Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Elm Springs, Tennessee. June 12, 2007
The following statement was released today by Christopher M. Sullivan, Commander-in-Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans headquartered in Elm Springs, Tennessee:
"We, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are distressed to learn of the passage by a divided and narrow margin, a resolution by the South Carolina United Methodist Conference regarding the removal of flags at the South Carolina Statehouse grounds.
“Many members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are also members of the Methodist Church.
“Because of their loyalty to local Methodist affiliations in localities throughout South Carolina, they have not until now, spoken out regarding the divisive leftward slant the church has taken in recent years.
“We are hearing their protests at the headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and are compelled to address their concerns.
“A large segment of the membership of the United Methodist Church in South Carolina is made up of generations of families who proudly proclaim Confederate veterans in their ancestry. Many of the local church cemeteries are the final resting place for loyal church members and their families, who served the Confederacy.
“As devoted as their love and honor of their ancestors is, they do not believe the church is the place to advance a partisan political agenda. The course described in the controversial resolution advanced by a leftist group at the South Carolina United Methodist Conference is purely a partisan political issue designed to actively campaign toward changing South Carolina law regarding memorials and flags on the Statehouse grounds. These very same type memorials and flags that are seen on an individual basis in Methodist and other church cemeteries throughout South Carolina and are also similar to the memorials found in practically every county in South Carolina.
“It seems incongruous that this small group of liberal-minded activists would find any pleasure in placing a cloud of hatred over the overwhelming loyal parishioners who seek no more than the peace and love of Christian fellowship. It is understandable why United Methodists are disenchanted and feel the church of their fathers has deserted them. Many communicate to us their disdain for the recent changes in direction perpetrated by a few who seem more interested in substituting the holy gospel in favor of their own Utopian visions toward social change."