The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the town demanding that they remove Bible verses that were posted on four welcome signs. They said the signs were unconstitutional.
“Sylvania Welcomes You,” the signs read. “Ephesians 4:5 – One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.”
“The Sylvania ‘welcome’ signs are not welcoming,” wrote FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott. “They affiliate the government with one religion, Christianity, and exclude others.”
“No court would uphold this blatant violation of the Constitution,” read his letter to television station WAAY. “Local governments have no place in making position statements on such matters.”
Mayor Mitchell Dendy originally had the signs removed two weeks ago. However, he resigned due to an unrelated matter. The acting mayor and city council decided the signs needed to be reposted.
“We’re putting the signs back up and we’ll see what happens,” acting mayor Max Turner told Fox News.”If we don’t stand up for something, it won’t be long before we’ll have to go to the woods to have church.”
Turner said it’s time to draw a line in the sand and fight back against the FFRF.
“I had itchy feet to start with,” he said. “But we’re ready to have it. I’m not afraid to take a stand. We as Christians have got to stand up regardless of what the world might say about us.”
The 80-year-old acting mayor said to the best of his knowledge there are no atheists living in Sylvania and he said dozens of citizens are supporting their decision.
“We as Christians should stand up for what we believe in as much as them people stand up for what they believe in,” he said, noting that he was prepared to “go down trying to defeat the Devil.”