UPDATE 2: City of Sioux Falls Crack Legal team agrees, Jesus plows violate separation clause


“Students at Lutheran High School of Sioux Falls spent time and effort designing the plow blade they submitted for the city’s Paint the Plows event, Principal Derek Bult said.”

You mean original designs like THIS.

I figured this was coming. I’m wondering when Christians, or for that fact, any religious sect are going to figure out the separation clause is there to protect you from government’s interference in your religious lives and beliefs;

Two private schools in Sioux Falls have been asked to repaint city-owned snow plow blades after a group complained about student artwork with Christian themes.

I think Amanda sums it up very nicely

Some residents might be upset about a protest of Christian-themed art on city snow plows, but all they need to do is consider a role reversal, Amanda Novotny said.

“It would have no business on a plow, I would never do it, but if I painted a plow that said ‘There is no god,’ I think people would be very, very upset about that,” she said.

This commenter to the story also makes a fine point;

It is not discrimination against A religious establishment, it is protection for ALL religious belief.


This is going to get ugly. Already talked to a city councilor who has been getting blowback about it.


IMAGE: Facebook.



#1 Think about it on 10.23.14 at 11:22 am

Reason prevails!

#2 SF Resident on 10.23.14 at 2:29 pm

Thank You.

#3 Dan Daily on 10.23.14 at 3:31 pm

Just sandblast it off and polish it so snow rolls away from the plow like it’s supposed to.

#4 Really on 10.23.14 at 5:29 pm

Dan Daily has it right. Snow plows are for plowing snow.

#5 LOL on 10.23.14 at 5:47 pm

I went to this “freethinkers” Facebook page and it is a CLOSED group. Freethinkers? Not so much

#6 Bill on 10.23.14 at 6:22 pm

Got your way. Good for you.

#7 enough of Shape Places and MMM legacy on 10.23.14 at 7:24 pm

I think SF Christian got a great plug from the city at 69th and Cliff with a no vote for Walmart. Now they get this too. The council decides to hose the hell out of Harrisburg Public Schools from Journey to the new schools on Western and 90th just so MMM, Broin, and Lloyd can cleanup all the way to the bank with ugly professional housing that we all know will become low income project housing. Yeah. Let the southenders paint a plow that says Walmart Sucks, and the City Council and Mayor suck more

#8 LJL on 10.23.14 at 7:49 pm

From the City:
“Snowplows are used to provide safe travel to driving public during snow and ice events, and it is our priority in the winter months to ensure safe travel throughout our city. The Paint the Plows program was created to display the artistic talents of local school children.

We have never received a complaint until this year, and this is the fifth year of the program. This year we received an informal complaint from the Siouxland Freethinkers, and it is normal policy to inform the group that created the artwork of the complaint. The City had a discussion with the two schools involved regarding whether they wanted to create different artwork. We found out yesterday that they didn’t feel there was enough time to redo the artwork. This discussion is ongoing, and no final decisions have been made regarding repainting the plows, as we are working toward an amicable resolution with both parties.”

5 years with no problems, But 2 A Holes just couldn’t walk away. Nice going freebirds, you’re doing the lords work.

The city should make you remove the paintings. You can stand there with a big paint brush in your hands and a black hood on your head telling us there is no god and this snowplow must pay for our foolish ways.

#9 Really on 10.23.14 at 9:49 pm

Let’s get a little more detail. The argus leader article does not say the City’s crack legal team agrees with this as seperation of church and state issue. It simple says they were repainted to to avoid potential litigation and legal costs. Those are distinctively different.

Congratulations to the freethinkers for bullying a bunch of children. This was part of an art project.

I would also support your “there is no god” plow if it came from a local school art program also. Art is art even if it offends you.

Would you also support banning Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Super painting if they wanted to display it at the Pavilion?? Do we ban all art with religious tones or messages from sculpture walk?

#10 JeniW on 10.24.14 at 4:22 am

Using the Coca-Cola logo: I suppose Coca-Cola will not care too much about the students using their trade mark. At first glance, that is what I thought is was, an advertisement for Coke products. 🙂

If the school wanted to promote the school, why not just use the name of the school and it’s mascot?

#11 anonymous on 10.24.14 at 5:57 am

Maybe the FreeThinkers didn’t want all those hate-filled messages from the Christians!

#12 Dan Daily on 10.24.14 at 10:57 am

The framers of the constitution protected religion but realized faith and government should be separate. On the other hand, Jesus lived as man. If you can paint one plow Jesus, you can paint another Sanford. Let’s not get this started.

#13 rufusx on 10.24.14 at 11:13 am

enough – these plows were NOT painted by SF Christian students. Go back and re-read the stories.

#14 Bill on 10.24.14 at 8:32 pm

Give the FT’s their own plow to paint and maybe they’ll get off the poor kid’s backs. Good Lord, get over yourselves..

#15 Don Coyote on 10.25.14 at 6:15 pm

Hmmmm, my copy of the Constitution shows no such thing as the “separation clause”. There is an Establishment Clause and a Free Exercise Clause but no “separation clause”.

#16 rufusx on 10.26.14 at 3:31 pm

Coyote – Supreme Court Rulings (which are mentioned in the constitution) have made it clear that governmental entities CANNOT promote – or “establish” any religion or religious group to the exclusion of any other – not by installing or maintaining a religion’s tenets or symbols as any part of any government building, operation or practice. Contrary to some people’s desires, the constitution is NOT a dead, lifeless, unchangeable GODLIKE thing. It is MAN MADE and as with all things human, imperfect and impermanent.

#17 l3wis on 10.26.14 at 7:27 pm

For the record, we ALL know what crimes Mr. Novotny committed, if you don’t google them. I don’t have time for that shit here. He was punished for them, and believe it or not, hasn’t offended since.

The discussion here is about separation of church and state, not about what the messenger did in their past. If you take issue with it, take him up on it.

#18 LJL on 10.27.14 at 1:03 pm

OHHH now I see why he’s a non believer. He’s hoping like hell there is no hell.

#19 Jason Weisser on 10.31.14 at 6:51 pm

So Eric Novotny hasn’t been convicted lately ?
That does not give him the right to harass kids at school.