Group wrong to use religion to lobby for flag

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Weeks and weeks after a group of state religious leaders pledged its support for a new Mississippi state flag, another group of pulpit pundits has publicly announced its opinion.

However, this time the group of conservative ministers are supporting the current flag – which contains a Confederate symbol.

The issue will be decided April 17, by voters who will choose between the current design and a new design proposed by a governor-appointed committee.

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We believe the ministers certainly have the right to their opinion, however two things about their argument bothers us.

First, nearly half of the 55 ministers who make up the group aren’t from Mississippi. Since the issue of the flag has everything to do with the state’s image, it should be decided by its own residents&160;- not a bunch of outsiders – whether they are ministers or not.

Second, the rhetoric being tossed into the air at the ministerial group’s press conference was meant to wrap religious loyalty around the present flag.

&uot;God’s people have for too long allowed the liberals and the heathens to determine the course and direction of our state and of our nation.&uot;

How in the world does changing the flag – a mere symbol of our state – in any way tread on God’s people?

As we remember the Bible says: &uot;Judge not that ye be not judged.&uot;

Since when did wanting to change a secular, government symbol equate to being a heathen out to do no good and ruin the moral fabric of our society?

Unfortunately some people are willing to use religion to bolster support for whatever cause they’re backing. We hope citizens can see through this charade when election day rolls around.