BILL CRAWFORD: State flag conflict: morality vs. heritage

Saying such a move “will make a strong, moral statement” acknowledging “our current state flag is divisive and hurtful to a significant number of our fellow Mississippians,” Taggart joins Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn in taking a stand against the controversial flag.

“Changing the flag is the right thing to do,” Speaker Gunn said last year. “We can deal with it now or leave for future generations to address. I believe our state needs to address it now.”

Over a decade ago, another longtime Republican leader spoke out strongly on racism, retired Federal Judge Charles Pickering.

All active Baptists, these three leaders align with the moral approach against racism pursued by the Southern Baptist Convention. In its historic resolution on racial reconciliation adopted in 1995, Convention members resolved to “commit ourselves to be doers of the Word (James 1:22) by pursuing racial reconciliation in all our relationships, especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 John 2:6), to the end that our light would so shine before others, that they may see (our) good works and glorify (our) Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”

Last year, the Convention encouraged members to stop displaying the Confederate flag.