EDITOR’S NOTE: The source whose story is told in this article is related to the writer, the story is newsworthy and thus given as an exception to the general principle of St. George News to avoid stories that may include a perceived conflict of interest.
According to Cornell University Law School, “The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government,” as stated in the First Amendment in the United States Constitution.
Christine Evans, a resident of Magna, says those rights are being tested in her neighborhood with local law enforcement. Evans has had the police called on her multiple times because of a sign she painted on her living room window.
Evans painted “In God We Trust” in red, white and blue paint on her glass window when her son was preparing for his first deployment to Iraq. A neighbor called police saying the sign was offensive, Evans said.
“First she taped a sticky note to my star (hung on the front door), to take out the ‘In God We Trust’ because ‘it offends me,’” Evans said.
Evans admits she didn’t handle the situation well, yelling at her neighbor from her porch. But then Evans decided to take a quieter approach – she repainted the sign and then at Christmastime, she put up red, white and blue lights.
“I was crying the whole time [while repainting the sign],” Evans said. “For seven years I don’t get to see my son. I didn’t get to see him leave for Iraq because he was in Germany.”
In response to Evans repainting the sign, she said the police came knocking on her door again. She said the police are required to inform her that her neighbors want her to remove it, but legally they cannot force her to do so.
Evans said there are not a lot of service members in Magna.
“People don’t like the fact that I put my flags up,” she said. “They’re upset because I put ‘In God We Trust’.”
Even though her son is no longer serving in Iraq, she wants people to keep remembering.
“There’s somebody still out there. There’s still a mother crying because her son is out there. There is a mother putting her kids to bed alone because her husband isn’t home yet,” she said. “Even if I don’t have a serviceman out there, someone is still out there. It doesn’t mean you forget.”
Evans said she was warned that her window would be shot out.
“That’s why I have insurance,” she said. “I’ll put up a bigger, better window.”
Americans have forgotten what our country was founded upon and I would go so far as to argue that the First Amendment was not to keep God out of government; it was to keep the government from forcing a particular religion on the people.
Citizens for a Better Government said: Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut [from which letter we derive the term “separation of church and state”], and he made it quite clear that the wall of separation was to insure that government would never interfere with religious activities because religious freedom came from God, not from government.
On what basis does a neighbor found a professed right to use police force to make someone take down their sign because they are offended by the word “God?”
If the sign said, “In Allah We Trust,” would the neighbor have complained and ask that it be removed?
This is a free country and I defend my right to pray in school, to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and to sing God Bless the USA. And I defend my right to boycott NBC for removing “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
To those who are offended, I say, “You neither have to partake nor look nor hear; for you who are offended may turn and walk the other way.”
I wonder, if this same neighbor were to move to Cairo would he or she presume to inform its citizens that they may not say the Salat in public because it is offensive?
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.