To Pastors and Churches,
Seeing that a coalition has been formed, and it demands and concerns have been made known to the general public and to us the “Property owners and supporters of these displays,” as you stated. Honor and mutual respect demand that a response and an explanation of said response be provided to you.
In your letter you stated that, “Regardless of the intention of [us] who have chosen to display this symbol, over time for many people it has become inextricably linked to a shameful history of racism, segregation, and intimidation of minority groups” and although you, “do not know the intention or the thoughts of [us] the property owners and supporters of these displays” you ask that we remove them.
Ladies and Gentleman of the Coalition, for the following reasons we will not remove the banners of those who sacrifices have forever endeared them to their countrymen.
Firstly, we do not deny that over the years many misguided individuals have used the banners of the Confederate States of America, and due to this some of our fellow citizens may be initially wary of our intentions.
However, just as the Church of Christ should not be judged by the brutalities committed in its name by some misguided individuals who found themselves in power, the cause of the Confederate States, and those who support it, cannot and should not be judged by the actions of some misguided individuals who past actions were done to spread hatred; thus, since our intentions are of noble and pure heart to remember the thousands of North Carolinians who died fighting for our State’s rights, and to show that we will combat the efforts of those who would seek to regulate them to the dust bin of history by removing their monuments and tributes, we will not remove the flags.
Secondly, we will not remove the flags, since to do so would be to concede to hypocrisy. Although, we do believe that your statement was earnest in its desire to help propagate the peace and prosperity of Burke County, which we as fellow citizens and Christians seek as well, your letter suggests that these noble goals can only be achieved if we silence ourselves.
Naturally, this seems contradictory to a vision of a Burke County which embraces all of its citizens, which we would hope that you would wish to propagate as much as we do.
Thirdly and finally, we will not remove the flags, since to do so would remove ample opportunities for members of the community to engage in dialogues that would hopefully show that the, “supporters of these displays” are not prejudiced. We dare dream, that such conversations would hopefully reestablish the flags of the Confederacy as a unifier of the Southern people, just as they were when they flew over the South through four brutal years of war.
Therefore, we hope that this response, although perhaps not the one you sought, has shown you that no hatred lies in our hearts, and we sincerely hope that you come to realize that together we as Christians, as North Carolinians, and as citizens of Burke County can all be proud of our forefathers and through the exercise of the virtues of honor, duty, and devotion to God which made them great, work towards a more harmonious future for all. Deo Vindice!
Burke Tigers SCV 2162