Tuesday, June 27, 2006

To desecrate or not to desecrate the flag, what is the answer?

As the senate debates Flag Burning Amendment, one has to search where one's position is on the issue.

When I heard the uproar opposing the amendment, my mind went back to last year, June 2005, when a group of American radicalized Muslims produced a video that showed its members on a New York City street corner stomping on U.S. flag and then ripping it apart while declaring dominance over America.

In the video, released by the New York-based Islamic Thinkers Society, was the group pushing the envelop? The group said their demonstration was "in response to the desecration of the holy Quran by the Crusaders & Zionists at Guantanamo Bay," an allegation based on a retracted Newsweek story.

William Teach at The Pirates Cove made a good observation:
It is against the law to kill a bald eagle, which, besides being endangered, is a national icon. If the (New York) Times can claim that burning a Flag is protected Free Speech, why couldn't I claim that I should be able to shoot a bald eagle as Free Speech (not that I would, mind you)? Or, burn the New York Times building as a protest against their anti-American articles? Isn't that Free Speech? Or just a violent action, designed to make one feel better, but harm and offend others in the process?
Whether an individual or group desecrates a U.S. flag by ripping, stomping, or burning, one has to ask, "Is it an appropriate gesture of our freedom of speech?" Or, have we missed something in the translation of what freedom of speech means? What does freedom of speech mean to you?

For more on the desecration story out of New York City last year, please visit the archived article: U.S. Muslims desecrate American flag

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