How am I just now hearing about this? From 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."
By all accounts, the longtime, city-owned signs have never seemed to stir anyone. As it turns out, though, they could be a problem.
The city erected and maintains the signs, Mayor Randy McCallum said...
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.
And never once did she hear any objections to the signs.
It actually surprised me to find out that Illinois was actually a hotbed of sundown towns in the not-so-distant past, having a higher percentage than many other states. So I guess it shouldn't shock me to find out that such intolerance in downstate (surprise!) Illinois is still going on. Geez, have these people even heard of the Constitution? I don't give a rusty crucifixion nail whether or not the mayor believes in one baptism or two-point-six dunkings in sanctified Jell-O.
The mayor makes it sound so innocent, saying that there were no objections. Well, duh. Do you think that maybe no one in a small town wants to speak up for fear of retaliation? Do you think that maybe having a sign that says "Jesus is Lord in our town" might make other people feel just a teensy bit unwelcome in your town?
Of course, the Christian rightwingers over at Focus on the Family have already jumped on this and are claiming it's just another example of the "War on Christianity" being raged in our country. Yeah, right.