Virginia church hangs 'America: Love it or Leave It' sign after Trump attacks on minority congresswomen

A Virginia church put up a new sign this week after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE’s attacks against a group of minority, progressive congresswomen and remarks that the so-called “squad” is “free to leave” if they want to.

“America: Love it or Leave It,” reads the sign outside Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Va.

“I thought I was going to make some remarks regarding the situation in Washington,” Pastor E.W. Lucas told ABC13. “It just came to me … America, I love it. If you don’t love it, leave it.” 

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The sign comes after President Trump tweeted Sunday that Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Sanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid MORE (Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Ocasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' MORE (Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Omar calls Trump hosting G-7 at Doral 'disturbing' MORE (Minn.) should “go back” to their home countries, prompting widespread backlash.

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Trump later stepped up his attacks, saying the group of women “hate our country.” On Tuesday, he urged them to “go wherever they want, or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country."

Democrats have ripped Trump for his remarks, and a Democrat-led resolution condemning his tweets was approved by the chamber on Tuesday.

GOP leadership and Trump’s staunch defenders have denied claims that Trump and his statements are racist, with some shying away from commenting on the matter. 

"People that feel hard about our president and want to down the president, and down the country and everything, they ought to go over there and live in these other countries for a little while," Lucas told ABC13.

Photos of the sign prompted some controversy on social media, with some praising the church and others denouncing its decision. 

Despite any backlash, Lucas said the sign will stay up “since we've had favorable comments on it.”

”Preachers, by and large, today, are afraid they're gonna hurt somebody's feelings, and when I get in the pulpit, I'm afraid I won't hurt somebody's feelings,” he told the outlet.