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Tags: love it or leave it | squad | american pride | church | resistance

Va. Baptist Church Sign: 'America: Love or Leave It'

an american flag is superimposed on a person's face and the left eye is a intelligence agency logo
(J.W. Alker/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 July 2019 03:58 PM EDT

A Virginia Baptist church has resurrected a more than half-century old conservative turn of phrase amid President Donald Trump's war of words with four progressive women lawmakers, posting a sign this week declaring: "America: Love it or Leave it."

The admonition was placed outside Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia, on their signboard after Trump's attacks on the group of minority congresswomen — and remarks the so-called "squad" is "free to leave" if they want to. 

"I thought I was going to make some remarks regarding the situation in Washington," Pastor E.W. Lucas told the local ABC affiliate. "It just came to me . . . America, I love it. If you don't love it, leave it."

The pastor was not the first to think it up.

The phrase first gained prominence with country pioneer Ernest Tubb's 1965 hit, "It's America (Love it or Leave it)," and again in January 1970 on superstar Merle Haggard's chart-topping hit "The Fightin' Side of Me," which included the line.

Social media responses to the billboard sentiment varied, with one commenter remarking she loved "the message. Just should not be put on a church billboard."

Another noted "criticism of government is patriotic. It is not unpatriotic to want America to be a better place for everyone."

Lucas said the sign will stay up "since we've had favorable comments on it."

"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," he told the affiliate.

Democrats have ripped Trump for his tweets Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., should "go back" to their home countries, prompting widespread backlash.

Trump later stepped up his attacks, saying the group of women "hate our country," urging them Tuesday to "go wherever they want, or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn't hate our country."

Lucas told the ABC affiliate he could not agree more.

"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.

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A Virginia Baptist church boldly and proudly displays a sign declaring: "America: Love it or Leave it."
love it or leave it, squad, american pride, church, resistance
Wednesday, 17 July 2019 03:58 PM
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