NOTE: This post can be read in its entirety at my blog at Patheos.com; at the end of this excerpt you can click to continue reading there. For the record, I don’t care one way or the other if the banner hangs or not. What I care about is that the truth of this story is told.
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Banners, business, and God Bless America
by Joanne Brokaw
I was a little surprised yesterday when I noticed that a story about a local cafe owner and her kerfuffle over a banner that reads “God Bless America” was trending on Facebook.
Jennifer Aquino is at odds with the Town of Penfield over a banner she hung on her Five Mile Cafe back in June. And if you believe everything you read on social media, the town was unpatriotic in its insistence that she remove the banner just as we readied to celebrate Independence Day. In fact, a Fox News story reported that Aquino asked for permission to hang the banner and was denied, so she hung it anyway.
Not true. She had permission to hang the banner. She just overstepped the parameters.
But let’s go back a bit and take a closer look. Why? Because I used to own a small business in a town that had seriously tight rules about signs and banners, and I suspected when I saw this story a couple of weeks ago that the back and forth between business and board was all about permits and regulations, and not about squashing patriotism.
And if there’s one thing I hate it’s when people cry about their rights being violated when, in fact, they’re just mad that they didn’t get their way.