A controversial billboard has been put up in support of President Trump’s Travel restrictions Executive Order. It says: “Why support President Trump’s Immigration Ban? 19 MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS KILLED 2,977 AMERICANS September 11, 2001”. It has been met with incredibly mixed reception.
Whilst some say that as it is factually accurate, the message is not one of “hate” but more of “informing”. But others say that the language used is divisive. The arguments posit that the truth should never be seen as controversial because a statement of fact is just that…a fact. And the supporters are asking people who disagree to point out which part of their statement is false.
Those who disagree with the billboard are not actually arguing on factual grounds, they are stating that the message target ALL Muslims (of which the majority are obviously not terrorists).
Some in the Media are saying that Trump’s “travel ban” would not have stopped the attack on September 11th, but this is not strictly speaking true. Many of the Hijackers were not from countries included in the “restricted countries” list, but some were. And it is still unknown how many or who was involved in activities on the US side arranging Intel and contacts.
Essentially this is a Free Speech argument. If the information had been false, then it should come down, but as it is true, then people have the right to state it, regardless of what others think.
It’s a stark, simple message on a black billboard – just 15 words, but it is creating controversy in Catawba County, North Carolina.
The county, which has voted Republican since it went for a fourth term for Franklin Roosevelt in 1944, is deep in western North Carolina in NASCAR and bluegrass territory, and many of its residents find the message to be contrary to the Christian values that are the bedrock of the small town communities within the county.
President Trump won Catawba County 66.8 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 29.3 percent, so it might have been expected that the residents would support his travel ban, but their staunch religious beliefs appear to override any concern about the dangers posed by unvetted immigration.
The North Carolina Pastors Network is noted on the billboard as the sponsor and stands by the message despite some residents finding it offensive and even “unchristian.”
Residents of nearby Claremont and Catawba are talking about the sign on Interstate 40 that traverses the state from the Raleigh-Durham area through Winston-Salem and west to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Oliver Reitzell opposes the billboard on religious grounds.
“I believe in the Christian way, and that’s to embrace everybody. Kind of the hate message behind it, I’m not for that.”
An associate pastor at the Corinth Reformed Church in the town of Hickory goes a step further and says the billboard actually contradicts Biblical teaching and sees the presence of non-Christians as an opportunity to preach the gospel to them.
My opinion is that I think these people need the saving gospel of Jesus more than I need to be protected,” Cummings said But Paul Cummings
“I’m perfectly willing for people who are hostile to us to be in our country, because that’s what loving your enemy is all about.”
Evangelist Dave Kistler, who heads up the North Carolina Pastors Network disagrees and says there is “nothing hateful” in the message on the billboard.
“Some have interpreted it to be that and say that. It was not. It is the truth.”