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AP Photo/Will Newton
Joyless leftists, as they are prone to do, got all triggered when Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ kids used chalk to draw a cross surrounded by colorful stained glass-like shapes on the driveway at the governor’s mansion this week.
Gov. Sanders had shared a photo of her kids and their artwork to social media, which naturally upset the usual suspects.
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
New artwork to welcome people into the Governor’s mansion! So proud of how hard the kids worked and how well their masterpiece turned out!
Quickly, the hall monitors at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State issued a demand letter: remove the chalk rendering of a cross.
The group claimed that its presence at the official home of Arkansas’ executive was a violation of the Constitution.
Americans United wrote:
The religious display at the entrance to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion violates the Establishment Clause because it sends a message that the Governor’s office—and by extension, the state of Arkansas—favors one religion over others. Such favoritism is unconstitutional. You and your family are free to display and create religious images and art in private areas of your residence, but a public-facing display in front of an entrance intended “to welcome people into the Governor’s mansion” is plainly on the wrong side of the constitutional line.
Never mind, apparently, that “separation of church and state” is not found in the Constitution, nor does having a kids’ chalk depiction of a rather universal religious symbol rise to the level of establishing a state religion.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, Gov. Sanders is not backing down, bending to the will of the no-God-in-government crowd at Americans United, or agreeing to relegate her family’s beliefs to only private expressions.
In an official letter of her own obtained by Townhall on Friday, Sanders responded to Americans United.
“I have received your letter and my answer is no,” Sanders wrote. “I will not erase the beautiful cross my kids drew in chalk on the driveway of the Governor’s Mansion or remove my post on social media, and I will not now or ever hide that I am a Christian, saved by Christ.”
Sanders continued, explaining that Americans United is “wrong to claim that our Constitution prevents public officials, let alone their families, from making earnest expressions of religious faith. Our founding documents are riddled with religious language – stating plainly that the very rights you claim to defend are ‘endowed by our Creator,'” Sanders reminded. “You are asking me to ignore that truth and hide a crucial part of my identity and the identity of my kids. That, I will not do,” she reiterated.
“In Arkansas, we stand up to bullying liberals,” Sanders declared:
We won’t let you power-wash our kids’ chalk drawings off our front steps. We won’t let you tear down Christmas decorations and stomp our traditions into the dirt. We don’t live our lives in fear of strongly worded letters coming down from Washington.
I am offended by the implication that, just because I am a Christian, I am somehow a bigot. All people, of all faiths, are welcome in our state. All Arkansans are welcome in the Governor’s Mansion. We are all citizens of this same great country – one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
For too long, the left has counted on being able to shame and bully conservatives into hiding their values and beliefs with false accusations of racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry. When conservatives such as Gov. Sanders stand up to the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant left, we win.