The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has found itself another target. The small town of Hondo, Texas, is in the spotlight for its signs admonishing drivers to slow down.
The signs are placed on US highway 90, at the city borders, and read “Welcome—This is God’s country please don’t drive through it like hell—Hondo, Texas.” In a letter to Hondo’s mayor, James Danner, the FFRF’s Co-President, Annie Laurie Gaylor, writes, “The display of the religious message ‘This Is God’s Country’ on public property violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits public bodies from advancing, supporting or promoting religion. It is also needlessly divisive, since it sends the message that nonbelievers are not welcome in the city.”
Gaylor goes on to explain, “Some people may want to flee ‘God’s Country’ faster than hell…Hondo officials could actually be encouraging drivers to speed with such signs.”
So, how is the good town of Hondo, Texas, responding? A Christianity Today article says Mayor Danner has said, “There’s no way in hell we’re going to take those signs down.” He believes the citizens of Hondo will agree with him, too. After all, the signs have been up since 1932, and the only time they’ve been taken down was for highway construction from 2009-2012. Danner claims his office received many letters asking where the signs were during that time.
Mayor Danner and other leaders of Hondo don’t believe the FFRF’s claims that the signs make nonbelievers feel unwelcome, which is why they are drafting a formal response to object to their views.
However, an article on FFRF’s site claims they have members in the great state of Texas, almost 1,000 to be exact.