“My answer is no.”
That was the simple but brutal response Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, R-Ark., sent a liberal group from Washington, D.C. who demanded she remove a Christian cross her children drew in sidewalk chalk in front of the governor’s mansion.
Sanders posted a picture of her children and their drawing on Instagram last Monday —
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a “501 nonprofit organization that advocates for the disassociation of religion and religious organizations from government,” demanded Sanders remove the artwork.
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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.
In other words, take it down… or else.
“I have received your letter and my answer is no,” Sanders replied.
“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,” she said in her retort.
Her letter stated —
You are 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.’ 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.
In Arkansas, we stand up to bullying liberals. We won’t let you power-wash our kids’ chalk drawings off our front steps.
“We don’t live our lives in fear of strongly worded letters coming down from Washington,” she said. “I am offended by the implication that, just because I am a Christian, I am somehow a bigot,”
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Take a look —
I have received your letter and my answer is no.
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.
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) June 30, 2023
The Horn editorial team