Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) is rebuffing an organization’s demands she remove a cross-inspired chalk design her children placed on the grounds of the governor’s mansion.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
Sanders, daughter of former pastor and Arkansas politician Mike Huckabee, also said she has no plans to hide her Christian faith.
The debate kicked off June 26, when the governor shared a photo on her Facebook page showing a colorful cross her kids designed with chalk.
“New artwork to welcome people into the governor’s mansion!” Sanders wrote. “So proud of how hard the kids worked and how well their masterpiece turned out!”
The children’s artwork was met with much praise. However, some — including activists at Americans United For Separation of Church and State (AU) — were less-than-enthralled and expressed concerns over a perceived violation of the First Amendment.
“We have received a complaint regarding a large depiction of a Latin cross at an entrance to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion,” AU wrote in a June 28 letter to Sanders, citing her Facebook post. “As a government building, the Governor’s Mansion exists to welcome guests regardless of faith or belief.”
AU went on to proclaim the promotion of “one religion over others through a religious display at an entrance to the Mansion sends the impermissible message that those who do not share the favored faith are unwelcome and will be treated differently.”
The organization said Sanders and her family are free to create “religious imagery” in private areas throughout the home, but the grounds and an entrance are not places where such images should be permitted.
AU believes the chalk display violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
“We therefore ask that you remove the display and refrain from placing similar displays in public
areas of the Mansion in the future,” AU wrote.
Dear @americansunited,— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) June 30, 2023
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.
My letter⬇️ https://t.co/cdt9vJsMUk pic.twitter.com/3pdur4Fdmj
Sanders quickly responded to the letter in a tweet and proclamation of her own, telling AU she has absolutely no plans to remove the chalk drawing.
“I have received your letter and my answer is, ‘No,'” the governor tweeted. “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 also shared a longer letter in her tweet, telling AU she believes the organization is wrong to claim the U.S. Constitution “prevents government officials, let alone their families, from making earnest expressions of religious faith.”
The strongly worded letter didn’t conclude there, as Sanders said she believes AU is asking her to hide her and her family’s identities as Christians. In her state, she said people “stand up to bullying liberals,” and she wrote that America’s founding documents use plenty of religious language.
“You are asking me to ignore that truth and hide a crucial part of my identity and the identity of my kids,” Sanders wrote. “That I will not do.”
The governor concluded her letter by making it clear that all people of any faiths are welcome at the governor’s mansion.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***