Residents of Pittsburg, Kansas, are buying signs and banners proclaiming “God Bless America” after the local post office removed a banner over complaints that its message violated separation of church and state.
The Joplin Globe reports the post office removed the “God Bless America” banner this week after the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed complaints.
The foundation, which has more than 22,500 members, has also been trying to get Missouri sheriffs to remove “In God We Trust” bumper stickers from department vehicles and “In God We Trust” from U.S. coins and currency.
“It’s a shame that 23,000 people can control the desires of millions of other Americans,” Martin Dickson, Pittsburg resident, told Joplin Globe. “I recognize the separation and the reason for it. But I also realize that we need God’s blessing more now than ever.”
Madeline Ziegler, a legal fellow at the foundation, wrote that the First Amendment prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages. The group also noted that it had received complaints about the banner from a local resident.
But that is not stopping Pittsburg residents from raising their banners and signs.
Dickson, owner of Jayhawk Signs & Graphics, said he and his wife decided to cut prices on signs and banners saying “God Bless America” just a few hours after the banner was removed at the post office.
“We’re not doing it for the business,” said Dickinson, who is also a priest at All Saints Anglican in Chicopee. “We’re doing this to promote America.”
Pittsburg postal workers paid for the 12-foot-long vinyl banner after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Post Office says the postal service took the banner down because policy prohibits the placement of notices on postal property unless they’re official government notices.
Resident Stephen Hipfl bought a banner he planned to put up.
“We’re Americans,” Hipfl said. “Soldiers.”
Report via CBN News
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