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Church Sign Violates County Rule

September 4, 2012 by  

Church Sign Violates County Rule
SCREENSHOT
Officials told the Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna, Va., its sign didn't comply with Fairfax County code.

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna, Va., is being corralled by Fairfax County because of its sign. The church’s LED sign changed more than twice during a 24-hour period, a violation of county code.

One of the offending messages was an invitation for citizens to sit in air-conditioning after a storm knocked out power to many homes.

“Welcome, come on in and beat the heat,” the sign read.

The next message read, “Visit us at goodshpherdva.com.”

Had the church stopped with two messages, it would have been fine. But when a third message appeared within a 24-hour period advertising a prayer group, the church was told it would have to comply by county code or remove the sign.

The church believes it should have the freedom to post multiple messages a day, such as emergency information important to the community. It thinks that a person who angrily complained about “that Las Vegas sign” influenced the county.

The Church of the Good Shepherd views the county’s rule as an infringement on its freedom of speech and has hired an attorney.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Vigilant

    Mr. Nash, you may want to let stories “simmer” a bit before jumping the gun again. According to today’s Christian Post,

    “Fairfax County decided on Thursday to back off of a notice sent to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna regarding its digital sign, which by having more than two messages on it in a 24-hour period was in violation of a local zoning law.”

    (http://www.christianpost.com/news/va-county-allows-church-to-have-sign-reconsidering-zoning-rule-81005/)

    • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

      “Vigilant,” SIR, I DISAGREE.

      Personal Liberty IS A WEBSITE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE DISCUSSION. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PRESENTING “FRESH” NEWS. THE GOAL OF A DISCUSSION WEBSITE IS FOR PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEIR “GUT” REACTION TO A NEWS STORY. LIKE ALL NEWS STORIES, IT COULD TAKE DAYS, MONTHS OR YEARS UNTIL THE FINAL OUTCOME IS TOLD TO THE PUBLIC.

      “Bryan Nash” DID THE RIGHT THING BY PRESENTING THE STORY, N-O-W.

      • David Hansen

        The incident was correctly reported. We need to know and then we can take corrective action. The county backing off is just another part of the story

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “David Hansen,”

        “Vigilant” SAID “Mr. Nash” “JUMPED-THE-GUN;” I REPLIED TO THAT STATEMENT.

      • http://N/A Eric The Red

        Mr. Horton…one has to wonder just what legal ‘protection’ is being brought into play by the prohibition of 3 or more messages on a CHURCH (!) Bulletin board.

    • Flashy

      Vigilant…..one item which is always a steady reliance is that on most situations, you check before jumping to conclusions. Thanks.

      As I view it, holding any sign owner to common standards designed for neighborhood aesthetics and safety isn’t anything to get riled up about.

      • Old Henry

        That is true to a point Flashy, but how many times an electonic sign changes a message is none of the county’s business.

        The sign’s shape, size and location meet arbitrary zoning requirements, but the message changing affects none of those.

        Maybe, like in my county, the board members could be bought off.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.fox.754 Benjamin Fox

        Are you a muslim flunky? I notice there are a lot of mosque in Fairfax County. Seems even the government has declared war on christians? It is a stupid law and a lot of good information could get out to all the citizens, so the law needs to go, it’s useless and stupid at best.

    • http://bohdan1.wordpress.com bohdan1

      Hey Vigiless… That’s not at all the point. The point that some loser (probably a welfare ‘you owe me’ victim sits day in and day out spying on the Church waiting to turn them in, over a ridiculous Godless inspired ordinance should be forced off his ass and sent to look for meaningful employment… as it seems you should be doing.

      • Old Henry

        bohdan1:

        Thanks to the communist foreign national criminal Kenyan they no longer have to look for work. Another one of his illegal EOs dontcha know… However, when you are criminally occupying an office everything you do is illegal.

  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    “Bryan Nash” MENTIONED THE SIGN WELCOMED PEOPLE OUT OF THE HEAT AND INTO AIR-CONDITIONING.

    PEOPLE OFTEN SAY WE SHOULD BE KIND TO EACH OTHER. OBVIOUSLY, THAT IS A LIE IF, IN 2012, THE “DOWNTRODDEN” HAVE TO DEPEND ON “MERCY” FROM THE CHURCH. POOR ATHEISTS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CHURCH WHEN THEY ARE IN NEED – “CANNED-FOOD DRIVES,” CLOTHING GIVEAWAYS, THANKSGIVING/YULETIDE MEALS, SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS, ETC.

    THE “REAL” TRUTH IS, PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO HELP OTHERS IN NEED BECAUSE THEY SUBSCRIBE TO THE IDEA ALL POOR PEOPLE ARE LAZY AND DO NOT WANT TO GET A JOB. BECAUSE AN “ABLE-BODIED LOOKING” HOMELESS MALE STANDS ON A STREET CORNER WITH A SIGN DOES NOT MEAN HE HAS GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH. YET, PEOPLE “ROLL-DOWN” THEIR CAR WINDOWS AND YELL, “Go get a job!” THEN, PEOPLE LOOK “ALL STUPID” WHEN THE EVENING NEWS REPORTS A WORKPLACE SHOOTING.

    • Nobody’s Fool

      I beg you, CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON, sober up before you post!!! It is an obvious mark of your insecurity that you use all caps to sign in and then post your inanities. Please, if you have nothing to say, don’t say it. (And you have nothing to say, for sure.) I always wonder why atheists spend time on a conservative website–is it your desperation to be heard? We hear your stupidity and honor your right to be stupid. Just wish you’d take it down the road to the atheists’ website.

      • Old Henry

        I just wish he would get a new key board – one that has a functioning Shift key.

        I do not read posts that are compiled in all capital letters.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Nobody’s Fool,”

        SO, YOU ARE SAYING ALL CONSERVATIVES ARE THEISTS. IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THIS IS A LIBERTARIAN SITE. FURTHERMORE, YOU SEEM TO BELIEVE ATHEISTS ARE AUTOMATIC LIBERALS. BY SAYING I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, TELLS ME YOU ARE CLOSE-MINDED AND DO NOT “GET OUT MUCH.”

      • wandamurline

        If the aethists don’t want anything to do with religion, then that is their choice and they can do without, whether poor or not. The aethists have no problem trying to remove God from everything, when it is reported time and time again, that Christians are the ones helping the poor, the victims of violence and the victims of weather catastrophies. If the aethists are true to their own doctrine, they would refuse any help from Christians.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “wandamurline,”

        I AGREE. NO ATHEIST SHOULD ACCEPT HELP FROM A THEIST. BUT, ATHEISTS ARE STILL CITIZENS. IN MEMPHIS, IF A PERSON CAN NOT PAY HER/HIS UTILITY BILL A RELIGIOUS GROUP WILL PAY IT FOR YOU.

        MY POINT IS, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY ALL AGENCIES WHICH GIVE FREE HELP TO THE POOR ARE CONNECTED TO A CHURCH. IF AN ATHEIST NEEDS HELP WITH HER/HIS UTILITY BILL, HE/SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET HELP FROM A NON-RELIGIOUS AGENCY.

    • Buster the Anatolian

      ” POOR ATHEISTS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CHURCH WHEN THEY ARE IN NEED –…”

      If you feel that is the case then get a bunch of rich atheists to join you in setting up a food bank.

    • Curt

      Christoper,
      You say: “POOR ATHEISTS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CHURCH WHEN THEY ARE IN NEED – “CANNED-FOOD DRIVES,” CLOTHING GIVEAWAYS, THANKSGIVING/YULETIDE MEALS, SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS, ETC”.
      You are absolutly right. But then again, who else helps people? Sure there are a few that go out of their way to help, but damned few. Noone said you had to accept a church’s help. But there are people that care to help, they just choose to do so through a church.

      And, tell me people, since when is it a crime for a church to help anyone?

      Coexistance and tolerence, until they disagree with you or think differently. Right?

      And then, Christoper, you comment: ““Shirley,” SOCIAL SERVICES IN MEMPHIS DO NOT HELP THE POOR PAY THEIR BILLS – ONLY CHURCHES” Well there you go. If Social Services won’t help, why chastise churches?

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Curt,”

        I AM NOT RIDICULING CHURCHES. ATHEISTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO THROUGH OUR DAILY LIVES FREE FROM ASSOCIATION WITH THEISTS. AS AN ATHEIST, I SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO DEAL WITH CULT MEMBERS.

        I KNOW, Y’ALL DO NOT LIKE THE WORD, “CULT.’ BUT, ALL RELIGIONS ARE CULTS.
        MAYBE, WE ALL SHOULD HAVE STAYED CAVEMEN – THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW TO READ AND WRITE. RELIGION HAS A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON EARTH.

      • Buster the Anatolian

        Like I said CAH get together with some other athiests and form your own food pantry if you are so unhappy with what is available to you.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        OKAY, “Buster the Anatolian.” WE MEMPHIANS NEED TO “STICK TOGETHER.”

    • Curt

      Christopher,

      Again you say: ” ATHEISTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO THROUGH OUR DAILY LIVES FREE FROM ASSOCIATION WITH THEISTS. AS AN ATHEIST, I SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO DEAL WITH CULT MEMBERS “. Shop at any store? Go to any bank or credit union? Eat out? Order in? Work? Yeah, buddy, you deal with theists all the time. Where does this hatred come from? I know, you will come back saying “I don’t hate people”, yeah, keep telling yourself that. Every time you think you are better than “CULT MEMBERS”, you are. “But I didn’t say I was better than anyone.” Yeah, you did. When you segregate Atheists from Theists, you, sir, are prejudiced. Nobody is forcing you to deal with any church. They offer help, it’s your God given right to refuse. Oh, wait, you don’t believe in God…never mind.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Curt,”

        IN ANOTHER THREAD, I MENTIONED HOW PEOPLE TELL OTHERS TO “Have a blessed day.,” INSTEAD OF TELLING THEM, “Goodbye.”

        IN PUBLIC, ATHEISTS SHOULD NOT HAVE HEAR THEISTS UTILIZE RELIGIOUSLY-ORIENTED SPEECH. THEISTS ARE OBSESSED WITH FAIRYTALE “gods” – NOT, ATHEISTS. USE PLAIN ENGLISH IN PUBLIC – TALK PROPAGANDA AT HOME.

  • Karolyn

    And???? So let them get the code changed. If they get the congregation to attend the meetings, they can get things changed. What’s the big deal?

    • Butch

      Its a stupid law, THAT’S the big deal.

      • Scott in SC

        Stop being a whiny complainer and make a productive suggestion.

      • Flashy

        Actually, it’s not a stupid law. It is a standard for all sign owners. Aesthetics and safety concerns underlie the reasoning. Jeesh ….

      • Opal the Gem

        Actually it is a stupid law Flushy for it makes no allowance for a public service announcement or emergency announcement that causes the sign to exceed the stated limits on number of messages.

      • momo

        It’s not about aesthetics and safety concerns, its about the number of messages you can the led portion of the sign “flash” in a 24 hour period.
        What if this site limited you to two posts Flashman? I doubt you’d like that.

    • Big Woody

      Our zoning included digital clocks in it’s deffinition of “changing signs” and “flashing signs”. It took over 5 years to get them to change THEIR interpetation of THEIR zoning regulations. We the citizens have never been allowed to vote on zoning rules to approve or disapprove.

      • Flashy

        Actually…everyone has input on zoning. you can attend the public hearings and also write comments for the record … whereupon should you disagree with the final zoning, you may take it through the hearings processes as well as to the elected officials.

    • George Washington the CONSTITUTIONALIST

      Actually, a county can NOT make ANY law, that is above their powers.
      Citing safety for a sign would have to indicate the L.E.D sign caused harm, which it can not. Changing a message is NOT altering the physical sign, nor changing or modifying the placement, dimensions or adding to any safety factor as a message can not do any of the above, EXCEPT convey the MESSAGE. The county is WRONG in its attempt to limit the amount of messages, or the type. A clear violation of a private entity’s right to display its message of intent, and meaning. The county workers MUST return to SCHOOL and read what a ‘law’ is, and WHO has the authority to write and enforce these, as it is NOT the county where this church resides.
      As for the other message; NOBODY needs to ‘be’ a christian to do good for others. I fidn religion offensive and reprehensible for people to openly follow. I give clothing away to homeless people, I have done this many times and will continue to do so. When I lived in Mesa, AZ. I walked down a rail line late one evening, and found several homeless people nearby. One USED to be an executive and I talked to him for over an hour as he told me how his situation happened. One paycheck folks, that’s all you are away from destitution, think about it. Savings go quickly and you are done. I returned home and made 15 bag lunches with sandwiches, a small fruit drink, chips and an oatmeal little Debbie snack. I gave away all 10 winter jackets I brought from Wisconsin, and not ONE was refused! I also received help from a small group of friends to get much needed blankets and shoes handed out.
      If you can’t find the time to help others, then you are NOT this christian you proclaim yourself to be. Do NOT use religion as a tool to further your ideals if you are not willing to jump in and HELP a stranger that is less fortunate than you are. What you ARE,is a HYPOCRITE, and NOT a ‘christian’…Go peddle the religious drivel someplace else….HEATHEN!
      I do NOT ‘need’ a ‘god’ to BE a GOOD person, and I will put my non religious acts of DECENCY and kindness up against yours any minute of the day! Religion is a tool of the past to control and dehumanize, it is NOT god’s word, but mans alone. Religion is an INVENTION to control people. Religion has killed and continues to kill far more people than ALL the wars in humanity’s history. Do the research and see for yourself, this is FACT!
      Religion MUST go away before humanity can dig out of the cesspool of inhumanity.

      • Alan

        Actually, atheists don’t exist. To be an atheist one would have to search the universe proving there was no Creator God which is impossible. You would have to be God to travel throughout the universe. Agnostic’s exist which are people who just ‘think’ there is no God. Atheism is a religion whose belief is that there is no God. People in the atheist religion show an extreme amount of faith. People in the atheist religion don’t have as much clutter like people in religiosity. Many times agnostics, who usually are good thinkers, realize a relationship with Christ is not a religion and is the only true way in life and many turn to Him.

  • Karolyn

    Bryan Nash got me again! What is with this guy?

    • Butch

      Karolyn, you’re a whiny complainer. That’s the deal with YOU. Quit the site since all you want to do is bitch.

      • Karolyn

        Same back at’cha, Butch. You can’t tell me that this guy is pandering via his stories that are shown to be only part of the story. I call that faux journalism. It’s misleading. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon without having all the facts, and that’s exactly what he is after.

      • Old Henry

        Karolyn:

        Maybe space constraints put in place by Mr. Livingston play a part in Bryan’s format. He hits the “high spots” of a story to give the readers a heads-up so to speak and they can dig deeper.

      • Old Henry

        Butch:

        Kayolyn has just as much right to post as anyone else. If you do not like what she says / how she says it, ignore her posts.

        I have disagreed with Karolyn many times in the past, but that is one reason we come here – to discuss from different angles. It would be very boring if we all acted like “yes men”.

      • Opal the Gem

        Old Henery Butch did not say she should be banned he said she should go away since she mostly whines and contributes nothing of substance to the conversation.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Karolyn,”

        MA’AM, YOU ARE WRONG TO BLAME “Bryan Nash.” “Vigilant” WAS THE ONE WHO TOOK INITIATIVE AND FOUND THE CONCLUSION TO THIS STORY. “Mr. Nash” REPORTED THE INFORMATION “HE” HAD. “Karolyn,” THIS IS NOT “faux journalism.”

        I SUPPORT “Mr. Nash.”

  • Tag

    If they are complaining about this sign changing too frequently then that says to me those people need to find something to do to keep themselves occupied! IF the sign DIDN”T change then the complaining person would complain about that – some times you just can’t win with certain folks! Ha! He/she should live where I do THEN they’ve go plenty to complain about!

    • Old Henry

      Tag:

      Those people have found something to do – Meddle in everyone’s life. They are obviously a bunch of control freaks – liberals no doubt – who think they know how to run every one’s life, and society, better than every one else.

  • herbdoc

    Gee I guess if a child gets abducted in fairfax county they will put up an amber alert. If a second child gets abducted or if any other disaster happens the second disaster won’t be allowed to be shown?

    • Old Henry

      Sure it would Doc. The rules do not apply to people like that, only to every one else.

  • “Homer”

    What happened to FREEDOM of speech? Why is this even an ISSUE?? The feds etc need to concentrate on govt affairs instead of church issues! This is NONE of their business!!

    • Old Henry

      Very good point Homer. They seem to have forgotten their mantra of Separation of Church and State.

      • Flashy

        In what way was the church singled out?

  • Gea

    What kind of stupid County Code this is! They need to change the code that regulates free speech of signs! Let democracy prove that such inance regulations are against US Constitution First Amandment!

  • Jakki

    I truly beleve that the complainers are afraid of prayer. If they don’t believe or want to get out of the heat, they should ignore the signs. I see many signs every day that offend me, but I keep it to myself. How ridiculous can someone get?

    • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

      “Jakki,”

      IN MOST CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, “FREE” GIVING IS USUALLY AN ACTIVITY CARRIED-OUT BY THE CHURCH. THEREFORE, IF AN ATHEIST IS IN NEED, HE/SHE HAS NO OTHER OPTION FOR HELP.

      • Nobody’s Fool

        Ah, you poor atheists!!! No other options for help?? So would a down-and-out atheist rather starve than take free food from a church? What are you saying? Churches in general do not discriminate against those needing help. Of course you wouldn’t know that because you are so busy hating Christians. You should search yourself, CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON, and try to discover why you are so angry. And quit drinking, especially so early in the morning. Praying for your lost sad soul.

      • Andrew Jerome

        I really feel bad for you Christopher. Should I ever get into a position of needing help due to lack of food or clothing or shelter I would not care who offers to help me. I would thank a Church, a Temple or an athiest for caring for me in my time of need and would want to return the favor as soon as I was able.

      • Chester

        To NoBody’sAFool, hate to tell you this, but a good number of churches have reached the conclusion they have no need to help outside their own family, while others DEMAND you attend their services to get anything. Granted, that isn’t true of all, but is true of enough to make you look twice if you aren’t of that particular faith or belief.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Nobody’s Fool,”

        OBVIOUSLY, YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO READ. I REPLIED TO “Jakki’s” COMMENTS. YOUR REPLY TO ME HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MY REPLY TO “Jakki,”

        YOU SAW MY COMMENTS AND “FREAKED-OUT” BECAUSE YOU I AM ATHEIST AND KNOW MY OWN MIND – UNLIKE, YOU.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Andrew Jerome,”

        YOU ARE IN THE SAME BOAT WITH, “Nobody’s Fool.” BOTH OF YOU DO NOT HAVE READING AND COMPREHENSION SKILLS. MAYBE, SOMEONE WILL EXPLAIN TO YOU WHAT I SAID TO “Jakki.”

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        THANK YOU, “Chester.” THERE ARE MANY CHURCHES IN MEMPHIS WHICH HAVE NO OUTREACH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. THE ONLY EXCEPTIONS ARE THANKSGIVING AND YULETIDE.

      • daniel

        Atheists do have options sir. They can and should get together and sacrifice enough to erect hospitals and other outreaches free of charge. It would be in that way that atheists could show their love of mankind to the world.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Chester, the church or a synagogue is a family and a family has its’ first responsibility to its’ own members. End of argument.

      • George Washington the CONSTITUTIONALIST

        I am a poor atheist that obviously needs help*gasp*
        PLEASE save my wretched soul for NOT following the sheep to the slaughter!
        GET A LIFE!
        Talk about meddling on another’s affairs; religious zealots ALWAYS feel they need to meddle. I ‘need’ to be saved…I ‘need’ to believe…I ‘need’ to love Jesus…I need to this, I need to that…GET OVER IT, I do NOT need ANY of your garbage and live just fine without all the religious HATRED that is spewed by those ‘believers’ of one faith or another.
        If religious zealots did NOT meddle, then WHY do they always knock on my door and try to force their beliefs on me?
        I don’t need this, and I damn sure do NOT go door to door trying to force MY beliefs on yu or anybody else, so WHO is doing the meddling and pushing here??

      • Opal the Gem

        “If religious zealots did NOT meddle, then WHY do they always knock on my door and try to force their beliefs on me?”

        As long as you are not forced by law to hold the door open and listen to them nothing is being forced on you. You even have the option of not answering the door if you do not know who is knocking.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        THANK YOU, “George Washington the CONSTITUTIONALIST!”

    • Chester

      Jakki, in this case the “complainer” has a nice home of his or her own, just doesn’t like the constant changing of lighted signs visible to him in his residence. At least that is what I got from the story. Now the county has informed the complainer that he will have to live with the occasional changing of that sign, even if it is more than twice a day.

      • Dennis48e

        I wonder how many times he has complained about the local high school sign posting three or more messages a day. I would guess none because it is the high school not a church.

  • tom

    our people in any government can change with you voting what you want,don,t vote,don,t complain,if you vote wrong don,t vote for them again or it will get worse.please if you want to change your taxes then vote in a referendom.we changed our taxes in indiana permently.wow people if we can do it you can too.good luck.

  • Jon

    Ordinances prohibiting flashing message signs are not uncommon. Flashing signs with multiple messages and such near highways distract drivers and kill people. So saving lives is stupid? At the same time, the officials need to have a mechanism in place for variances so signs which do not present a safety threat or are only utilized for emergences can get exceptions. It sounds like this happened here.

    • Old Henry

      Jon:

      How about those electonic speed signs that tell each driver how fast he / she is going? Even on a quiet road I am sure they would change many times per minute, let alone in 24 hours.

      Whoops, wait a minute. Those are rules for every one else.

      • Flashy

        good point Henry…good point.

  • Tag

    I must admit that a flashing neon sign on church property IS a bit odd – sounds pretty commercial to me – oh well, it is what it is!

    • David

      Tag, why is any more odd than any other business having them. At least this sign gives messages for the people instead of at the people

      • Flashy

        Exactly….as any other business. Safety and neighborhood aesthetics. Which all business complies with.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Flashy keeping your messages rather short lately. Stuffed your foot in your mouth too often and you did it again.
        What does safety and aesthetics have to do with this particular church sign? It was not a slap together sign but had to be assembled in the factory and on site. It is displayed on church property and it means it was paid for by the members of that church. Signs are used all over the US by churches and businesses.
        The sign bothered the county personage because of the name of that church and the possibility that it taught the Bible.

      • Chester

        Nadzieja Batki, if the complainer had been concerned about the message that sign conveyed, the complaint would have been made when it went up, NOT waiting until it changed more than the code allowed twice a day. Sounds a lot like the complainer really does not LIKE lighted signs of any sort, as the complaint mentioned “Flashy, Vegas style signs.” Read all that is there, even if it isn’t all the story, and you will gain a lot more insight into the people involved. My odds are on the complainer being some ninety year old lady who does not like much change of any sort now/

      • Flashy

        Nad…nothing to state but the obvious. it was a sign which fell under the laws and regulations of the ordinances. it violated the ordinance and was complained about. nothing to do with it being a church except it makes a good rant for the whacked who attempt to make it some religious persecution.

        The regs are there for safety and aesthetic reasons…not to prohibit content of message.

        Would you be upset if it had been a mosque? only if the mosque had fought it..then you’d be slamming the mosque for having the effrontery of trying to have an exception made for them.

        the church had a sign that fell within the ordinance for safety and neighborhood aesthetics. The regs were enforced. Why the big deal?

      • Opal the Gem

        “Nad…nothing to state but the obvious. it was a sign which fell under the laws and regulations of the ordinances.”

        If it had been the local high school sign changing three or more times a day I doubt very much it would have been complained about.

      • Flashy

        If it were a high school sign, it wouldn’t have made any news and singled out by folks wanting to create a “persecution of christian” false hype and theme….

      • Opal the Gem

        “If it were a high school sign, it wouldn’t have made any news…’

        You are right Flushy it would not have made the news because no one would have complained about the high school sign so there would be no news to report.

    • George Washington the CONSTITUTIONALIST

      Uhh….It IS an L.E.D sign and NOT a neon sign…
      Or is this an L.E.D neon sign I am unaware of?
      Never knew L.E.D’s have NEON as a display driver instead of Gallium Arsenide..
      But who am I, just an atheist electrical engineer…*ROFLMAO*
      Churches hate me as I do not fill the begging plate with cash.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        TELL ‘EM ABOUT IT!, “…CONSTITUTIONALIST!”

  • http://gillysrooms.blogspot.com GILLYSROOMS IN AUSTRALIA

    I thought you had freedom of religion in your Constitution, and this issue shows how ridiculous some of your law makers have become, but i hope these ideas have not come to Australia. At least the County has woken up in time before the Officer who contacted the Church was shown some common sense before it got out of hand

    And what is wrong with a church using modern techniques to send the message to try increase their flock? Im surprised the Pope not using Apps on mobile phones…lol

    • Old Henry

      GILLY:

      Our politicians have become ridiculous only because our voters have become even more so.

  • lisa

    Nothing better to do…if it’s a small town then it can also detract from town. Maybe his parishioners could tell folks of prayer meetings instead.

  • Alan

    My family has a sign company which installs electronic message changers[EMC] like the sign this church owns; It probably cost well over $20,000.00. In the town I live in a lady left money to her church at her death and the church bought an EMC to add to their sign to provide communication to the public. After the church had the EMC installed they found out they can change it only once every 6 hours. The sign company who sold the EMC to them should have warned them of the regulation. The church fought it and the municipality told them only public places can have changing EMC’s. Yet right down the street St Petersburg College and Brighthouse Baseball Stadium have EMC’S going constantly. Whoever made up the regulation doesn’t understand the value of an EMC. In Orlando around the theme parks many businesses have EMC’s and are much more of a help than a hindrance.

  • Mike

    If anything is in need of change it’s the law that was created by mindless bureaucrats as well as a change of the bureaucrats themselves!

  • s mart pants

    Welcome to the USSR OF Ff . Co

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.sherman.589 Thomas Sherman

      The only thing good to come out of Fairfax is the National Firearms Museum & the Church!!

  • http://yahoo marc lizotte

    I agree with Flashy as one reading a changing sign WHILE driving is unsafe. To me it is almost as bad as reading a message on your cell. If your done reading one message and another follows right after its human nature to want to read that next one thus keeping your attention off the road and your surroundings for a longer period of time. It can be a distraction and could lead to an accident. No problem with the message or the messenger though.

    • Doug

      Marc if you don’t have the common sense or ability to read something while driving then please stop driving.

      Over 90% of people driving have no business driving. If you look how people drive today, it’s a direct connection to what goes on in our country today! Which is all the stupid and dumb ass people who would have died because of their stupidty are alive and passing on there genes due to the government making all sorts of rules so that stupid people can’t kill themselve doing stupid things! And most of thoes stupid people work for the various government agenicies in your town, county, state and federal government!

      • Chester

        Doug, ready to turn in YOUR license yet? Sounds like you are one of those idiots who thinks it is safe to text and drive, too.

      • Old Henry

        Doug:

        Those stats would also apply to the voters in the country.

      • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

        “Doug,” GREAT COMMENTS.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      You do obey traffic signs and lights and road messages and that takes no more than common brain acuity? So are you admitting that you are very stupid and should not be behind the wheel of a car.

    • Old Henry

      Well marc, that is the fault of the errant driver, not the sign. When driving – drive.

    • daniel

      Sorry but unlike you I choose to watch the road and the other drivers reading the signs. That avoids a lot of accidents and makes the roads safer for all. If you and others feel the uncontrollable need to read the signs please pull safely over to the side of the road and read to your hearts content.

  • Sirian

    Signs of this type are quite common here in Oklahoma and they are changing from message to message all the time. Fairfax County bureaucrats would have a very short life span here.

    • Old Henry

      LMAO!

  • Smithkowitz

    Who makes these ridiculous laws? Do we have nothing more important to do than go around irritating people whose only intent is to help others in need?

  • Peter

    I agree the attitude of the County is petty and lacking in common sense, however I challenge all of us to consider why it is so.
    For many years now, America has been leading the world in many things, not the least of which is litigation.
    “I’m gonna sue you for that!” “I don’t agree you have the right to do that!” “I’ll see you in court for that!”
    And because we have this wonderful precedent-based legal system, any precedent can be expanded upon by a reasonably clever legal eagle, which then creates another precedent and so on.
    Millions of legal precedents over many many years have made the USA and all other countries which rely on the same legal systems, (UK, Australia and New Zealand), what they are today, countries lacking in personal freedoms because too many of us took too many of us to court over petty matters, creating precedents which have ultimately served only the elites, by hog-tying ‘we the people’ down to an amazingly complex set of rules we now find we can’t escape from, and which limit our freedoms to an amazing level!
    And it has been mostly of our own doing.
    Some has been from organized large lobby groups of self-interested people, but most has been that constant small chipping-away process, similar to the wearing down of granite by the constant beating of the ocean waves.
    We have only ourselves to blame for this mess.
    Here endeth the lesson :-)

  • Smithkowitz

    And how did we escape such freedom defeating laws in the past? It shall happen once again, the question is when?

    • Old Henry

      I am afraid Smithkowitz very, very soon.

  • T. Jefferson

    From the home of the Navy Federal Credit Union, you would think Vienna Va. would be more tolerant. This church needs to stand by their guns and never surrender their right to free speech.

    • Chester

      Mr. Jefferson, please read the followup to the article. Seems the county revised its interpretation of its own code and the church can change the sigh as often as they think necessary now, The author did leave that bit out, but doubt he had that information when he wrote it up.

  • Harold

    It shows us how much of our fredoms we have lost, not only nationally but even at county and city level. Wake up America our freedoms are being attacked from every direction and the only way to stop this malady is to hire a lawyer and fight back. Who can afford this?

    • George Washington the CONSTITUTIONALIST

      Instead of bottom feeding lawyers, use force, the ONLY thing certain people understand!
      I wonder how many rights and freedoms will have to be LOST before the people fight back with force?
      The care and feeding of freedom requires vigilant watchdogs ready to take up arms to fight tyrants wherever they rear their ugly heads.

      • Peter

        What’s the difference between a lawyer and a stingray?
        One is a bottom sucking scavenger…the other is a fish. :-)

  • uvuvuv

    isn’t it odd that traffic signals change their messages every two minutes.

  • Humpty Dumpty

    I used to live in Fairfax County, Virginia. That’s Fairfax County!

  • Old504Troop

    On January 10, 1963, the House of Representative and later the Senate began reviewing a document entitled “Communist Goals for Taking Over America.” It contained an agenda of 45 separate issues that, in hindsight was quite shocking back then and more shocking when you redalize how many have been accomplished today. Here, in part, are some key points listed in that document:
    25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
    26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
    27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
    28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
    31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.”

    • SJJolly

      The answer to the “Communist Goals” being a religious fascism in America? One so strict and uptight as to make the Afghanistan Taliban look like a bunch of libertines? Nevermind that the same list could be applied to most all nations throughout history; just substitute the local out-of-favor group for Communist.

  • Shirley

    Ok, I have a question, what does it really matter if the LED sign changes, 3, 4, 5, or 20 times in 1 hour, 5 hours or 24 hours…Better yet? What if someone with a sign stood for 15 min’s then another person with a different sign, etc. Would they be breaking the County Code?
    Also to the Poor Athiest aka:CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON…If you do not care to be helped by anything or anyone, connected to a church, I suggest you try YOUR LOCAL Social Servies DEPT….

    • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

      “Shirley,”

      FIRST, I AM NOT POOR [AT ALL!].

      “Shirley,” SOCIAL SERVICES IN MEMPHIS DO NOT HELP THE POOR PAY THEIR BILLS – ONLY CHURCHES.

  • Peter 10-nov-1775

    Here we go again- the numerically fewer opinions get to dictate to the numerically superior opinions. It is the people without skin in the game that want to steer how my money is spent, or what decorations are allowed on public property. !000 people won’t object to , say, a Christmas or Channukah display-but one lame, self important blowhard complains and it is that fool’s wishes that are respected.

  • http://www.arimatheachuch.com Fr. Jim Rosselli

    No “jumping the gun,” here. These thgs should be as widely, and loudly, reported as possible.

  • Dave67

    This is obviously the work of Obama…LOL

    Vienna, I lived in this area, so I know what I am talking about do not let ANYONE McDonalds, Burger King noboy have revolving signs… They believe it is a safety issue while driving…

    Is it a slow news day and wacked out right wing religious kook world today?

    • Dave67

      This is obviously the work of Obama…LOL

      Vienna, I lived in this area, so I know what I am talking about. They do not let ANYONE… McDonalds, Burger King nobody have revolving signs… They believe it is a safety issue while driving…

      Is it a slow news day and wacked out right wing religious kook world today?
      ——————–

      Sometimes I don’t like my iPhone.

  • http://gravatar.com/bychoosing Jay

    The contrast between “traditional” atheists and neo-atheists is that the former merely studied philosophy and rarely pushed their views on anyone, whereas the modern neo-atheists are essentially anti-religious activists.

    Neo-atheism is the acerbic, shrill polemics of writers like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens who disparage and refute the truth of the Bible. Unlike their predecessors, they exhibit both a ferocity and antagonism to religion which borders on the manic and seeks to demonize the traditionalist and fundamentalist strains of Christianity and creationism.

    It also promulgates an excessive zeal for evolution or Darwinism. This is exemplifed by Dawkins being known as Darwin’s rottweiller.

  • Charles

    Silly church members. Haven’t they realized yet that only liberals have the right of free speech? It’s in the Constitution, isn’t it?

    • Dave67

      Yes, that is what this has to do with… religion…

      Are all conservatives this loony? McDonalds can’t have signs like this either… Big Mac prejudice?

      When you boys and girls on the wacky right don’t have anything legitimate to be angry about, you just make stuff up don’t you?

      • Karolyn

        Yeah, like the lie posted by Gunner below about God not being mentioned at the DNC.

        • http://www.arimatheachuch.com Fr. Jim Rosselli

          “God” was mentioned at the DNC in the form of the radical Islamist opening to it. God was suggested at the DNC by the polite, generic non-prayer the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Detroit offered, omitting the Name of Jesus despite his clerics and Cross, doing his civic duty at a civic event to which he was invited. His Eminence was a signatory to the unanimous protest the Orthodox bishops delivered against Mr. Obama’s HHS Mandate.

          The God Who Is, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is, visible and invisible, Who holds in His Hand the stars and the planets and Who maintains them in their places;
          Whose Word is the Truth and is unalterable even by the most inaccessibly vain; Who has created everyone who lives, and knows us even from the womb, Who is called Father, Son and Holy Spirit and Lord of all, is not welcome in the circles of the Democrat Party, these days. for it is an organization implacably devoted to defying Him: from its celebration of the murder of pre-born babies to its ecstatic perversions to its corruption of knowedge and philosophy in a decadent “education” establishment, the Democrat Party lives for abomination and celebrates despair.

          The screams of unborn babies scalded to death or torn apart in the womb–and of newborn babies left to starve in closets before being thrown in the trash–are music to the ears of this party, who believe with their ecologists that humans are nothing but a virus on the earth, and disposable.

          You cannot belong to God and wallow in abomination. If you want to belong to Him, stop playing make-believe and come out from among them.

          Fr. James Rosselli
          Orthodox priest

      • Peter

        Jim, you are a hero of the faith! Well said!

  • Karl

    Left wing lunatics unite! Shut down all freedoms!

  • http://gravatar.com/bychoosing Jay

    Liberal logic-a must read. Know who you argue with.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Liberal_logic

    • Peter

      It’s the shortest book in the world :-)

  • Dave67

    LOL… religious oppression? Really???

    LOL OMG… Just when I thought ring wing nuttiness could not get worse… They take it to the next level.

  • gunner689AI

    One more bit of evidence that the war from the Godless is ramping up. Todays news stated that the term God will not be used at the Demorat Convention. Anyone surprized ?

    • Karolyn

      WRONG! Just goes to show the lies you believe when they fit in with your agenda. I watched the opening prayer given by an Orthodox bishop, and he most certainly did mention God!!!!!

      • swampfox

        but WHAT ‘god’ are they praying to?
        did they mention JESUS??????
        my god has a name and he is the I Am,Jesus,lord of lords..
        my father is adonai,YHWH you know,THE lord,
        not some nameless god,Satan is the god of this world (for now),so who or what ‘god’ is being referred to,hmm?
        I heard amazing grace being sung at the republican convention,did the democraps do simular?
        no…..we all know what god they serve,and it is NOT the ONE I know,
        adonai does NOT condone homosexuals in.any shape form or fashion,adonai does NOT condone abortions(murder,no different than outright Nazi genocide),adonai does NOT condone rebellion of any kind,my GOD has a name,adonai,Jesus,JAH or YAH,the i am,
        Jesus,Jesus,Jesus,king of kings and LORD of lords!
        C’Mon,I know you libs and demorats know the name,you just don’t KNOW him,just OF him,but you will,
        EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW and EVERY tongue shall confess that he IS LORD.
        I know who I pray to,do you?

    • Dave67

      Lets see… Does everyone in this country believe in god the same way if at all? No…

      Last time I checked, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 2 were all “good Christians” and they played a huge part in tanking the economy.

      Again, can we please have a real issue and not BS like this?

  • Smithkowitz

    There is a legitimate issue with safety and these blindingly bright billboards and those with constantly changing images.

  • Bimbam

    We are being ruled by the “fatherless”. The Bible says women and children shall lead us and children will be our oppressors. I call them punks but you can call them what you want.

    Please notice “women and children” describe families with no fathers or absentee father ship.

    People like oBama, Clinton were all fatherless kids that grew up to by punks. And now with chips on their shoulders they are all getting back at us.

    If I had my way I would turn both of them on my knees and give them a good whipp’n.

  • jim

    It really is amazing how such a little article can stir up so many comments. It gets to the point where some stir away from the topic of the article only to comment on others comments! Then it’s just a bunch of little kids using words instead of sticks and stones! I have no doubt some of you will take offense at what I typed here….and will try and make your point by typing some retort to my comment! But, if you do, you will be proving my point emphatically!

  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    IT IS NOT MY GOAL TO INSULT ANYONE ON THIS SITE. BUT, THERE IS A COMMON PROBLEM WHICH SEEMS TO EXIST IN ALMOST EVERY THREAD.

    WHEN A Personal Libertarian READS AN ARTICLE AND DESIRES TO MAKE A COMMENT, HE/SHE IS COMMENTING ON WHATEVER ASPECT OF THE ARTICLE “CAUGHT HER/HIS EYE.”

    FOR EXAMPLE, IN THIS THREAD, ONLY ONE SENTENCE IN THE ENTIRE ARTICLE “CAUGHT MY EYE” – THE REFERENCE TO PEOPLE COMING OUT OF THE HEAT INTO AIR-CONDITIONING. SO, I COMMENTED ON THAT ASPECT. I DO NOT CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHURCH SIGN.

    HERE IS THE “INSULTING” PART. IT SEEMS MANY Personal Libertarians DO NOT KNOW HOW TO COMPREHEND OTHER’S COMMENTS. Personal Libertarians OFTEN ASK QUESTIONS OF OTHERS WITH THE ASSUMPTION THE OTHER PERSON CARED ABOUT THE SAME ASPECT OF THE STORY. A FEW MINUTES AGO – IN ANOTHER THREAD – A Personal Libertarian CRITICIZED A REPLIER FOR “PUTTING WORDS IN THE MOUTH” OF THE ORIGINAL COMMENTER. THE PROBLEM WAS, THE PERSON BEING CRITICAL DID NOT COMPREHEND THE REPLIER’S COMMENTS.

    WE ARE INDIVIDUALS. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE SAME THINGS. PEOPLE COMPREHEND THINGS BASED ON A COMBINATION OF LIFE EXPERIENCE AND AN ELEMENT OF FORMAL KNOWLEDGE.

  • brazzos

    Now who’s showing disrespect for the rules of law in this country. As long as it is about religion, you can say and do anything you want without repercusion. Your being the hypocrit and the lawbreaker, now.

    • http://www.arimatheachurch.com Fr. Jim Rosselli

      No, Mr. Brazzos, actually not. Freedom of religion, speech, assembly and rhe press are the four fundamental freedoms in our code of law. They are Constitutionally protected rights, and it is illegal to write laws that infringe them.

      A law that says, “You can’t practice your religion,” is an illegal law. A law that says, “You aen’t allowed to offer criticisms or publish facts,” is an illegal law. A law that says one cannot form associations with other like-minded individuals is an illegal law. We are having this discussion because we live in a cuntry whose government does not have the power to prevent it.

      When we excuse the targeted enforcement of law against one of these fundamental freedoms,we open the door to the abuse of the rest of them. Where, for instance, would the freedom to have this dicussion be, if the Obama administation had been successful in seizing control of the Internet? Where would the public airwaves be if, next year when the government changes, Mr. Obama has been successful,in seizing control of them trough the “Fairness” Doctribne? Would you ike the solrt of enforcement that would have been brought about by a conservative government?

      We live under a Constitution, not a king. That Constitution makes us, you and me, Mr. Brazzos, the king. It makes the government our servants, not our masters, responsible to the rule of law and not to some would-be ruler’s “vision.”

      That’s what has made us the greatest nation in the world. Playing around with it has
      nearly destroyed us.

  • TerriG

    The church does not have the right to circumvent the law simply because they want to. They have to follow the law just as everyone else has to. IMO, they need to quit whining.

    • http://www.arimatheachurch.com Fr. Jim Rosselli

      What a silly thing to say! It isn’t a matter of the church circumventing the law, it’s a matter of local lawmakers circumventing the law. There is a Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion. Municipal politicians do not have thew right to circumvent this, “simply because they want to.”

      Don;t permit your personal contempt for God to blind you to what happens when the lawmakers assume control over, rather than continue in service to, the law.

      Be careful about what you advocate, Ms. G. One day you may find yourself on the receving end of the old warning that begins, “First they came for the…”

  • Pingback: The Sunday ‘Report;’ 09/09/2012 [Part 3] « Justincase505's Blog

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