Southern Baptists are Done with the Confederate Flag

NPR buries the lede on this one, preferring to talk about the Southern Baptist Convention's support for resettling Syrian refugees. But of course the Southern Baptist Convention supports that: there are massive Federal contracts available for churches who will help settle Syrian refugees. There is just too much money available for any mainstream denomination not to want to play. Even those without the theological justifications that Christianity offers would be inclined to get in on the payday.

No, that's to be expected. What's really surprising is this:
Southern Baptists also weighed in on another emotional issue at the intersection of race, religion and violence. Almost exactly a year after the murder of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., set off a debate over the Confederate battle flag, the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution calling on "our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity with the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters."...

During the debate over the wording of the resolution, Pastor James Merritt of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., delivered an emotional speech calling for the removal of language stating that for some, the display of the flag serves not as a "symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism, but as a memorial to loved ones who died in the Civil War."

"I am the great-great-grandson of two men who fought in the Confederate army," Merritt told the convention. "I cannot undo what they fought for. But they cannot undo what I wish they had done, and what I pray we will do today."

The language was stricken. Baptist Press reported that the resolution passed by a "wide margin."
The shooting in Charleston last year changed people's hearts. One wonders if the Orlando shooting will have a similar effect. And, if so, on whom.


Ymar Sakar said...

No wonder I've been seeing more Muslims around here.

What are the Baptists going to do when the holy/civil war comes here though? Even without the Confed Flag, they will have to choose sides, and I wonder which one will it be.

When federal goons and Islamic imams order that the Baptists provide intel and database info about their neighbors in Georgia, will they comply or resist?

I am far less concerned about what their ancestors did and what lies they bought at the feet of the Democrat religious and political leadership, then at what they will do now and in the future when war comes to their doors.

I doubt humans are capable of learning from the mistakes of their ancestors so easily.

I recall that other government paid institutions have gone off the Righteous Path, such as teaching institutions ordered to Obey their Orders. Once they accepted the cash of the gov mafia, they were under certain commands now, principalities and powers.

Perhaps the Baptists were the same when Democrat land lords controlled almost everything in the economy. A normal Christian lineage would have had serious reservations about generational slavery and eugenics.

james said...

The Southern Baptists split from the Northern ones over slavery.

I don't know the whole history of how they accommodated, but from what little I know it looks like some, at least, compromised in order to get the gospel to the slaves in the first place. Early on, in some places it was forbidden to preach to slaves.

I'm guessing the rest was culture ratchets--at best. We see exactly analogous things today.

Grim said...

It was forbidden to preach to the slaves because the process of forbidding slavery worked like this:

1) You shall not enslave Christians.
2) You shall not enslave anyone. (~1200 AD in Western Europe only.)
3) You shall only enslave non-Christian blacks.
4) You shall only enslave blacks.
5) You shall not enslave anyone.

The initial wedge, both for banning slavery and for re-introducing it, was the idea that Christian brotherhood meant something so big that you couldn't enslave a brother. The Southern Baptists are getting back to that.

And good for them, pace Ymar. That's the whole reason I've never flown the Confederate flag, even though for me it has mostly positive associations. I don't fly it because of my black brothers, both Christian brothers and (chiefly) brothers in arms. I think of how it would make some of those guys I knew in Iraq feel, guys I ate with and worked with eighteen hours a day every day, and I can't do it. But even before then, I never could just from thinking about how they'd feel to see it on me.

And yet it always makes me happy to see the thing when someone else flies it -- it is in my heart foremost a symbol of home. I just know it isn't that for everyone.

Ymar Sakar said...

Whatever was good with the war, was done by war heroes like Lee and Bedford. It wasn't done by a flag, God doesn't seem to care about what flag you fly, and the flag represents the Confederacy, which started a war to spread slavery and then exempted all the slave lords from fighting.

If they want to respect their ancestors, the flag is not where they owe their loyalties to.

If they had changed without government pressure, it would be an act of conscience. Changing by submitting to the world at large and the status quo powers, is not a trait of Christ.

I do not recognize the entire Confederacy or even its concept, as being good or righteous. Lincoln, say what they will of him, never did treat Lee or Bedford as anything except with honor. It was the Southern slave lords who persecuted the South's own war heroes, and what did the Southerners do about it...