A Virginia church’s sign went viral as the message mimicked President Trump’s “Squad” comments. Trump stated that those who did not want to be in the country should leave.
The sign outside the Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia, read: "America: love or leave it."
The sign received national support as well as condemnation through the entire week, and this culminated into a walk out staged by the congregants during Sunday School at the church.
Pastor E. W. Lucas put up the sign after he read Trump’s tweet. Speaking to the local station, he stated that those who were outraged over Trump’s statement "ought to go over there and live in these other countries for a little while.”
Many were quick to compare the sign to a black and white image of the KKK billboard that read: "This is Klan Country 'Love it or Leave it."
However, Lucas supporters maintained that the sign was just as simple as its message.
Lucas removed the sign, but maintained that he wanted to keep it up longer due to the support he had received.
However, it quickly became clear that his congregation wasn’t fully supportive of the sign. According to WSET, the 11 a.m. service was empty, and some members of the church were leading others out. On Monday, the church’s Facebook group was down.
Lucas told WSET: “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.”
The church could not be reached for comment.