Don’t mess with Pittsburg, Kan. Residents of the town didn’t respond with anger when local atheists forced the Post Office to take down a 9/11 banner, they responded with a city-wide effort that brought out over 1,500 signs with a message the atheists can’t stand.
If the Freedom from Religion Foundation didn’t like one “God Bless America” sign, then 1,500 must have really made its blood boil. That’s how many the small town of posted on lawns, car windows, and in businesses after the anti-Christian organization forced the local post office to tear down its 9/11 banner. After standing for more than 14 years, the building sign was a casualty of FFRF’s small-town war on the First Amendment.
“Employees are free to ask God to bless America all they want on their own time,” Madeline Ziegler of the Freedom From Religion Foundation told KOAM-TV. “We’re really excited that the post office decided to take the right action here.”
And while Pittsburg may have lost the banner, they didn’t lose the battle. A couple days later, Jake’s Fireworks responded by printing 1,200 “God Bless America” yard signs and 300 similar banners. So passionate was the company’s employees, they worked through the night printing the “God Bless America” signs. By the next morning at 11 a.m. they started handing them out and by 11:45 a.m., they had exhausted their newly printed stock.
“Obviously, we’re among the majority that didn’t agree with the decision to take the sign down (at the post office),” said Jason Marietta, retail sales director at Jake’s Fireworks.
Cars stretched over two blocks. Drivers were eventually met with rows of American flags and a digital sign saying “God Bless America” as they pulled into the company’s driveway where Marietta and other employees directed traffic and greeted the drivers.
“Thanks for doing this,” one driver yelled out. Marietta responded, “Thank you for coming.”
Local twitter feeds started posting photos of the cars lined up to get a copy, as people honked and rolled down their windows to shout their thanks. “It’s amazing,” said Jason Marietta who was part of the Jake’s Fireworks team handing out signs.
“It’s outrageous that some would aim to divide a community over a banner that has been proudly displayed since September 11. I commend the Pittsburg community for rejecting this decision, and I stand with them. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Expressions of patriotism, faith, and community should be welcome in our society, and I have contacted USPS officials to express my concerns about their decision,” stated Jenkins.
The incident and the response has brought the community together and made residents question the reasoning behind taking the sign down.
“It’s sad, it’s sad that they feel like that this is something that they understand when they don’t,” said Ed Hinde, a former postal worker.
The sign now adorns the wall of Senator Moran’s local office.