Moore: The Confederate Battle Flag

“I think the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol that causes a great deal of division and reminds us of a really hurtful legacy and past… I think there are some Southerners, black and white, who feel as though the rest of the country looks down on the South as uneducated and backward. And for some people, that was a symbol of defiance against that.”

“I heard someone say that concern over the [Confederate] Flag is sensitivity to micro-aggressions, to which my response is to say that kidnapping and enslaving people, breaking up families, terrorizing families, if that’s not a macro-aggression, I don’t know what is.”

“I think we can remember our past without valorizing parts of our past that we ought to see as wrong.”

“The Apostle Paul says that we should not prize our freedom to the point of destroying those for whom Christ died. We should instead “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom. 14:19). The Confederate Battle Flag may mean many things, but with those things it represents a defiance against abolition and against civil rights. The symbol was used to enslave the little brothers and sisters of Jesus, to bomb little girls in church buildings, to terrorize preachers of the gospel and their families with burning crosses on front lawns by night.

That sort of symbolism is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ. The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. White Christians, let’s listen to our African-American brothers and sisters. Let’s care not just about our own history, but also about our shared history with them. In Christ, we were slaves in Egypt—and as part of the Body of Christ we were all slaves too in Mississippi. Let’s watch our hearts, pray for wisdom, work for justice, love our neighbors. Let’s take down that flag.”

-Russell Moore

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