Confederate Flag Causes Christian Convention to Cancel

Columbia (WLTX) – Another groups pulls out of South Carolina cancelling their National Convention because of the confederate flag. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) based out of Indiana were coming to Charleston, now they’re looking for another venue.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have more than 600,000 members across the US and Canada.

Of that group is the National Convocation, a smaller group of African-American Disciples who decided not to hold their national convention in South Carolina.

"For African Americans the confederate flag is a system of terror, oppression, separation and racism and we decided to stand in solidarity," Reverend Timothy James of the Christian Church said in a phone interview with News 19.

They are not standing alone though, Reverend James is siding with the NAACP’s boycott.

"The boycott is 10 years old and the flag has not been removed; I know they asked for it to come off the dome but they should have asked for it to be eradicated completely. I understand it’s a part of the state flag and I think they’ve tolerated that point but as far it flying solely under bright lights; that does not sit well," James added.

And that’s why black disciples of the christian church pulled their National Convocation Convention out of Charleston. It would have attracted approximately 1,000 members that might have trickled into Columbia. Now, the economic impact the group would have brought is anyone’s guess.

"It’s a lost opportunity for the group because they won’t be exposed to our great community; it’s a dollar loss to the community because it’s important to ensure that our restaurants and attractions and hotels stay healthy," Ric Luber of the Columbia’s Metro Convention Center.

Luber said it’s everyone’s job to protect tourism.

"People don’t always realize that it’s a billion dollar industry so anything that affects that has an impact on community and we’d like to see the situation resolved," Luber said.

We asked South Carolina’s NAACP President, Dr. Lonnie Randolph if he thinks the flag will ever come down in a phone interview.

Randolph said "Only time will tell. We all know the racial division that still exists and South Carolina thinks we don’t have to talk about it."

As other states continue to impact South Carolina, maybe that will change though.

"I think it’s more of a subtle and physiological impact that’s negative on blacks and whites alike. I think whites will feel justified in maintaining sole ownership and blacks will not feel that it’s even worthwhile trying to move ahead because you realize an x marks the spot where you belong," James added.

The Black Disciples of the Christian Church are now looking at New York, Chicago, and DC.

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