A local pastor is battling a Colorado city over his church’s Jesus-related ads on public transit benches.
The controversy in Colorado Springs involves ads on about 20 bus stop benches that say “Jesus is Lord.”
Pastor Lawson Perdue of Charis Christian Center said he was told that the ads will no longer be allowed if they refer to Jesus, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Friday.
According to Perdue, the city transit agency told him that if the name Jesus was allowed, hate messages would have to be allowed, too, the paper reported.
“Don’t we have the freedom of speech in the United States?” Perdue told the paper. “Isn’t that a constitutional right?”
Perdue found out his contract with the city wasn’t being renewed a few days ago, KRDO-TV reported.
A city spokeswoman told the station the transit agency was reviewing its advertising policy as it relates to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
The review began after a complaint about one of the Jesus ads, the station reported.
Purdue has been advertising on city benches for the past three years, according to KKTV.
Purdue is now threatening the city with a free speech lawsuit.