Southern Baptists in Mississippi Refuse to Support Ballot Initiative that Promotes the State’s Confederate Heritage and Calls for it to be Defined as a ‘Christian State’

The U.S. flag shares space with that of the Confederates at the Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi, September 7, 2005. (PHOTO: REUTERS/ROBERT GALBRAITH)
The U.S. flag shares space with that of the Confederates at the Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi, September 7, 2005. (PHOTO: REUTERS/ROBERT GALBRAITH)

The largest religious body in the state of Mississippi and the American Family Association are not supporting a controversial ballot initiative that promotes government support for Confederate heritage and Christianity.

The Mississippi Baptist Convention, which has an estimated 663,000 members belonging to approximately 2,100 Southern Baptist congregations statewide, has not endorsed the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign’s recently launched ballot initiative.

William Perkins, spokesman for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and editor of The Baptist Record, told The Christian Post that his organization “has not been consulted and has no opinion on Initiative 46.”

“Some of the items in the initiative may have merit, but we have not conducted an in-depth study and currently have no plans to do so,” said Perkins. “It appears many of the items promulgated in the initiative are not issues in which the convention board would become involved.”

Perkins also told CP that he doubted the success of the ballot initiative, since the “design of the initiative process in Mississippi makes it extremely difficult to succeed in placing an issue — any issue — on a statewide ballot.”

“If the initiative should pass, there would be the inevitable court battles. It goes without saying that the supporters of Initiative 46 have a lot of hard work in front of them,” said Perkins.

Recently the pro-Confederate organization Magnolia State Heritage Campaign launched a ballot initiative titled Initiative 46.

According to its provisions, if passed Initiative 46 would amend the state constitution to “restrict or define” various parts of Mississippi’s “heritage, religion, official language, symbols, universities, and state boundaries.”

Also called the “Heritage Initiative,” Initiative 46 has 12 provisions, including a call for Mississippi to be classified as “a principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state,” English as the official language, designating April as “Confederate Heritage Month,” and prominently displaying the Confederate Battle Flag on the state capitol grounds.

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SOURCE: MICHAEL GRYBOSKI
CHRISTIAN POST

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