COLUMBUS — Georgia Baptists are expressing gratitude via several billboards in the Columbus area for state Senator Josh McKoon for his “devoted efforts for religious liberty in Georgia.” McKoon represents Senate District 29 in west Georgia and has been carrying the banner for religious liberty in the state for several years.
Last year at the annual session of the Georgia Baptist Convention McKoon and Representative Sam Teasley were recognized as the 2015 Legislators of the Year. A plaque was given to each of the men stating: “Given in grateful appreciation for your leadership and commitment to Godly principles as you represent your constituents at the State Capitol.”
Mike Griffin, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Public Affairs Committee representative at the Capitol, explained, “It was Mission Georgia money set aside for the Public Affairs ministry and was approved by the action of the Public Affairs Committee. It was also a joint effort in concert with the Columbus Baptist Association.”
For those who may express concern about the appropriation of money for billboards, don’t be alarmed. The cost was actually minimal and if a little bit of money is not spent on expressions of gratitude for those who stand with us on the principles of religious liberty there may come a time when we are restricted from spending money on missions of any kind.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer surmised that Columbus State University lost $8 million and the National Infantry Museum failed to receive almost $2 million in additional funding due to McKoon being at odds with Governor Nathan Deal and Speaker of the House David Ralston.
The Ledger-Enquirer explained, “Retired Columbus Technical College President Bob Jones spent 15 years playing the political funding game under the Gold Dome in Atlanta.
“Somebody was mad at somebody,” Jones said. “It is common knowledge up there if you get on the wrong side of the right person you are going to pay a price.”
It is a tragedy that politicians can make decisions that impact cities, institutions, museums, and multitudes of people on a whim or because someone didn’t acquiesce to their wishes. However, that is the basis for another editorial and not this story.
So, for now, thanks Senator McKoon. There is generally a price to be paid for standing strong for truth and freedom. Your stand for religious liberty is greatly appreciated.