Kentucky Judge Declares Permits (like Hell) Are Real

Senior Judge Geoffrey P. Morris has ordered the removal of two billboards proclaiming “hell is real” in Kentucky after finding that they have stood without a permit for five years.

In 2008, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet filed an action to dismantle the signs and Morris effectively ruled that Hell may be real but so are state regulations: “Our courts will not regulate nor impose their religious beliefs on any party . . . [but] legislative bodies may regulate … the placing of billboards on our highways. … One can well imagine the obvious trashing of our highways if there was no regulation in place and every resident that happened to live beside a highway was free to place whatever size sign that he/she wished to place.”

The person responsible for the signs, Jimmy Harston, intends to appeal on religious grounds. He insisted that the billboards answer to a higher authority: “The Lord just give this for me to do.” Perhaps, but this is likely to be a case where Harston must “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” One of the things to render unto Caesar is a permit for a billboard,

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7 thoughts on “Kentucky Judge Declares Permits (like Hell) Are Real”

  1. A billboard crackdown in the South makes me very sad. One of the few reasons I enjoy going there at all is to crack up over their signs. Where do you want to spend eternity? Hell is HOT! Do YOU want to burn forever?

  2. when i was a kid during the 60’s in alabama and georgia we would see barn roofs painted with “See Rock City” on them. i guess lack of permits are why they aren’t around anymore, or maybe that the term “rock city” means something completely different now.

  3. Failure to obtain a permit for 5 years … does the application require a fee? If so then the good Christian has kept in his pocket the money rightfully belonging to others … a form of stealing which violates the 8th commandment. Perhaps he will be able to experience the reality of hell.

  4. mespo,

    That was good.

    But in truth, what would the Burma Shave have been without all of those signs? I am only recalling what I read.

  5. “He insisted that the billboards answer to a higher authority: “The Lord just give this for me to do.”


    I had no idea that God needed an ad campaign — by a simpleton.

  6. Sounds like someone needs a time-out in one of those special spas. A really nice spa with a padded room, and a pristine, white jacket with shiney buckles all over it.

  7. How hard can it be to get a permit? Oh, right. God told him.
    That means this guy is special and doesn’t have to follow the rules. Everybody should be free to believe what they want, but I’m getting really tired of ‘special’ people.

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