God Bless America' poster yanked

Stephanie

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By Neil Nisperos/Staff Writer
:( I'm offended that this ****head is offended


Postal employee Adele Carter holds up the poster that was ordered taken down from the Lompoc post office lobby. //Neil Nisperos/Staff



The God Bless America poster that used to hang in the Lompoc post office lobby is now in the back room out of public view.

That's the way Lompoc resident Matt Hughes likes it.




Hughes, a vocal atheist and advocate for the separation of church and state, was offended by the sign and complained to the postmaster, who ordered it taken down last month.

The red, white and blue poster has a large American flag above the words “God Bless America.”

Post office employees were as offended as Hughes, not by the poster but by the postmaster's decision.

“We're just upset and we're offended that we can't show support for our country,” said Cathy Hefferman, lobby director at the post office. “This is a time that you need to do that.”

Hefferman said Hughes had every right to ask that the sign be taken down. But she said postal employees had a right to be able to keep the poster where they work.

Hughes disagreed.

“They posted a religious expression, in this case, a prayer, and it's not the business of our government to be promoting religion,” Hughes said. “That's the business of our churches.”

The poster had been hanging on a wall above the customer service area since 2001. It was placed there, where clerks accept packages from customers, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hughes said a supervisor's initial response to his request was resistant.

“I first spoke to a supervisor who told me, ‘It's not coming down,'” Hughes said. “He refused and said ‘That's not coming down. You can complain to Washington if you want, but it's not coming down.'”

Several days later, Hughes discovered that it had been taken down.

“I'm delighted that it's down. I think there's no reason that a government facility should have the largest word in the customer services area be the name of some people's deity,” Hughes said.

“For some people, their god is named Jehovah or Allah. Some people worship Buddha. Some people worship the flying spaghetti monster. But the Christians and Jews have named their god, God with the capital G, and that's whose god was listed in the post office. If there is a god, I would wish he would bless everyone - not just America.”

Hefferman said the Lompoc postmaster got authorization from the main regional office in San Luis Obispo to remove the sign.

“For one person to come in and say it offends him that is his right, but it's also our right to have that up there,” Hefferman said. “I just think he stepped on our rights. He has the right for his booth downtown (Olde Towne Market) and that's his right, so we should have the right to display what we want and if he's offended by something we have in our business then he can take his business elsewhere.”

Adele Carter, another post office employee, said she was also disappointed by the removal.

“I believe God does bless America,” Carter said. The same America that gives us our freedom of speech, is the same America that lets him speak and give him his freedom of speech.

Hughes, a former Sunday school teacher, disagreed.

“The post office is not an appropriate place for people to be speaking for or against god,” Hughes said. “Not in a way that makes it appear that the government is sharing this opinion. People can go to the public square and pray to their heart's content. People are free to do whatever they want in public, but the people at the post office don't get to use the post office to share their religious beliefs because it gives the appearance that the government is endorsing their beliefs.”

http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2006/09/03/news/centralcoast/news05.txt
 
A

archangel

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By Neil Nisperos/Staff Writer
:( I'm offended that this ****head is offended


Postal employee Adele Carter holds up the poster that was ordered taken down from the Lompoc post office lobby. //Neil Nisperos/Staff



The God Bless America poster that used to hang in the Lompoc post office lobby is now in the back room out of public view.

That's the way Lompoc resident Matt Hughes likes it.







Hughes, a vocal atheist and advocate for the separation of church and state, was offended by the sign and complained to the postmaster, who ordered it taken down last month.

The red, white and blue poster has a large American flag above the words “God Bless America.”

Post office employees were as offended as Hughes, not by the poster but by the postmaster's decision.

“We're just upset and we're offended that we can't show support for our country,” said Cathy Hefferman, lobby director at the post office. “This is a time that you need to do that.”

Hefferman said Hughes had every right to ask that the sign be taken down. But she said postal employees had a right to be able to keep the poster where they work.

Hughes disagreed.

“They posted a religious expression, in this case, a prayer, and it's not the business of our government to be promoting religion,” Hughes said. “That's the business of our churches.”

The poster had been hanging on a wall above the customer service area since 2001. It was placed there, where clerks accept packages from customers, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hughes said a supervisor's initial response to his request was resistant.

“I first spoke to a supervisor who told me, ‘It's not coming down,'” Hughes said. “He refused and said ‘That's not coming down. You can complain to Washington if you want, but it's not coming down.'”

Several days later, Hughes discovered that it had been taken down.

“I'm delighted that it's down. I think there's no reason that a government facility should have the largest word in the customer services area be the name of some people's deity,” Hughes said.

“For some people, their god is named Jehovah or Allah. Some people worship Buddha. Some people worship the flying spaghetti monster. But the Christians and Jews have named their god, God with the capital G, and that's whose god was listed in the post office. If there is a god, I would wish he would bless everyone - not just America.”

Hefferman said the Lompoc postmaster got authorization from the main regional office in San Luis Obispo to remove the sign.

“For one person to come in and say it offends him that is his right, but it's also our right to have that up there,” Hefferman said. “I just think he stepped on our rights. He has the right for his booth downtown (Olde Towne Market) and that's his right, so we should have the right to display what we want and if he's offended by something we have in our business then he can take his business elsewhere.”

Adele Carter, another post office employee, said she was also disappointed by the removal.

“I believe God does bless America,” Carter said. The same America that gives us our freedom of speech, is the same America that lets him speak and give him his freedom of speech.

Hughes, a former Sunday school teacher, disagreed.

“The post office is not an appropriate place for people to be speaking for or against god,” Hughes said. “Not in a way that makes it appear that the government is sharing this opinion. People can go to the public square and pray to their heart's content. People are free to do whatever they want in public, but the people at the post office don't get to use the post office to share their religious beliefs because it gives the appearance that the government is endorsing their beliefs.”

http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2006/09/03/news/centralcoast/news05.txt


Screw Mr.Hughes and the horse he rode in on...I say re-introduce the draft...send Mr.Hughes to Iraq and he can fight for his freedom of expression...as for being a former 'Sunday School' teacher I say ba- humbug...if he was he was probably busted for inappropriate behavoir with children...thats why he is bitter...imo!
 

Kagom

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It's in public display and contains the words "God bless..." and in his mind promotes a certain religious belief. I can feel why he would feel that way. If it were in the person's workspace, there would be NO reason to take it down. My solution would just to move it in the workspace of that person, therefore taking away any claim that Hughes had.
 

dilloduck

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It's in public display and contains the words "God bless..." and in his mind promotes a certain religious belief. I can feel why he would feel that way. If it were in the person's workspace, there would be NO reason to take it down. My solution would just to move it in the workspace of that person, therefore taking away any claim that Hughes had.
And if they were offended by your homosexuality they outta make you work in the basement or something?
 

Kagom

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And if they were offended my your homosexuality they outta make you work in the basement or something?
Really and honestly, I was posting from Hughes' perspective.

But that'd be retarded, dilloduck. You might as well make a black person work in a small, uncomfortable, and confined space because someone's offended by they're being black.
 

insein

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Really and honestly, I was posting from Hughes' perspective.

But that'd be retarded, dilloduck. You might as well make a black person work in a small, uncomfortable, and confined space because someone's offended by they're being black.
Now we are getting somewhere. So how come we can't ban a homo or a black guy to the basement because they are offensive to other people? Then we have a lone atheist come along and a poster that im sure has been there for years has to be removed because it offends him. ITs the same premise. Why the favoritism?

Congress shall make no LAW respecting any religion above another. This post office placed a poster in a lobby. That is not a law. Furthermore, it is not a singular religion. It merely refers to the belief of the founding fathers that a higher power grants all human beings the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that America is blessed by that higher power for allowing these rights to be recognized. Creating laws to respect atheists violates the first ammendment against all other religions in this great nation.
 

Kagom

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Now we are getting somewhere. So how come we can't ban a homo or a black guy to the basement because they are offensive to other people? Then we have a lone atheist come along and a poster that im sure has been there for years has to be removed because it offends him. ITs the same premise. Why the favoritism?

Congress shall make no LAW respecting any religion above another. This post office placed a poster in a lobby. That is not a law. Furthermore, it is not a singular religion. It merely refers to the belief of the founding fathers that a higher power grants all human beings the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that America is blessed by that higher power for allowing these rights to be recognized. Creating laws to respect atheists violates the first ammendment against all other religions in this great nation.
I'm just saying I know where the guy's coming from. I don't condone it. I think the woman's poster should be left alone. It's free speech and no one's being harmed by it.
 

MissileMan

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Now we are getting somewhere. So how come we can't ban a homo or a black guy to the basement because they are offensive to other people?
You did mean a poster of a gay or black person, right?
 

elshizzo

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This is an example of Freedom. It IS the postmasters RIGHT to decide what is in HIS post office. If he wants to take a poster down he can.

Its not the government's right to intervene and force the poster to stay

[Just Clarifying here]
 

Gunny

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This is an example of Freedom. It IS the postmasters RIGHT to decide what is in HIS post office. If he wants to take a poster down he can.

Its not the government's right to intervene and force the poster to stay

[Just Clarifying here]
What kind of dumb comment is THIS? The postmaster does not own the post office, nor is he any more entitled to force his singular, prejudiced views on others than anyone else.

Besides, the dishonesty in your post is obvious. Had this gone into a courtroom, some God-hating liberal judge using the lefty version of the Constitution would have had it removed anyone.

The scared little prick was just trying to stay off the skyline. Guess it didn't work.
 

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