Apparently non-Christians are not welcome in Alorton, Illinois. Signs around the town proclaim that in that town, “Jesus is Lord” (and Randy McCallum is mayor). According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
In this town of 3,000 residents, there are at least 15 churches. Maybe 20. They’re featured prominently on business street corners. They’re also tucked away — hidden almost — on residential blocks.
So you don’t need to travel far to find the good Lord, as they say. In fact, visitors can’t drive into town without a holy hello.
“Welcome to The Village of Alorton,” say two green-and-white billboards with lights shining on them. “Where Jesus is Lord. Randy McCallum Mayor.”
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the “establishment of religion”. The Fourteenth Amendment extended this to the States (most state constitutions also mirror the First Amendment anyway). For a local government body to spend taxpayer money to erect and maintain signs like this is illegal. Despite this, the mayor of Alorton justifies his contempt for the law and the constitution by blaming her predecessor:
“But that wasn’t my doing,” he said. “They’ve been there at least 13 years. Maybe 14. They were put up before I was mayor.”
So, in her eyes, if you continue to participate in illegal activities that were established by someone else, you’re off the hook. What idiocy. Of course, he then continues with the standard “no on is complaining” line:
McCallum identifies himself as a Christian. Still, he said, he recognizes how the signs might be a problem for those who don’t subscribe to the message. McCallum said he would ask the council to remove them if people pushed for it.
“If the community didn’t want that Jesus there, I’d take the signs down immediately,” the mayor said.
Of course, signs like this make it clear to non-Christians that they are unwelcome in the town. It goes beyond the whole issue of contempt for the law of the land – the people of Alorton are telling people who don’t agree with them “keep out!” They couldn’t put up a sign that proclaimed the town to be one where a certain race was paramount. So why do people feel like it’s ok to exclude people from the town on the basis of religion?
Discrimination like this is utterly disgusting. It appears that there’s a pattern of contempt for the law among mayors of this town anyway.
Former Mayor Callie Mobley, who took office in the early 1980s, said she immediately pushed for the signs. The City Council approved them, and the city paid maybe $250, $350 tops for each, Mobley said. The reason for the signs was simple.
“I believe in one God, one Baptism, and one Lord,” she said.
In March 2000, Mobley pleaded guilty of income tax evasion during her federal corruption trial, where she and her husband stood accused of stealing $140,000 from the town. McCallum became mayor.
Of course, the dominionists at Focus on the Family just love this sort of stuff. Another excuse to whine about discrimination. Obviously they aren’t bound by the law. Free exercise of religion only applies to the dominionists and their allies. Expecting these sorts of Chri$tian groups to obey the law is out of line. Yep.