Godphobic Freedom From Religion Foundation Freaks Over “God’s Country” Hondo Sign

“There’s no way in hell that sign is coming down”, says Hondo Mayor Jim Danner. He’s talking about a historic sign that greets travelers as they enter the little Texas city’s limits. The sign reads, “This is God’s Country,” and that put a bee in the bonnet of some folks who hate God. 

For the moment we will set aside the facts that it’s silly to hate someone who you don’t even believe is real, and that Hell probably doesn’t have speed limits (let alone cars). The sign is humorous, obviously, but – bless their hearts – these anti-God folks have no sense of humor.

This past week The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent an email to Hondo, Texas which reads in part, “It is inappropriate for the city of Hondo to display religious signs that convey government preference for religion over non religion.” The email adds, “the display of the religious message, ‘This is God’s country’ on public property violates the establishment clause of the first amendment”

According to FFRF, a whopping 2 of Hondo’s 9,000 residents are upset about the signs. Because, in an era when ISIS is torturing and slaughtering “infidels,” and mass murderers are shooting up Orlando nightclubs, the word “God” on a small sign in a tiny Texas town is what upsets these people.

We take that back. They may actually be worried about speeding:

“Some people may want to flee ‘God’s Country’ faster than hell,” FFRF Co-President Anne Laurie Gaylor said. “Hondo officials could actually be encouraging drivers to speed with such signs.”

God's Country Sign in Hondo, Texas
“This is God’s Country. Please don’t drive through it like Hell.”

Hondo resident Ruth Davis told FOX San Antonio, “I think and as our constitution says everybody has a right to their thinking, but when they start pushing their beliefs on us that changes to whole picture.”

“Our country was founded on religious freedom definitely. Why do we not have the freedom to express our beliefs (freedom) as well” asks Stacy Cross.

But Hondo isn’t above editing the signs. In fact, back in 2012 the signs were changed to include the word, “Please.” Because this is Texas y’all! Mayor Danner says a letter of response is being drafted by Hondo’s city attorney and will hopefully be completed later today.

Read More @ FOX 29 San Antonio

3 thoughts on “Godphobic Freedom From Religion Foundation Freaks Over “God’s Country” Hondo Sign

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  1. It amazes me that people continue to misunderstand this issue, or think that those who believe in the separation of church and state somehow “hate god”, or to use your term, are “godphobic.” Perhaps this is a good opportunity to inform you that many members of FFRF are actually Christian, and many Christians acknowledge that the separation of church and state is absolutely vital to ensure religious freedom, because when one religion is shown favoritism by the government, we ALL begin to lose our freedoms. (it’s also a good opportunity to point out that, while the term “separation of church and state” is not explicitly in the Constitution, it is in fact a term used repeatedly by our Founding Fathers, as well as many of our U.S. Supreme Court Justices, including conservative Christian ones).

    I was discussing a similar issue with a Christian friend of mine recently (concerning Christian crosses removed from police cars), and I used this analogy which hammered home the point, which she conceded: Imagine a person is a white supremacist. Their “freedom of speech” entitles them post racist stuff on their webpage, it allows them to join the KKK, and it allows them to put stickers on their car, or signs in their yard that say “White Power”. It might be disturbing, but perfectly legal. Now imagine that person is a county judge. Do they have the right to place a giant statue of Hitler on the courthouse lawn? Of course not. What if that person is a police officer? Do they have the right to place a sticker on their police car that says “White Pride!”. Of course they don’t. And now imagine that person is mayor. Can they put up a giant sign, on county property, and paid for public tax dollars that says “This is White People Country, and if you’re colored, you better pass on through!”? OF COURSE THEY CAN’T. But why not??? They have “freedom of speech”, don’t they? Well, yes AND no. That mayor, that judge, and that police officer have EVERY RIGHT to post ANY of those things on their OWN property, as long as they are paid for with their OWN money. But government property is not a platform for the promotion of a PERSONAL racial view. It’s the EXACT SAME with religion. Government property is not a platform for the promotion of a PERSONAL religious view either. The mayor, as well as all 9000 residents, have every right to place that EXACT sign on their OWN property. No letters will be written, no lawsuits will be filed. But using taxpayer dollars to promote one particular religious ideology is illegal. Period. Yes, it may just be a joke, and I understand people’s initial reaction is for the FFRF to “just chill and have a sense of humor.” But that is the exact problem. If you give an inch, many Christians will take a mile. That is the very nature of evangelism, to spread their religion, which is antithetical to religious freedom when they are using taxpayer funded resources to do so. This is not my opinion, this is a matter of 100+ years of judicial case law.

    The fact that only two of the residents complained is irrelevant. If only two black people lived in a town with 8998 white people, those 8998 white people couldn’t tell those black people to sit on the back of the bus, or else walk. Yet that seems to be the sentiment coming from so many “loving Christians”, spewing disgusting threats and vitriolic messages at those of use who want a neutral government: “if you don’t like it, don’t look at it!!”. Sounds eerily similar to “If you don’t like riding on the back of the bus, buy a bike!”. This is the EXACT reason our Founding Fathers created a Constitutional Republic. We may vote on our legislators in a democratic way, and they may vote on laws in a democratic way, but once those laws are written, they apply to everyone equally. The ‘mob majority’ cannot take away the rights of the nonreligious as long as most people are “okay with it”. Those nonreligious people pay taxes too, and they are entitled to live in a county where their mayor doesn’t use that money for the promotion of a religion they object to. It has nothing to do with being “offended”, it has to do with their Constitutional rights, and they shouldn’t have to just “sit down, shut up, and move to the back of the bus” because others are okay with it.

    Unfortunately, too may Christians in this country believe we are a Christian nation. They point to “In God we Trust”, not realizing that the US Supreme Court said themselves that this doesn’t promote religion, and is more akin to patriotism, labelling it “ceremonial deism” and nothing more. Not to mention, this wasn’t added until the 1950’s and is simply a result of the Red Scare of communism, and has nothing to with this nation’s founding. Many Christians also suggest our laws and Constitution are Biblically based, yet the Father of our Constitution wasn’t even Christian. In fact, MOST of our Founding Fathers completely rejected Christianity. They were Deists, who rejected manmade religion, and when they wrote the Constitution, they intentionally omitted all references to God, Jesus, Christianity and the Bible. And when they wrote the Bill of Rights, the very first thing they did was make it perfectly legal to disobey the First Commandment. In fact, the ENTIRE PREMISE of religious freedom is the legal right to ignore the First Commandment. Not very “Christian” is it? Now let me make it clear that I respect the fact that there was SOME Christian influence in our nation’s development. While many of the Founders were Deist, many were also Christian, and there is no denying that much of our culture has been dictated by Christian traditions (even if many of those Christian traditions, like Christmas, were originally pagan), but a cultural tradition is not necessarily codified in our laws. And our laws make it VERY clear that the government cannot endorse one religion over another.

    So ask yourself, if you truly believe in religious freedom, would you be okay with an atheist mayor using YOUR money to put up a sign on property YOU helped pay for that says “This is godless country!”. Or perhaps a Muslim mayor who used YOUR money to put up a sign that says “This is Allah’s Country!” My guess is that most of the residents of Hondo would lose their minds. So perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to think this is about being perpetually offended, or so quick to use the ‘mob mentality’ to intimidate those people in the religious minority who are entitled, by the U.S. Constitution, to live in a country that does not promote a religious ideology at the taxpayer’s expense. I mean, isn’t that what conservative Christians are always clamoring about? Don’t they want the government to stay out of our lives and our decisions, including our religious decisions? So why do so many conservative Christians in this case believe it is okay for the government to show favoritism in religious matters? Could it be, perhaps, because the government, in this case, is favoring THEIR religion???

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    1. This statement of yours, “They point to “In God we Trust”, not realizing that the US Supreme Court said themselves that this doesn’t promote religion, and is more akin to patriotism, labelling it “ceremonial deism” and nothing more.” It is the very same with the sign. You do however make a valid point with the statement, “So ask yourself, if you truly believe in religious freedom, would you be okay with an atheist mayor using YOUR money to put up a sign on property YOU helped pay for that says “This is godless country!”. Or perhaps a Muslim mayor who used YOUR money to put up a sign that says “This is Allah’s Country!” In general, the court and myself view the word “God” as not specifically supportive of any one ideology, As for mob mentality, that is already happening, unfortunately. As for the establishment clause and separation of church and state phrase, those pertained to “congress”. The mayor and or the people of Hondo are not congress, and it does truly depend on where you live as to what your society wants to see functioning in their community. I believe the point here is this, no one is promoting Christianity with this sign. It doesn’t say Jesus, it says God, pretty generic for the religious. And 2 people offended over the word God does not constitute a majority in a society that gets to “vote” on how they want their society to run. Which leads me to the third point, no one is hurt, excluded, or in any other way harmed by the word God in a sign on the side of the road, unlike racism, non-generic names of deities, being kept from doing something or made to do something you object to, etc. etc. etc. That is how I see it, and that is how the founding fathers saw it, who by the way, were mostly christian, not mostly deist. Check out Barton’s history lessons at “wall builders” or something like that to see how our founding truly happened in history, . It’s amazing how much we are eradicating our history in an attempt to not offend a very small minority. People are offended everyday, but that is not a constitutional right in any amendment, “you have the right to not be offended by anyone anywhere in a governmental position.” Nope, didn’t read that anywhere in there. However, that “mob mentality” you are talking about? That has managed to create the idea that we have that “right”. So see there? Mob mentality has affected even you. Sorry, but it happens. A whole lot, especially now-a-days.

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  2. “… if you truly believe in religious freedom, would you be okay with an atheist mayor using…”
    Irrelevant ie logical fallacy; It still represents a religion. It makes no difference which religion – it is still referring to a religion.
    Also, ‘Congress’ does imply ALL United States governments at all levels including the fat little mayor of Hondo.
    ….And yes, it does exclude me – I am the only person who can decide that for me.

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