My Take On The Flag Burning Admendment

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Eightball, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    I think when Betsy Ross put together that first flag she wouldn't have envisioned that 200 years later her country would be debating whether or not the Constitution allowed freedom to burn this symbol as a protest.

    Also, in reference to calling it or describing it as just a piece of cloth; I feel that this is the very core of todays problems with our culture.
    ...........
    Side Note but applicable in my opinion:

    Unborn babies, the old, the mentally impaired, are dehumanized through unwavering,defined parameters so that consciences are protected from guilt when severing life-cords. Humans are but, "Fidos" or "Tabbys", that no longer are considered sacred in the scheme of created life. We are but instinctual organisms that either offer or have quality of life, or our expendable. We are just at the top of the evolutionary pyramid, but have no other significance, as we are no longer considered distinct or created in the image of a Supreme Creator.

    The Hypocratic oath is slowly being chipped away.

    A sign of the times my friends........Who will listen to the tick tick of this clock, and who will just live for the moment.
    ........
    Back to the theme:

    This simple piece of cloth with stars and stripes is a mere, "nothing" but an inanimate thing. So whats the fuss over incinerating it?

    Funny thing is that, if the flag is such a mere "nothing" and just cloth and colorings, then why does it have such signifcance to some to use it as a protest/tool item to the extent of destroying it? Why, because it's significance to the protester is a mere "nothing". The protester uses it's significance to get a reaction from those that cherish it. The protester knows that many cherish it, and equates in his or her's intellect or reasoning, "Wa La!", leverage!

    Extort via Webster's Dictionary:

    Main Entry: ex·tort
    Pronunciation: ik-'stort
    Function: transitive verb
    Etymology: Latin extortus, past participle of extorquEre to wrench out, extort, from ex- + torquEre to twist -- more at TORTURE
    : to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power : WRING; also : to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument
    synonym see EDUCE
    - ex·tort·er noun
    - ex·tor·tive /-'stor-tiv/ adjective

    Example: Got a cause you want to make into something big? You've got to get folks attention? How do you get their attention? You have to do something that hit's home with something that they cherish; find special or interesting.

    An example/s: You think theres too many dog and cat owners and it totally goes against your philosophy of life as you see it. Dogs and Cats aren't people, and people spend too much time be pet owners and not enough time raising children.

    So, since you the protester don't give a wits, damn about Dogs and Cats, as they aren't children, you come up with this brain-storm to get the attention of these calloused/unintellectual/uninformed pet owners. Why not, set a few dogs and cats on fire? That'll get the pet owners attention. Since they cherish dogs and cats, this will really upset them, and my cause will really get media attention too, as I rattle every pet owner in America. Hurting/killing a dog or cat doesn't affect my conscience, since these animals aren't human, they're just lower organisms, and are expendable. I burn them as a means to further my cause, that children our being neglected in the inner cities, and being indiscriminately killed in Iraq, and Afganistan.

    Ok....that's extreme.......but, my point is this. The American flag means a lot to a lot of folks. It drapes the coffins of the G.I. that comes home after paying the ultimate price. It flys over the battle grounds and cemeterys where myriads of Americans gave the ultimate sacrifice. It means so much to those folks, yet, others take that symbol made of cloth and three colors, and simply light it up, and chant, "get out of Iraq", or, "Hell no, we won't go", etc. They often display disdain for those that serve, believing that they,the protester has the ultimate "handle" on whats right, and moral over these indoctrinated, low intellect fools that obey orders and don't question authority. Sadly enemy deaths/civilian casualty receive greater sympathies, as these G.I.'s are merely instruments of an evil agenda'ed administration and philosophy. Oh, G.I. casualties are useful tools in this protest, but it's only to further the bringing down of an administration. It is a whoring of values to reach a political/philosophical victory. It is a means to usurpt the election box.

    Granted the Constitution allows for protest, and recently, by a slim margin Congress has allowed the flag burning to continue unhindered.

    Has our society evolved or become smarter in the last 200 years, that we some how can burn the flag legally, without a pricked conscience? When did we arrive at this intellectial supremacy of understanding that our forefathers totally missed?

    Was American society of 50, 100, or more years ago in some way backwards, lacking intellectual understanding of it's constitutional rights, and now in the late 20th and early 21st century, we have arrived at the "true" understanding? Might the proliferation of lawyers have anything to do with this. Might there be subtle agenda covertly being administered in these political science, and Lawyer mills called colleges and universitys, thats injecting an indoctrinating message to these young pliable minds prior to graduation. Is it any surprise that young people who come into the mainstream universities with conservative, ethical, moral, and religious backgrounds are bombarded with pressures to change, conform, and disavow their beliefs at increasingly, and alarmingly rates if they are eager to graduate with Cum Laude or higher?

    Was the logic of earlier American statesmen, constitutional lawyers, and common folks lacking in wisdom, and understanding of the Constitution's intent of free speech, and now we have experienced an epiphany that says, flag burning is constitutionally moral/legal without a doubt?

    Or is it possible that we are experiencing a time that is typified by rewriting of history, and constitutional understanding. Are we drifting away from straight constitutionalism, and drifting into a dangerous abyss of redefining our forefather's intent?

    Has our present day intellect/knowledge lost site of it's mentor of safety called, "wisdom" and embraced a type of objectivity that sees all things as black or white, regardless of past history? Is human life starting to be defined within rigid parameters, to expedite Euthanasia or Abortion even into 3rd terms. Life simply becomes a degree of brain function minus anything else. Has the degradation of religion into the realm of fantasy, created a new generation devoid of conscience, and empathy towards others, and encouraged an inordinate love of self as a substitute?

    The American flag is merely a symbol, but must be separated from emotions, arising from it's useage throughout American history in bloody battles for small pieces of significant real estate at those times in foreign lands? Okinawa, Pearl Harbor, Normandy, North and South Korea, France, Germany, Italy, South Vietnam, Midway,......etc?

    Those gallant men that raised the flag on top of that mountain in a momentous, grissly, American life-sacrificing campaign across the Pacific, pushing the Japanese empire back to their homeland, hardly risked their lives for a piece of cloth with red, white, and blue dyed colors, or did they. Was what the flag stood for?

    Once a simple piece of cloth receives those stars and stripes upon it's simple, plain surface, it becomes more than what it was. It becomes, the voices of the past, present, and future souls of those that gave or will give it all for me/you, and future Americans. To deny the last 200 years of past lives that served or lost those that served the veneration, and significance of this specially colored piece of cloth, called, "Old Glory", is to literally yank out the personal foundations of individual and collectively myriads of American's sacred foundations and motivations for who they are, what they did, and what they gave. It robs millions of their significance as Americans, by trivializing a symbol.

    It would be similar to burning the Christian Cross, or turning it upside down in protest. The act literally flaunts and slaps the faces of those who see, a symbol in a light that transcends modern day wisdom-lacking intellect. It robs one of identity to a belief, cause, or life's end.

    With the flag, it extorts, trivializes or holds hostage the hearts, dreams, losses, victorys, and memories of those who paid it all for their country.......be it South Vietnam, Normandy or Iraq. They obeyed, they went, they gave.

    If you don't comply, my lighter will burn your sacred symbol that you hold dear both personally, and corporately as Americans.

    I see it as hopefully as an ignorant act of those that really can't comprehend the significance of that special cloth.

    Even the Saviour said some lasting and profound words.

    "Father, forgive them, for they no not what they do." If they really understood, and knew the gravity of their act of burning, "Old Glory", the shock to their consciences would likely drive them to incredible guilt, or incredible repentance,contrition and humility.

    Wars are never fair. Lives should never be lost this way, but they are. Nations will protect themselves based on their definitions of threat and strength of sovereignty. Utopia is a "pipe dream". As long as covetness, exists in human nature, war will happen. Lives will be lost.

    Individual significance or identity of humans will always be the motivators of individuals. Without reasons for living, we die, or regress into instinctual creatures........survivalists of a base degree.

    The flag and its past significance held supreme, raises and defines us above the instinctual, and the Orwellian indiffernce of life. It defines and expresses the evidence or existence of our trichotomist nature of mind, will, and emotions, with a spirit at the center, endowned with desires of perfection, and peace.
     
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  2. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    I love the flag. :salute:
     

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  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Burning a flag is wrong. It's an abhorrent act that shows utter contempt for this country and everyone who has fought for it. Nonetheless, a flag does not have feelings. Even though it is a sacred symbol, it is still an inanimate object that may be owned as private property. To say a person does not have the right to destroy his own property (excepting animals) is an infringement of property rights. In essence, the government would be declaring all American flags federal property and that we only get the pleasure of renting them as long as we abide by their rules, much like the Soviet Union did to most private property.

    If I see somebody burning a flag, I am very likely to kick him in the face, but I don't think he should be arrested any more than somebody drawing cartoons of Mohammed or immersing a crucifix in urine. Once you enter the slippery slope of classifying flag burning as extortion, it won't be too much of a stretch to arrest Barbara Streisand for singing in protest to the war (pull out the troops or your ears will bleed).
     
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  4. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Bob hates Alice.........so instead of attacking Alice physically, Bob torches Alice's car?

    See, Alice is very upset, but she's physically unharmed, yet Bob got the point across that he doesn't like Alice. Alice's car is just metal, rubber, glass, etc., nothing that feels pain when incinerated.

    Wait a minute! Why is it that Alice is upset! It's merely a car. Well, I think that this automobile represented something to Alice. It was in some way an infringement on Alice's right to own a car, also an infringement on Alices opportunity to invest in something as a result of her labors.

    Granted, my example wasn't awfully close to flag burning, but I see the Flag in a collective way, as it belongs to all of us, the American people. Yes, it is a symbol, but it also represents a very big investment of lives, too; American lives.

    There is a point where I believe that free speech crosses a bridge or threshold and enters a realm that is distasteful, or dis-respectful, and in some ways is anti-thetical of the very principles that have granted it's very existence.

    Example currently is that Baptist church congregation that protests at G.I. funerals. These church folks, in some way are protected under the Constitution, while the grieving parents, relatives, friends seem to be exempt from these inconsiderate, church wackos.

    Freedom of speech should also come saddled with "responsibility, and civility" IMO.

    Granted, the flag is a symbol. It's just cloth and dye. Why is it that at times things become just inanimate, and they are dismissed, and then at other times, we hold that inanimate in a very special position.

    I think it's proper and right to set aside certain things as special or sacred in how they are approached or handled, as way of showing respect to all that this symbol represents. I think that this also separates us from anarchy, and animalistic and survivalistic tendencies bordering on the Wild Animal Kingdom.

    I agree that owning your own flag and burning it is not the same as burning a flag flying over a military cemetery. First of all, your not destroying something owned by someone else.

    I guess it boils down to how some view certain symbols.

    Many have said, "He has the right, and I'll defend it", yet will then say, "I'd kick his arse if he did it though.".

    I'm hearing a lot of that. Apparently that act does foment an angst or anger among most Americans, yet they will still allow flag desecration under the free speech clause.

    I really don't think this issue is a sign that we are entering a slippery slope of Fascism either. I think that kind of hype, does no good, but just borders on ignorant debate/defense when a suitable rebutt is lacking.

    Where do you want to draw the line? I think it has to be drawn somewhere.

    At Git-Mo we got are arses handed to us because allegedly we flushed or desecrated some Korans........The ACLU and associated apologists were ready for a stringing party. When was the last time someone got worked up over a King James being torched or mutilated?

    Two high school Valedictorians injected, "God" recently into their speeches and were summarily treated like Hester Prinn from the "Scarlet Letter". In both cases the "God" references were used in the speeches in a way that gave personal credit of God affecting their personal lives via achievments and successes. Neither speech proselytized at all. Just gave tribute to their, "God"..

    One of the disciplined Valedictorians was asked how she would have reacted to someone giving the speech and attributing their Islamic faith or another faith other than Christianity. The young Christian Valedictorian said that it wouldn't bother her at all, as this person was just telling all who and what inspired them personally, just as she had attributed her Judeau/Christian God in her speech.

    I really don't think that Free Speech is being defended in this country in a balanced, and blind manner.
     
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  5. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    It's the beginning of a bad trend. If flag burning is banned, then we'll start having to walk on eggshells to keep from damaging somebody's sacred symbol. My Bible's in kinda bad shape because of frequent use. This actually offends some people who think the Bible's too sacred to be seen in a worn condition. Should I be arrested for failing to maintain my Bible because it offends somebody else?

    This kind of thing is the same thing I'm getting tired of from liberals, the right to not be offended. If this thing ever passes, it'll be the foot in the door towards banning unpopular speech.

    Maybe the flag is owned by all in spirit, but in a legal sense (and this is all legal talk), a flag is a physical product like any other. It has a lawful owner and that owner is entitled to treat it like anything else he forked over money for.

    The above example isn't quite right. Legally, a more appropriate analogy would be if Bob went out and bought a car that he knew Alice liked, and then torched it. Yeah, that broke Alice's heart, but it's Bob's car. This even applies if Bob bought the 20-year old car Alice's mother owned that had a lot of sentimental value. It's still Bob's property.
     
  6. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    The "desecration" of the flag is actually impossible by an American. It is their right to purchase property and do with it as they wish. If they wish to use it as a symbol of the huge disatisfaction of the government or populace of this nation they are simply expressing, and it is their right again. There are so many rights that are protected by that wonderful document that our framers created, and each time we work to take one rather than define it in that document it is a mistake. If you notice, in relation to individual rights addressed in that document our framers were careful to address them positively rather than negatively in that document. Not once in that document did they say that the individual doesn't have a right to such and such, only what they have a right to....

    It was important to address them that way, this document is not something that grants rights to the government, but protects us from it.

    It may be offensive... It may anger many... But so do those idiots protesting at gays' and military funerals, yet all would say that they have the right. That we would fight to defend their right to offend others. I know that I would. Protecting others from being offended is something that is so P.C. that it gets me sick. To use the same tactic our rivals use to end conversations that are of serious import... It's repugnant to me.

    I joined the armed forces knowing that some would want to burn the flag, against what I believe, that some would want to protest my actions if there ever were a war, although I would fight willingly, that some would believe that I was a "nationalistic" bastard just for joining, but I believed that I went to protect those rights and believed it strongly enough I would have died for them... I knew this to be true but believed enough in my freedoms to protect theirs. I do not want to see those who sacrificed to protect rights, who gave their life to insure a government that recognized those rights, simply ignored so that we can use the power of government to protect our sensibilities from being offended... like we complain when the other side does.

    Let's not work to end a freedom, a right, one of the protections from our government just to keep ourselves from offense! Let's do what we believe is right and actually be tolerant. Not that PC idiotic sissified definition of tolerance where others must be forced to be silent by the power of government so that they will not ever offend by speaking their mind, but actual tolerance where we are offended but know that it is a right so we plug on...

    I, with many others, would simply ignore these piddling few who work to protest through offense so that this form of protest will simply die its due ignominous death by simply being totally ineffective. Others will work to use the government, to give it another right formerly due to individuals, so that it can silence more speech to keep others from offending...

    I'll stand with you and fight to keep our rights, but I won't work to take one just to keep you from being offended. It seems to me that saddling the very symbol of freedom with restriction is not only contrary but an offense to nature. It is freedom that should be protected not symbolism.

    I pledge allegiance to that flag many times each month at our lodge. I believe it is a symbol of the freedoms that I love and will work to protect, even if it means allowing another to burn that symbol while using one of those freedoms....

    :salute:
     
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  7. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Actually, it's one of the ways to properly dispose of a soiled or tattered flag. It must, however, not be burnt with anything else.

    So, before you kick someone in the face, be very sure you actually know what's going on.
     
  8. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Bob burning Alice's car. A really...really...dumb analogy.
     
  9. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    You don't know how close you are to going on my "ignore" as you just can't help but be disrespectful when rebutting a post.

    I don't know you Bully. You haven't walked one inch in my shoes nor I in yours, yet you talked down to me.

    My credo, is don't say it, hiding behind an anonymous P.C., unless you'd say it face-to-face.

    Unfortunately, you've rebutted many on this forum with the same haughty attitude of disrespect, because you don't agree with their philosophical, or religious take or opinion.
    ....
    My "Alice" scenario was far-fetched in most probability, and maybe I shouldn't have even posted it, but I can think of many mature ways that an intelligent person like you could have critiqued it, without telling me I'm stupid, by calling my example dumb.
    ....
    Just as you defend those the right to burn a flag, you didn't really extend that "grace" to me.
    ....
    You don't know me one bit. You don't know what I've experienced in my life. You don't know anything about me, yet you had the gall to call me dumb, based on a excerpt from a post.

    You ought to do a little introspective thought about yourself, and why you reply to folks the way you do.

    I really think it's a cowardly way to reply to a person.

    Attempting to project this image of intellectual supremacy over so many in here, yet you resort to "dumb" as your intellectual way.
    ....
    If I sound angry, I am. I really think that your the perfect example of why free speech needs to have restraint in the area of respect, and taste.
    .........
    I bet if we met at a social function and talked about this flag issue and I happened to use the "Alice" example, you'd disagree, and say you don't see the connection or it didn't make sense, but I doubt you'd call it "dumb" to my face. Unless, your 6'5", 250 lbs. and an Army ranger or Navy Seal, I doubt you'd have the Cajones to talk to people the way you do on this forum.
    .....
    My respect for you just dropped quite a few points.
    ......
    Hobbit disagreed with me as others did, but they all did it respectfully, and for that, I respect them, and my esteem for them on this board is even higher.

    I wish I could say the same for you, but you'd probably just say, "I don't care if I have your respect or not.". I'm here hiding behind this P.C. and I can irritate folks and dish them and their opinions, and nobody can touch me.
    .....
    Your posts do reveal more about yourself than you might realize or desire.
    ........
     
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  10. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    I think that I completely agree with your perspective. In addition, I know that we are to draw the lines somewhere but I think that if someone wants to buy or make a flag and burn it, as long as he obeys the “fire codes” and does not create a fire hazard, so be it.
     

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