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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 TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge 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-CortezClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Trump will soon be out of office — but polarization isn't going anywhere Trump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' 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.