As a response to my previous entry, comments named religion as the primary contributor to the republican stronghold of the South. Of particular interest is the hypocrisy produced between what is preached and what is truly practiced here. Take, for example, an old tradition coming alive in one Georgia county this week.
Georgia county officials passed a law allowing the Confederate flag to fly high year-round in what was originally supposed to be a once-per-year symbolic flag waving to honor the dead of the "Confederate War."
First, I'll explain why I take issue with the law's original implications, and take even more issue with the law passed just this week. Second, I'll explain why evangelicals are ignoring their role in this debate.
It is still a problem to me, living in the south, that the Civil War is referred to as the Confederate War in legislation in the year 2011. The usage of this label offers a position, not just a historical timeframe. I call bs on any group who says otherwise and simply ask you to follow the special-interest footprints that have led back to laws like these passed; you will find the Sons of Confederate Veterans, aka, the KKK. The same year that Georgia's public universities celebrate 50 years of desegregation, the KKK celebrates a huge legislative victory in Dodge County allowing the confederate flag to fly.
Of course, the county expects a lawsuit from the NAACP-- but to me, it's outrageous that a critical response is not expected of another group, the evangelicals and christian communities. I am reminded of a quote in which Gandhi captures the problems in Western Christianity, problems I see far too often play out in Georgia's politics:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."In the face of so clearly a racist and hatred-filled law, the christian community remains mum. The truth is, evangelicals are much more comfortable fighting for the rights of the white members of their community, and ignore one of the first and most poignant questions posed in Genesis by Cain to God: Am I my brother's keeper?
We know what happens next. Cain chooses not to be and kills his brother, Abel. This mirrors what is happening on the political grounds in Georgia right now, whether it is immigration policy, cuts to public education and higher education, or the flag racism issue. White Christians in Georgia and the south have been asked the same question, and if I'm to believe that they will be their brother's keepers, southern christians must start walking the walk.
Happy Easter to all.