Religion

Pro-Confederate Mississippi Group Wants Christianity to be State's Religion

| by Michael Allen

The Magnolia State Heritage Campaign has proposed a 2016 ballot measure that would force Mississippi's state's constitution to call Christianity the official religion and English the official language.

The Magnolia State Heritage Campaign website states that Initiative 46 will:

Provide an English-only policy throughout government and public services in Mississippi (Besides saving some money, an added plus for all city, county, and state telephone lines will be: No more pressing “1” for English.)

"We want to give Mississippians the voice they deserve regarding their heritage," Arthur Randallson, director of the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign, told The Clarion Ledger. "We believe people should get a chance vote on these important issues and preserve these elements of our heritage."

Additionally, the 12-part Initiative 46 would fly the Confederate flag at the Mississippi state capitol, require people to recite the Mississippi state flag pledge and mandate the 1850s pro-slavery song "Dixie" be played after the "Star Spangled Banner" at public events.

Initiative 46 would also bring back the University of Mississippi's Confederate mascot "Colonel Reb," who was banned in 2003 by former athletics director Pete Boone because of racial overtones, notes USA Today.

The Jackson Free Press reports that Randallson previously proposed an initiative to name "Colonel Reb" the official mascot of the University of Mississippi.

Former University of Mississippi chancellor Robert Khayat banned Confederate flags from the football stadium in 1997. Khayat received death threats and required bodyguards in the Bible belt for several months.

USA Today reports that Initiative 46 is supported by former Miss America Susan Akin, former Mississippi Rep. Mark DuVall and Mississippi author Julie Hawkins.

Sources: Jackson Free Press, USA Today, The Clarion Ledger, MagnoliaHeritage.com (Image Credit: Donald Lee Pardue)