Flag Desecration Amendment

Posted by Mike Merritt in Constitution, Politics on

So, as anyone knows, the absurd Marriage Amendment died in Congress (again) about a week ago because cloture failed to be invoked in the Senate. So, time to try and pass another absurd amendment! Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the Flag Desecration Amendment (H.J. Res. 10/S.J. Res. 12), and it now moves to the Senate Floor. It was approved by the House last year. Now, let me put it out there right now (before y’all call me unpatriotic) that I don’t personally support flag burning, flag wrecking, etc. I love the flag, and I love my country. I just don’t like our dear President, his cohorts, and the ones in Congress who share his views.

That said, what I do support is free speech, so long as it is not hurting people (physically or mentally enough to drive them insane or suicidal, etc.) or is trying to incite someone to hurt another person. Therefore, I fail to see where flag burning or another form of desecration is hurting anybody. So, lets virtually fast-forward for a minute and pretend this amendment passes. As far as I can tell (and I could be wrong), this would be the first law incorporated into the Constitution that would limit speech. There are of course, common laws that limit speech for one reason or another, but none that is in the nation’s highest document.

So, if we’re banning flag burning, what next? No protesting? No speaking out against the government? Perhaps I’m thinking in alarmist terms, but this flag thing is the tip of the iceberg in my mind. This administration and its related Congressonal allies already do not have a good track record on protecting our personal liberties. So, maybe I’m just being optimistic, but I don’t thinking bringing this up now is going to help in the election a party already hurt by scandal, Iraq, gas prices (though they can’t do much about that), and the failed Marriage Amendment, among other things.

Our President says he invaded Iraq to bring them freedom. Yet, here at home, attempts are being made by our Congress to limit freedom. And…wait, I thought all those big, bad terrorists hated freedom and that we were trying to protect this freedom, not just for us, but for everyone? So, yes, the flag is a symbol of freedom, and should be respected. On the other hand, freedom is the ability to (peacefully) protest against your government when you don’t agree with them. So, exactly what message does this proposed ban send? I don’t think it sends a good one. Wake up, Congress, and smell the freedom, if it isn’t stuffed somewhere smelly. I’m tempted to write a line that uses the “If [this] happens, the terrorists are winning,” but that seems so cliche, and sounds kind of threatening. So, instead, here’s to hoping the ban fails on the Senate floor, like the Marriage Amendment did.

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