Louisiana Town Covered with "Jesus Signs"

February 24, 2002

Source: The Times-Picayune

On February 24, 2002, The Times-Picayune reported that "more than just a declaration of faith, the hundreds of new Jesus signs [in Franklinton, LA] are in direct, if not defiant, response to a lawsuit filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union, which forced the removal of some other religious signs that proclaimed 'Jesus is Lord Over Franklinton' at entrances to the city... The suit was initiated by New Orleans resident Linton Carney, who was driving through Franklinton last year and said he was offended by the official-looking roadside religious signs, which were posted by parish road crews in 1999 on state rights of way... Arguing that taxpayer money was wrongly used to hang the signs, the ACLU said in the lawsuit the parish had violated a basic principle of the U.S. Constitution barring governmental endorsement of religion... Local church members, who paid to create the signs, subsequently took them down, and the suit may be dismissed soon, lawyers involved said. But many of the 4,000 residents of this predominantly Protestant city are still sore from the experience and see the ACLU's action as a decidedly rude and unwelcome intrusion."