Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Freedom Isn't Free

Here's my turn to sound unpatriotic:

Newsmax.com ran a couple of stories in the past couple of days that got my attention. The first was a story on flag-burning. There is talk in Congress of a Constitutional Amendment that would ban flag burning. Sounds like a good idea, right? I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong - I think you have to be a complete idiot to burn the flag. But I don't think we need to legislate it. I think burning the flag is something that we have (and should have) the right to do, as well as the responsibility not to do. I think we pay too much attention to our rights while we neglect our responsibilities. But I do not think we need to legislate them. People need to realize that there are consequences for actions, and they need to start thinking about those consequences before they act. The first of this month was a "day without an immigrant." Immigrants across the county, legal and otherwise, took the day off with the intent of showing us all how much immigrants contribute to our society. Some businesses also closed their doors altogether that day. However, I was one of the many who felt like these people were not showing us what immigrants contribute, but supporting law-breaking. I have no problem with the businesses closing for the day, but I've chosen to not support those businesses. Maybe that's a small consequence for those businesses, but it's still a consequence. So go ahead and burn a flag in protest if you want - just don't expect to have too many friends afterwards.

The other article follows a similar vein concerning protesting at military funerals. Again, an unbelievingly insensitive and tasteless act. If people were protesting at the funeral of one of my friends or family members who had served in the military, I don't know if I could stop myself from doing or at least saying something I would regret. But does that mean it should be illegal? If people want to take advantage of public places to protest, isn't that their Constitutional right? I don't think there have been too many protests that haven't angered anybody. Protests by their very nature go against the grain.

I don't think it serves the best interest of the citizens of this country to start restricting the very freedoms that our soldiers have fought for and continue to fight for. As maddening as these protests are, the soldiers who died did so for the rights of the protesters, as well as the rest of us.


Jeremy Dyvig said...

I agree with you. I get angry when I see all sorts of things happening around me. But if they start to really legislate all things disrespectful, distasteful, and insensitive, then I should probably make reservations at the Big House (not Michigan Stadium). I think that we have a perfect opportunity to show true love to people who anger us by doing things like this by checking our pride at the door. It's an opportunity I have a hard time taking advantage of, but I think that is where our light can shine.

As am Hootie,

Jeremy, 2X your Bro.

Eric said...

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid." - Kierkegaard