The reporter who broke the recent story about a "Christian nation" flag on display in the Florida General Counsel's office has come under pressure from the office of Gov. Jeb Bush. The governor himself has called S.V. Dte's questions to staffers "unprofessional conduct," according to the Palm Beach Post where Dte is the Tallahassee bureau chief.
The Governor's office has also dis-invited the paper to the traditional end-of-the-year interview. The president of the Florida Capital Press Corps wrote the governor to protest, saying that the snub gave the appearance "that Gov. Bush will retaliate against any news organization that questions his administration."
The flap over the flag – an American flag with a Christian cross emblazoned over the blue-and-white stars - is only the latest in a string of church-state controversies that have embroiled Gov. Bush's administration. Just three months ago, the Web site for the Department of Juvenile Justice linked to a Religious Right group that encouraged people to profess their faith in Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.
Instead of retaliating against reporters, Gov. Bush should embrace the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.