November 8, 2011
Contact: Dave Welch, Executive Director Bishop Sterling Lands II, Executive Council
Inter-racial pastors group urges Texas DMV to reject Confederate Plate
“What is a historical symbol for some is a reminder of oppression for others.”
Houston, TX - The Texas Pastor Council, an inter-racial, inter-denominational organization representing local pastor councils in Houston, Austin, Beaumont, El Paso and other pastors throughout the state, issued the following statement responding to the proposal before the Department of Motor Vehicles board to issue a plate featuring the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo:
Dear Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board Members:
“We are well aware that symbols play an important role in our society for historic, cultural, religious and other purposes. Some symbols may carry both positive and negative impact based on the perspective of the viewer, and some evoke such emotional reaction that even if a legal case can be made in a free society for their display, we must always look at all facets of the greater good. As pastors, we are keenly aware of the past and present racial tensions that tragically divide even the church at times. The confederate battle flag is one of those symbols and we are deeply concerned about the pending decision by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
What is history for some is a reminder of oppression for others and we propose that there are times we must yield a personal right when by doing so we look toward the well being and value of our “brother.” It seems clear based on existing court decisions that the Sons of Confederate Veterans have legal standing to request the issuance of a plate with the Confederate battle flag as part of their logo. What we question is whether, given the deep wounds that should have been buried long ago but clearly have not, we should as a state take steps that reopen those wounds.
We therefore urge the DMV board to table the consideration of this license plate with the Confederate symbol on it for the greater good, while we also call upon pastors around the state in particular to come together and lead boldly so we may truly bury one of the greatest evils of our past in the form of racial separation, strife and division. As God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart, it is time that we do the same and stand for healing and unity as well as against those from any race who have and would foster racial strife for personal or political gain.”