The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to an East Texas City Council requesting they remove a sign posted on city property.
The group states in its letter that the “Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins’ sign posted on East Front Street is an unconstitutional religious display.
The letter states, “The Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins’ sign sends a message to the City’s citizens that the Hawkins government is endorsing and compelling a belief in a particular god. By endorsing such a belief, the sign sends the message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored numbers…”
The letter ended by requesting the City Council to reply back with a plan for how to proceed.
Hawkins Mayor Will Rogers said the group stated that it received a complaint from a Hawkins citizen about the sign. The Mayor said the sign was approved by the City Council four years ago and was a community effort.
“”The sign was a community project,” Mayor Rogers said. “The City Council unanimously approved the sign and the Hawkins ISD shop class built the sign. Many private donors helped to pay for the sign.”
Mayor Rogers believes the City Council will address the letter at an upcoming meeting. He believe the community should come together to ensure the sign stays up.
“Citizens should voice their support,” Rogers said. “Even if you don’t look at Jesus as a religious leader, you have the humanitarian aspects of his life while he was here to consider.”
Rogers said it’s unclear when exactly the City Council will address the letter.