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Author Topic: Residents strike back after ACLU sues town over religious signs
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Weekend News Today
Lead: Faith
Source: La Crosse Tribune/AP

Thu Jun 27,2002 -- Civil libertarians won a battle over public religious displays in this small Louisiana town. But residents feel they're victors, too. More than 1,000 signs proclaiming that "Jesus Is Lord Over Franklinton" or "God Is Lord Over All" now dot lawns and store fronts around the town of 4,000. A local sign-maker has sold about 2,800 more to people from surrounding towns, and a traveling salesman has started hawking them in other states. (Amen!!! Way to go!!)
The signs are a response to a lawsuit from the Louisiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU sued Franklinton and forced town officials to remove four signs from public property that said, "Jesus Is Lord Over Franklinton." Residents responded by planting similar signs in their front yards. In many neighborhoods, it's now tough to find a yard that doesn't have a blue sign with the Christian proclamation in white lettering. "There was sort of an outcry from the Christian community," said Gene Richards, pastor of Hill Crest Baptist Church. "It seems the ACLU is trying to de-Christianize the community."

ACLU officials say that's not true, they are merely defending the Constitution. (not our constitution, but their own version of it) The civil liberties group filed its federal lawsuit Jan. 29, demanding the removal of the signs leading into town. ACLU officials named Washington Parish and town officials in their complaint, saying public money was used to erect the signs. Parish President M.E. Taylor acknowledged that parish road crews put up the signs, but, he said, residents paid for them. (and actually they asked the road crews because of safety issues along a road)

New Orleans resident Linton Carney, who joined the ACLU as a plaintiff, said he was offended when he first saw the signs in July while driving through Franklinton, which is 55 miles north of New Orleans near the Mississippi state line. (Now that just says it all! This guy wasn't even from their town, but just happened to be driving thru and was supposedly offended so had to file a lawsuit. Hello??) "I was so upset to see such a sign that makes non-Christians unwelcome in Franklinton," Carney said at the time the suit was filed. "Can you imagine the hostility that Jews, Muslims, members of other minority faiths and nonbelievers must feel when living in or passing through that community?" (The town's people said that everyone was happy about the signs, and that they even got a lot of compliments about them from all faiths, and that they NEVER had any complaints until this one man driving through.)

Word about the lawsuit spread. The idea to put signs on private property came independently to pastors and a group of residents organizing their annual parish fair, said Madonna Fowler, 54, a retired Franklinton teacher. Homeowners put them in their yards. Some put them inside car windows. Business owners planted them in front of Radio Shack, Crown Auto Sales and Winston Refrigeration.

Joe Cook, executive director of the Louisiana ACLU, said he's satisfied that his suit removed religious content from public property. "If (the signs) are on private property and people want to make a statement, then that's freedom of expression. Let the words fly," he said. Cook said Franklinton residents are wrong, however, to think of the ACLU as anti-Christian. "I think they missed the point," he said. "To suggest that the ACLU is anti-religious ... is totally untrue." (Sorry but actions speak MUCH LOUDER than those words..and we've seen all the tons of action.)

But the lawsuit stung many residents of this mainly Protestant town. "Most people were a little angry at the ACLU," Fowler said. "This is a small, basically Christian town, and we just strongly believe that Jesus is Lord over all." Richards said the ACLU lawsuit was the latest in a string of suits over public Christian displays. Nearby towns have been hit with legal battles over nativity scenes on public property. "These are types of displays of the Christian faith that had been accepted, even expected, and now we're being told they're illegal," Richards said. "These signs originally were a declaration of the faith of a large majority of people in Franklinton. They were never intended to be offensive or to discriminate against anyone." (as everyone else was fine with it)

Editor's Note: Blue highlights are my comments. Hubby & I got to see a great news show on TV done on this in last couple of weeks. They spent a lot of time covering this news and it was much more detailed. Talk about exciting and very encouraging news! It was so inspirational! [Smile] To see this small town stand up like that. They said enough is enough and were tired of this happening all across the nation all cuz one person or an ACLU lawyer driving thru looking for a cause can't handle seeing any word of God. Well, what they did in faith brought an awesome and beautiful VICTORY for this precious town...God bless them all! \0/

So if that guy thought he WON, boy did he lose bigtime. Now, instead of just seeing a few signs, well if he ever drives thru that town again, he'll be overwhelmed with Jesus. [Smile] LOL. And that's GRACE IN ACTION. Maybe he'll one day be so convicted with why a WHOLE TOWN would stand up for Jesus no matter what, and was in no way embarrassed, but instead very proud to claim His name so strongly. YEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! NOw, that's gotta be convicting to people...and you know how the HS works. He does wonders on people. PTL!!! \0/ At the end of that news, they said as of last update, people across the nation were starting to call in at that town's sign shop and order those very signs for their towns where similar was going on. They said the idea has taken hold and people are learning how to fight back in a good upright way and winning the victory after all. WOOOHOOO!!!!!!! Join in. [Smile]

[summer] [thumbsup]
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