Thursday, June 23, 2005

Let's Not Give Them the Satisfaction

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment prohibiting the burning of the flag. It reads:
"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

Some thoughts that immediately spring to mind:

  • While I personally believe that flag burning is a detestable act, is it only me that sees that such an amendment will only serve to increase the incidents of flag burning - not decrease them? People burn flags for shock value, if there is a law against such acts, the shock value is enhanced, not diminished.
  • On a similar note, assuming that those who would burn a flag have no respect for this country, why would we think that they would have any respect for the laws of this country?
  • "Civil disobedience" is considered a sacrament by those who consider public protest their calling in life, because it generates publicity from the pliant media that lends credibility to their otherwise non-credible positions. Would not this amendment not give them yet another tool to garner the attention that they crave? Better to ignore them.
  • Are we really going to put people in Federal Prison for desecration of a flag? I admit to finding this prospect a little distaseful, if for no other reason, because it turns them in to martyrs.
  • With so many pressing issues before us, why are we discussing this at this time? I would much rather the time and energy be used to protect our culture and our way of life (which is, indeed, clearly threatened) than to protect the symbol thereof.
  • A Crucifix in a jar of urine is "artistic expression", subsidized by tax dollars, but burning a flag is a Federal crime? I honestly do not see how we can protect physical forms of religious dissent and punish physical forms of politicadissentnt, no matter how vile.

Many of the people who despise this country will continue to burn the flag in public as a symbol of their hatred, amendment or no. To formalize our disgust with their actions with an amendmentnt simply encourages them. I think that burning a flag is repulsive enough in the eyes of most Americans that doing so would de-legitimize whatever cause the flag burners sought to highlight. Turning one's back on those that seek attention is the most profound form of punishment.

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