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Flag Burning Amendment
By Robert Freedland


June 27, 2006

As our nation becomes bogged down in a pre-emptive conflict in Iraq, the floundering Republican Party has been searching for wedge issues to motivate its base and to confuse the electorate.

The flag-burning amendment is one of those issues.

While there are rare patriots among us who find any satisfaction in the desecration of Old Glory, there are many of us who love our country enough to be aware of the importance of protecting the widest range of freedom of speech.

That is what is special about America. Our freedom!

When one party finds it necessary to motivate voters by an imagined threat; it is imperative that we not yield to that temptation but instead rise to the challenge that is being made to our basic freedoms.

What is the wisdom behind Amending the Constitution to limit our rights? Why should we have legislators dictating the range of political speech in America?

Many a politician has sounded the alarm, reminding each of us how veterans have fought to protect the "flag". In reality, no soldier died to protect the banner of the Stars and Stripes! Soldiers have fought in each war to protect the freedom that is America! The freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the freedom of conscience that defines this nation.

If it is now permissable to pass Amendments to the Bill of Rights to limit those freedoms in order to protect a flag, should we pass laws mandating that each person wave a flag all day long? Should we require statements of allegiance from every individual? Should we mandate political beliefs and activity?

Our founding fathers would shudder thinking that demagogues would arise in this nation intent on deceiving voters about what patriotism means. The love of America is the love of freedom. The love it or leave it crowd are intolerant nationalists who fail to understand what makes America special.

When symbols have more protection than our freedoms as Americans, this nation shall truly be at risk. There is no power in this force that can bring this nation down from without, but demagogues who sacrifice freedoms and abridge our rights may succeed at destroying us from within.

Contact your representatives and let them know that America cannot allow freedom to be abridged. That our soldiers died, not that we should protect our banners but that each American shall enjoy the full range of expression in this nation.

Our flags are not at risk with this vote, but our freedom is!

Robert Freedland
La Crosse, WI - USA

About: Robert Freedland writes, " I am a physician and blogger concerned about the future of freedom in America."



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