OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A federal appeals court has republished an order authorizing a challenge to Oklahoma's "rain god" license plate after failing to provide a dissenting opinion.
The new order published Wednesday still reinstates Keith Cressman's claim that plates featuring Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture are an affront to his Christian beliefs, but adds a dissent by Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr.
Kelly calls the image a cultural icon and notes that Native American culture is an important part of Oklahoma's history - with even its name coming from two Choctaw words. He says it is not plausible that most people interpret the plate as promoting an ideological message.
Cressman is a Methodist minister. Kelly said he would have rejected Cressman's claim that the plate promotes "polytheism and/or animism."
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