Church Sign in Virginia Says ‘America: Love or Leave It’

By The Associated Press

APPOMATTOX, Va.—After President Donald Trump posted tweets urging four progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries, a Virginia pastor is gaining attention with a sign at his church saying “America: Love or Leave It.”

ABC 13 in Lynchburg reports hundreds of people have expressed support and opposition on social media to the sign outside Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox.

Pastor E.W. Lucas told the station on July 16 that he wanted to make a statement about the political divisions in Washington.

“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 said.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that four freshmen congresswomen “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe,” and urged them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Trump’s tweets targeted the “squad” of female lawmakers who’ve garnered attention for their outspoken liberal views and distaste for Trump since they joined Congress in January: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.

extra security sought for congressmembers
From left, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley, (D-Mass.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-(N.Y.), respond to remarks by President Donald Trump during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on July 15, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

Lucas told the television station that he plans to leave the message up for a while because of the positive feedback he’s received.

“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,” Lucas said.

Lucas’ church is about 90 miles west of Richmond.

Support for Trump

A new poll found that nearly nine-in-ten Republican respondents supported President Donald Trump’s tweets telling Democrats who dislike America to return to their countries of birth.

Republican respondents to a YouGov survey (pdf), asked about the tweets, mostly said they supported the sentiment in them.

Of the GOP respondents, 48 percent said the tweets were “great,” another 16 percent said they were “good,” and 24 percent said they were “okay.”

The remaining 13 percent said they were “bad” or “terrible.”

President Donald Trump (C) talks with journalists
President Donald Trump talks with journalists during a cabinet meeting with acting Defense Secretary Richard Spencer and others at the White House on July 16, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Few Democrats supported the tweets, with 71 percent choosing the “terrible” description and another 16 percent saying they were “bad.” Among independents, 17 percent said they were “great,” 9 percent said they were “good,” 22 percent said they were “okay,” 19 percent said they were “bad,” and 32 percent said they were “terrible.”

Overall, 21 percent of respondents said they were “great” and 37 percent said they were “terrible.”

The poll of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted over the internet on July 14 and July 15 with a margin of error of 3.3 percent.

NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.