June 30, 2005

Auguries of theocracy? - legislation

► When political symbols are elevated to sacred status, obscuring the concepts for which they stand

On June 22nd, 2005, the brave men and women of the U.S. House of Representatives saw fit to enact legislation addressing one of the most sweeping problems of our day. They voted 286 to 130 to approve a Constitutional amendment allowing the government to prohibit the burning of Ol' Glory. This bit of patriotic pandering, on its face, offers little to distinguish it from previous attempts at such legislation. However, for the first time since the 1989 Supreme Court ruled that flag burning was protected speech many in the Senate, on both sides of the aisle, are suggesting that the anti-flag desecration sentiment stands a good chance of becoming law. Sixty-five current senators have declared their willingness to vote for the amendment when the Senate considers it sometime after July the 4th. Only 67 yea votes are needed.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, said,
"If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents."

When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), Journals, 1824


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