A return to Old Fashion Mississippi values ??

I don’t know if any of you have seen or heard the political ad where the candidate running for congress states several things:  Has conservative values (OK); nation founded on Faith, Family, and Freedom (OK); will not waver on his views of traditional marriage (OK, I happen to be pro equal marriage rights); will continue to stand up for the unborn (OK, I happen to be pro choice);  and Washington needs a good dose of “Old Fashion Mississippi Values.”  (er… WHAT?!).

I understand the conservative values statement but I tend to be progressive in my values.  I am not totally convinced that Faith, Family, and Freedom were the three things America was founded on but I have heard this rhetoric from conservatives before.   I understand how someone could be against equal marriage rights and even against a women’s right to choose.  But to end the ad with wanting to bring to Washington “Old fashion Mississippi values”?  

Uhm… I don’t know about you but here is what popped into my mind when he said this…  White supremacy…  White Privilege… Re-instituting the Sovereignty Commission which spied on civil rights activists and colluded (or if that word is too strong … conveniently turned a blind eye) with the terrorist organization known as the KKK… segregation of schools…  lynchings…  Burning churches…  The free use of degrading terms to demonize groups of people (such as the n word)…  These were the values of Mississippi 40-50 years ago.  These are the old fashioned values of yesteryear and he wants to bring these back?  To do what?  …  (My ability to be facetious won’t really work here.) 


How about some new values or better yet a return to values that a very wise teacher taught on the shores of Galilee…  Love your neighbor as your self… Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…  How about being like the good Samaritan–that reviled demonized race of ancient times–who sought to relieve the suffering of another…   How about seeking to emulate those values… 

How about wanting to keep jobs in Mississippi instead of having them leave for cheaper wages in other countries.  How about wanting to ensure equal educational opportunities in our schools so that all students regardless of the school district they live in have the same chance to excel.  How about insisting on a living wage in Mississippi?  How about wanting equality for all the citizens of Mississippi.     How about ensuring affordable housing for low-income families?  How about ensuring that couples who are looking to adopt and raise children in loving homes can, regardless if they are common-law wed or same gendered (This is a bill before the state legislators).  How about not creating felons of undocumented employees and their employers for hiring them (This was just signed into law by Governor Barbour).   How about fixing our judiciary system so that the punishment is the same for a person of color as for a white person who commits the same type of crime. 

These actions are based in values that I could get behind.  They represent the values that my faith teaches…  inherent worth and dignity of all persons;  Justice, compassion, and equity in human relationships.  

May our hearts embrace the desire for a different kind of Mississippi,  not one from the past, but one that seeks to uplift all of its citizens towards a better future. 

Rev. Fred L Hammond

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 3:31 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. Let the choir sing, “Amen,” Reverend Fred!!!

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