After Orlando Terrorist Attack, City Cracks Down on 'God' Banner

"We are very patriotic here at the café–all year round–not just this time of year.
"We are very patriotic here at the café–all year round–not just this time of year. (Facebook/5 Mile Cafe)

Whenever folks in Penfield, New York get a hankering for pancakes for lunch—they head over to the 5 Mile Café.

The family-owned restaurant is known in those parts for serving breakfast any time of the day. (Order their homemade corned beef hash.)

They are also known for their patriotism.

"We are very patriotic here at the café—all year round—not just this time of year," owner Jennifer Aquino told me. "We have American flags and patriotic things around the café."

So Jennifer decided to ask the town for a permit so she could post a "God Bless America" banner on the front of her restaurant.  She wanted to display the banner from Memorial Day through Independence Day.

There was just one significant problem.

Penfield has a strict banner allotment policy. Businesses are only allowed to post banners for a total of three weeks out of the year. And Jennifer had used up her allotment.

"At one point we had banners all over the town and the town just looked trashy and our residents said enough's enough," town supervisor Tony LaFountain told WHEC.

Jennifer's request was denied.

Instead of posting the banner outside the restaurant, she posted it inside. And that was that—until the Orlando terrorist attack.

"I decided on my way to work that I was going to put it up regardless of the town telling me I couldn't," she said. "So I put it up."

A bit later that day she received an email from the town telling her to remove the banner. They warned her that she could face a possible fine for violating the ordinance.

"I didn't take it down," Jennifer told me. "And I was willing to pay the fine."

"The [message on the banner] means a lot to me—especially during this time in our country with all that's going on with terrorism," she said. "I just can't believe that I can't have this banner up and be supported by the town board."

You would think most folks would appreciate the sentiment behind "God Bless America." Lord knows we need it.

But rules are rules, and the town board does not seem interested in accommodating Jennifer's patriotic banner.

"The fact that I'm being asked to take it down is wrong," she said. "It's against my First Amendment rights. People need to open up their eyes. If we start letting them tell us we can't do this—it's going to get worse."

Lots of folks seem to agree with Jennifer's sentiment. Hundreds and hundreds of supporters have posted messages on the café's Facebook page and several customers have dropped off money—to help pay for any fines.

Jennifer tells me she never imagined there would be a day like this in America.

"I have lots of veterans in my family," she said. "I have a cousin who fought in Desert Storm so that we could have the freedom to hang a banner that says, 'God bless America.'"

And yet we live in a nation where you can be punished for simply being patriotic.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective