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Reality Check: God Bless America Offensive?
A Buncombe County library has returned a "God Bless America" sign to a display created by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The sign in the display at the Fairview Library was removed in September when the Constitution Week display went up because staff felt it might be in violation of library policy and could be offensive to some.
A regular library visitor noticed the sign was missing and complained. The visitor also complained to a national organization called Alliance Defending Freedom. It's legal counsel sent a letter to the library stating what they were doing was, "illegal" and a violation of the very constitution the display honors.
The county's legal staff reviewed the letter and agreed to have staff return the sign. The Director of Libraries says their policy which gave them sole discretion over what went into their public displays was outdated because of more recent legal cases regarding freedom of speech. The policy is now being re-written. The Alliance says removing the sign was censorship and a violation of free speech and they appreciate the library quickly realizing their error and correcting it.
By Frank Fraboni
Follow Frank on Twitter @Frabonz