Target: Will Rogers, Mayor of Hawkins, Texas
Goal: Remove government sign promoting Christianity from city grounds.
Newcomers are greeted with a sign bestowing Jesus’ blessings upon them when they arrive in the small Texas town of Hawkins, according to reports. This is a display of government preference for Christianity over all other religions, and as such is unconstitutional. Demand this sign be removed as soon as possible.
“Jesus welcomes you to Hawkins” is the message that has been greeting visitors to the town for years. Approved by the town’s city council and constructed by students at one of the town’s public high schools four years ago, the sign rests on city-owned land. This has recently come to national attention, and a well-deserved controversy has erupted as a result.
Despite widespread condemnation of the sign from people arguing that it constitutes a violation of church-state separation, the town is fervently defending it. The mayor, Will Rogers, responded to criticism by saying, “Jesus represents billions of people, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that sign. I don’t think it goes against our constitution. Jesus is part of every major religion in the world, so you can’t pin one religion on Jesus.”
This message is nothing other than government favoritism for Christianity, and the mayor’s hollow defense of it reflects it. Sign the petition below to demand Mayor Rogers immediately remove this unconstitutional sign from city property.
Dear Mayor Rogers,
I am writing you today regarding the sign that greets town guests with “Jesus welcomes you to Hawkins.” The Freedom From Religion Foundation is correct in pointing out the issue with this, and your defenses of it are entirely inadequate.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As an American town, you are bound by this prohibition just as much as the federal government is. You cannot establish a religion.
By invoking the Christian figurehead in your town’s welcome sign, you are in essence establishing Christianity as the town’s religion. It does not matter if, as you say, people can view the Jesus on the sign in a secular way as a humanitarian leader instead of a religious one, or that there are billions of Christians in the world—showing government favor to the Christian faith is unconstitutional.
This sign should not remain in place any longer than it already has. I demand that you immediately remove it from city grounds.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: FMHerrera