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 TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez to voters: Tell McConnell 'he is playing with fire' with Ginsburg's seat Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySan Francisco considers changing local voting age to 16 Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy MORE (Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibGeorge Conway: 'Trump is like a practical joke that got out of hand' Pelosi endorses Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate primary challenge The Democratic Party platform represents our big tent MORE (Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Woodward book revelations rock Washington 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.