But many residents have come together in support of the “Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins” sign, holding a revival on Sunday that included music, signs, hats and other public gestures urging politicians to keep the message in its current location, rather than transfer it to private property. “We decided that we need to stand up for the civil liberties of Christians in America to say we have as much freedom of speech as anyone else,” sign supporter Justin Lane told KYTX-TV. It appears that at least one public official agrees with locals.
“The constitution is very clear about freedom of religion, not freedom from it,” Hawkins Mayor Will Rogers told the outlet, noting that there is some debate over whether the sign is on public or private property. ”I think we have to stand up for the foundation of our country. I mean, we’re built on God and Jesus. I’m sorry if people don’t like that, but it’s true.” Rogers previously told KLTV-TV that the sign doesn’t reference a particular church and that it invokes Christ, a figure who is “the most googled and most popular man in the world.” “To me and many others, Jesus is not a religion, Jesus is in every religion across the globe,” Rogers said in June. “He’s in Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism. He represents love and kindness.” MORE