phonecian (aka Arabian) numbers. She might have to find another system.

Not surprised. A friend of mine who managed a book store once got into a 20 minute “discussion” with an idiot who insisted that his staff find her a green book written by some guy.

@ManchuCandidate: Yeah, those Ay-rabs also invented al-gebra. Eighth grade math class is an Islamofascist plot against America.

I can’t *wait* to see the teahadis deal with this sort of idiocy meeting the whole “gotta show photo ID to vote” schtick…

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: I find it obnoxious that parents can use their religious beliefs to justify medical neglect, by somehow imputing their beliefs on a child who doesn’t have a choice in the matter and often times is pre-verbal or a kid in the single digits who doesn’t have any alternatives.

Interestingly, the federal government includes medical neglect in the definition of child abuse in the federal CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act) grant program to the states, but then includes language saying that medical neglect does not extend to cases when the lack of treatment is due to sincerely-held religious belief that prayer will cure the child. That said, I think that in the past ten years across the country prosecutors and child abuse social workers aren’t being as deferential, and DAs will prosecute parents for manslaughter and social workers will take kids into custody much more frequently than 20 or 30 years ago. I think the argument for doing it is that you can’t say that the child is really exercising his/her religious beliefs – there’s more an argument for it when the kid is an adolescent and s/he decides to not get medical care – and the parents can’t hide behind their religion to not be held accountable for their child’s death.

Just don’t get me started on the religious excuse for the child brides at the hard core Mormon compounds in Texas and Utah.

@Dodgerblue: You might or might not believe this, but when I was in middle school — in 1994 (please forgive me everybody if this makes you want to smack me for being 30) — that you were considered advanced if you took Algebra I in the 8th grade. For everyone else, algebra didn’t start until 9th. This is Georgia we’re talking about here, so YMMV. For whatever it’s worth, they replaced algebra, geometry, trig, pre-calc and calc with Math I, II, III and IV for which everyone is now confused and failing math harder than before.

@rptrcub: I killed at algebra and geometry in eighth and ninth grades — hot knife through butter. Then I hit trig, and decided I had better things to do than math.

@SanFranLefty: I knew you’d come through on this one.

@nojo: I have the math gene — this stuff came effortlessly to me. I would have traded it in a heartbeat for the jumping high and running fast gene.

@Dodgerblue: Same here. I had some ridiculously good SAT scores and grades in math including through college calculus where I was the only non-engineering major in the class but somehow got the highest grade in the class. Why or how I ended up a liberal arts major, I don’t know…

@Dodgerblue: I also had better things to do than programming, but that returned with a vengeance…

As I used to chant in grad school: Philosophy’s fun, but it helps to know a trade.

In retrospect, what appealed to me about algebra and geometry was basic logic, basic analytical skills. That mastered, I saw no need to get fancy about it.

@SanFranLefty: I started in chemistry (so to speak), then through math, graduated in philosophy. Wound up in law school when a miracle happened and I didn’t get drafted.

@nojo: I was interested in thia question: what are numbers?

@Dodgerblue: A linguistic construct, of course. You would expect a Wittgensteinian to answer otherwise?

I always liked the term “real numbers”. Almost as much as “irrational numbers”.

Andrew Sullivan recently blogged about a group of 8 Amish farmers serving a jail sentence for refusing (on religious grounds) to place an orange reflector on the back of their buggy. My first reaction was: “guys, just put the reflector on the back of your buggy. I’m sure God will forgive you this one time.” But then I though about the religious liberty issues involved and decided that a more appropriate reaction was: “guys stop being such fucking douchebags and put the goddamn reflector on the back of your buggy.”

@Dodgerblue: @nojo: I loathed math until college, when my calculus professor explained it as a language. Languages I could do.

@nojo: Yes, but they have this funny habit of both being and reflecting reality. Maybe we’re talking Kant here. If you say “I have two joints,”everyone knows what that means. You can’t smoke a linguistic construct. But what does the “two” part of the sentence mean? That you have this many joints: ** ? Then is the number 2 the set of all sets that have this many elements: ** ? If so, you run right into the Russell paradox. That is where the joints come in handy.

@Dodgerblue: “Stand roughly there.”

Favorite Wittgenstein example ever.

@nojo: How roughly you stand all depends on what you’re into.

@Dodgerblue: If you say “I have two joints,” everyone knows what that means.

Seminar time!

Why would you say “I have two joints”? Are there five people in the room, and there’s not enough to go around? Do you actually have five joints, but you’re lowballing the number so you have three left over? Are you somehow being painfully honest to your parents? Are you in high school and bragging to a friend? Are you teaching the hippest college class ever?

“Everyone knows what that means” depends on who “everyone” is. There are different circumstances when you might say that, and what it means depends on the circumstance.

The same expression may mean very different things depending on how and where it’s said. Yet in each honest case you can up with (no cheating!), the meaning is perfectly understandable. And in some handful of those cases, the meaning is indeed what Sesame Street’s Count might say.

Wittgenstein was reacting against an obsessively literal approach to language. Some language — especially scientific language — is as literal as the participants can make it. But there’s a lot more language that isn’t.

Meanwhile, Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll.

Meaningless, at face value: Like the Iowa Straw Poll, it’s a pay-to-play deal. And there’s gossip that Mitt, who wasn’t participating, threw votes to Cain to fuck with Perry.

But it’s being played as a huge symbolic event: Not so much a big win for Cain, but an embarrassing loss for Perry — who’s been playing up Florida as important. The Great Teabagger Hope seems to be falling out of favor with the wingnut base. That’s what showing humanity to Mexican immigrants gets you.

@nojo: It’s interesting that Perry doesn’t have enough pander in him to just make up stories about shooting Mexicans while out jogging.

@FlyingChainSaw: The blame seems to be assigned to his “debate performance”, but come on — he got booed when defending the Texas DREAM act. That kind of heresy is worse than being a gay soldier in Iraq.

What’s telling is that teabaggers are living up to their caricature: They prefer political suicide to electoral victory. There certainly are times when it’s honorable to go down with your principles, but getting 95 percent of what they want in a candidate isn’t enough. This is pure fundamentalism at work.

Next sacrifice: Chris Christie. Mitt’s playing and winning a survivor’s game.

PS&BTW: international incident in progress in Toronto between me and Manchu. Going incredibly well.

One of those Monty Python dudes narrated/starred in a documentary about numbers. I think India came up with the concept of zero.

I drifted off math in trig, too, but geometry and physics — they made sense. Physics is so fucking awesome, but that theoretical stuff? Still working on string theory.

Did CERN get a neutrino to surpass the speed of light? I hope so.

@nojo: At UCLA in the late 60s, they believed that philosophy stopped with the Vienna Circle, that Wittgenstein famously flounced out of. After those guys, I’m basically self-taught.

@JNOV: Could just be a measurement error. We’re talking nanoseconds, or roughly the time that Sarah Palin can hold a thought.

@nojo: MoDo’s Sunday column refers to the GOP establishment as “drunk-texting” Christie. Perfect analogy.

@chicago bureau: Keep him away from the popcorn. You have no idea what kind of monster he turns into.

Okay, so you can make one jump in time — change one thing without those Millenium/Twelve Monkeys fuck ups. What do you change?

@SanFranLefty: I wonder whether the Claudine Longet Invitational is embeddable?

@JNOV: If the neutrinos are goimg faster than light, amd we are not, aren’t we traveling backwards in time compared to them?

@SanFranLefty: And great SNL sketch. It’s set up as a sports broadcast, and as each competitor is announced, he’s shot by Claudine Longet.

@Dodgerblue: WTF?! The Tree v. Uklah game is not being televised here, but I can watch random east coast team games like South Crackolina versus Vanderbilt?!?

Oh, and I can see the latest Nike ensemble uniform on the Ducks.

Or I can watch Los Gigantes get spanked by Jamie’s Snakes.

Guess I’ll be having duck tonight.

If you figure out how to watch Tree v. Bruins on the tubez, let me know.

@SanFranLefty: I just ran through the games available on the Dish and didn’t see Stanford. Oregon is on, but I’m watching a rockdoc on Hip Hop and the Crack Generation.

@nojo: I actually knew who Spider Sabich was when he got shot since I had started skiing about then. So what ever happened to Wayne Wong?

So I understand that today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind.

@Dodgerblue: Mystery solved. Big match up is THIS Saturday. Both teams had a bye last night.

Kevin Pollak gag:

How do you get fifteen Canadians out of the swimming pool?

You say “Please get out of the swimming pool.”

@nojo: so true – spent a few weeks in Toronto when I had a job job and was surprised when taxi drivers were polite, didn’t talk on the phone, and had no BO.

@Dodgerblue: Er. Well, if light is traveling at the speed of light, and we are not, aren’t we traveling backwards in time compared to light?

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: I would have skipped law school and tried to get into Penn’s Population Study Center or skipped college completely and stayed in sonography.

@ManchuCandidate: Bring your happy ass down here, and I’ll make you some popcorn.

When I get a job… I’d like to do a tour of the US America East Coast one day.

@ManchuCandidate: It’ll happen. Once I get a job, the first thing I’m buying is beer and maybe popcorn. Most definitely beer.

ADD: Make sure you down come down when the greenheads aren’t biting, those fuckers.

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