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Church Doubles Down On 'America: Love It Or Leave It' Sign Amid Backlash

For the most part, the purpose of a church sign is simply to tell you what's going to happen at that church. Even now, it's still not unusual for these signs to be adorned with mundane information like what time services start or what community programs the church is involved with.

However, recent years have seen leaders get a little more creative with what their signs say. Sometimes, they'll include a corny joke to either invite you inside or reference a current event. Other signs, however, will serve as a statement on that church's values and reveal how its members stand on today's issues.

That last one effectively describes what one church in Virginia put on its sign and not everyone can get behind the sentiments it expressed.

Pastor E. W. Lucas of Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia said he wanted to offer some remarks about "the situation in Washington."

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As ABC13 reported, this led him to a simple, but politically loaded statement.

As he said, "It just came to me... America, I love it. If you don't love it, leave it."

It wasn't hard for observers to to link this sign with some recent tweets posted by President Donald Trump.

Reddit | Lenny-Men

These tweets implied that four congresswomen of color should "go back" to the countries "they came from" instead of criticizing his government.

This, however, ignored the fact that all four are American citizens and three of the four were born in the United States.

Much like the tweets themselves, the sign drew suspicion from observers who saw it as expressing racist intentions.

As we can see, the fact that a similar slogan was widely used by the Ku Klux Klan did a lot to fuel these suspicions.

However, some residents who didn't necessarily read that into the sign still didn't consider it terribly productive for resolving American issues.

Reddit | ETLawrence

As William Thompson of Appotomax told ABC13, "It's up to each individual person. Ultimately, if we have problems, we should try to fix it."

Nonetheless, Pastor Lucas said he received enough supportive responses to compel him to leave the sign up.

Reddit | gorgich

As he put it, "Preachers, by and large, today, are afraid they're gonna hurt somebody's feelings, and when I get in the pulpit, I'm afraid I won't hurt somebody's feelings."

h/t: ABC13