Monday, July 03, 2023

Gov. Huckabee Sanders Says "No" to Cross Removal

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The other day Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented on Facebook about the beautiful artwork her three kids had created on the driveway to the entrance of the Governor's mansion.

The uproar began immediately after Sanders shared a photograph of her three children standing behind a large image of a cross and stained glass they colored with sidewalk chalk. Captioning the image, “New artwork to welcome people into the Governor’s Mansion,” Mom posted on her Facebook page.

The Left blew up.

Be informed, not misled.

The artwork.

The post provoked a response from the secular Americans United, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The group wrote a letter to the governor, arguing that the chalk artwork conveys an “impermissible message that those who do not share the favored faith are unwelcome and will be treated differently.”

Americans United wrote on Twitter, “When fighting to defend church-state separation, we must always reject Christian nationalism. Two days ago, Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted a photo of a Latin cross at the entrance of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. We sent her a letter to explain why this is a problem.”

The letter says in part:

Dear Gov. Sanders:

We have received a complaint regarding a large depiction of a Latin cross at an entrance to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. You posted a picture of this displayon your official Facebook page... stating “New artwork to welcome people into the Governor’s mansion!” As a government building, the Governor’s Mansion exists to welcome guests regardless of faith or belief. Promotion of one religion over others through a religious display at an entrance to the Mansion sends the impermissible message that those who do not share the favored faith are unwelcome and will be treated differently. While you and your family members are free to create and display religious imagery in private areas of your Mansion and its grounds, displaying a cross at an entrance “to welcome people into the Governor’s mansion” violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We, therefore, ask that you remove the display and refrain from placing similar displays in publicareas of the Mansion in the future.

The Supreme Court recently emphasized that “the Establishment Clause must be interpreted ‘by reference to historical practices and understandings,’” and that the “‘line’ . . . ‘between the permissible and the impermissible’ has to ‘accor[d] with history and faithfully reflec[t] the understanding of the Founding Fathers.’”

Quoting other cases--- including Coach Kennedy's case regarding prayer on the football field, which the Supreme Court upheld-- the Leftists said, "This religious display at the Governor’s Mansion flies in the face of those historical understandings."

Actually, it doesn't.

Thomas Jefferson never said the Constitution requires the church to separate itself from the government.

He promised the Danbury Baptists that the Constitution purposefully provided a wall created to protect the church "from" the government.

And that was the "historical practice and understanding" until the Left began its march against the Christian church and perverted and inverted what Thomas Jefferson had explained to the concerned Baptists.

There is nothing in the Constitution about the "separation of church and state."

Spencer Brown wrote for Townhall, "Joyless leftists, as they are prone to do, got all triggered when Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders' kids used chalk to draw a cross surrounded by colorful stained glass-like shapes on the driveway at the governor's mansion this week."

He said, "Quickly, the hall monitors at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State issued a demand letter: remove the chalk rendering of a cross."

The group claimed that its presence at the official home of Arkansas' executive was a violation of the Constitution.

Brown says, "Never mind, apparently, that 'separation of church and state' is not found in the Constitution, nor does having a kids' chalk depiction of a rather universal religious symbol rise to the level of establishing a state religion." 

The Governor's response.

In what should come as a surprise to no one, Gov. Sanders is not backing down, bending to the will of the no-God-in-government crowd at Americans United, or agreeing to relegate her family's beliefs to only private expressions.

In an official letter of her own on Friday, Sanders responded to Americans United.

"I have received your letter and my answer is no," Sanders wrote. "I will not erase the beautiful cross my kids drew in chalk on the driveway of the Governor's Mansion or remove my post on social media, and I will not now or ever hide that I am a Christian, saved by Christ."

Sanders continued, explaining that Americans United is "wrong to claim that our Constitution prevents public officials, let alone their families, from making earnest expressions of religious faith. Our founding documents are riddled with religious language - stating plainly that the very rights you claim to defend are 'endowed by our Creator,'" Sanders reminded. "You are asking me to ignore that truth and hide a crucial part of my identity and the identity of my kids. That, I will not do," she reiterated. 

"In Arkansas, we stand up to bullying liberals," Sanders declared:

 We won't let you power-wash our kids' chalk drawings off our front steps. We won't let you tear down Christmas decorations and stomp our traditions into the dirt. We don't live our lives in fear of strongly worded letters coming down from Washington.

I am offended by the implication that, just because I am a Christian, I am somehow a bigot. All people, of all faiths, are welcome in our state. All Arkansans are welcome in the Governor's Mansion. We are all citizens of this same great country - one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

For too long, the left has counted on being able to shame and bully conservatives into hiding their values and beliefs with false accusations of racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry. When conservatives such as Gov. Sanders stand up to the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant left, we win. 


Newsweek weighed-in on this matter.

They said, "Culture wars have taken center stage in America over the past several months, with debates emerging from the conservative side about protecting children from "woke" ideology, promoted in Democratic-leaning states, and touting Christian nationalism."

Dr. Paul D. Miller, the co-chair for global politics and security at Georgetown University, explained in a 2021 article for Christianity Today identifies Christian nationalism as the belief that the United States is defined by Christianity and that the government should take steps to keep it that way.

Newsweek concludes: "The dispute between both sides was notable in 2020 when conservatives criticized the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for tweeting that 'men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men. Trans and non-binary men belong'."

The battle is the Lord's, and He is raising up young men and women of strong faith and courage to lead.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Courageous. Be Prayerful.