'America: Love or Leave It': Church sign sparks controversy

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ROANOKE, Va. (WCMH/CNN) -

A church sign in Virginia is drawing a lot of attention and stirring up a lot of controversy.

The message was placed in front of Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox.

It reads: “America: Love or Leave it.”

Pictures of the sign started spreading on social media.

E.W. Lucas is the founder and pastor of Friendship Baptist.

He says his remarks were intended to be a commentary on politics and that he’s gotten a lot of feedback.

“We’ve had favorable comments on it, I thought I’d just leave it alone. Preachers by and large today, are afraid they’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings. And when I get into (the) pulpit, I’m afraid I won’t hurt somebody’s feelings,” Lucas said.

Lucas says he’s been placing messages in front of the church since he established it in 1979.