A Virginia church is under fire this week after it put up a new sign echoing President Trump’s racist attacks targeting a group of minority, progressive congresswomen – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) – telling them to “go back” to their countries of origin since they “hate our country.”
“America: Love it or Leave It,” reads the sign outside Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Va.
“I thought I was going to make some remarks regarding the situation in Washington,” Pastor E.W. Lucas told ABC13. “It just came to me … America, I love it. If you don’t love it, leave it.”
Trump has continued his attacks against the progressive congresswomen this week, saying the group of women “hate our country” and telling them to “go wherever they want, or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country.”
“People that feel hard about our president and want to down the president, and down the country and everything, they ought to go over there and live in these other countries for a little while,” Lucas told ABC13.
They don't understand a basic tenet of American government.
Criticism of government is patriotic.
It is not unpatriotic to want America to be a better place for everyone.
— Donnie Nunley (@donniebnunley) July 16, 2019
Despite the backlash, Lucas said the sign will stay up “since we’ve had favorable comments on 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,” he told the outlet.