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 TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary 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-CortezDemocrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Minneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger MORE (Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP MORE (Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota 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.