What should we do to people that burn the flag?
I’m glad you asked.
I love America. I think it’s the greatest invention of the past 10,000 years, and I’m proud to live here. I’m proud that we defend ourselves well, and that we have more freedom than 99% of the people in the world. We the people make the decisions. I have an American flag flying proudly in front of my house, and I would never consider disrespecting it. I’m disgusted when people that have witnessed the amazing freedom and opportunity we have here, and still choose to hate America and it’s values.
That being said…
We should thank God we live in a country where free speech is protected by the Constitution. The same amendment that protected civil rights activists, women’s rights activists, prolife & prochoice activists, environmental activists, etc, etc protect people that spit on our country by burning the flag.
Our Consititution doesn’t regulate which speech can be “free” and which can’t. The Klan has just as much right to have a protest as civil rights activists. Prolife activists have the same right to speak their minds that a Planned Parenthood spokesperson does.
If the government began putting in restrictions on one form of free speech, like flag burning, there would be a precedent for repressing free speech. That’s not good for anyone. And, it would completely invalidate the work of 250 years of lawmaking.
Operation Rescue was a radical prolife group that would have “sit-in” protests, where they would chain themselves to the doors of abortion clinics. The police became increasingly violent, and the escalating tension was freaking people out. The groups leader, Randall Terry, was finally arrested on, I’m not making this up, federal racqueteering charges. For those that don’t know, those are the laws that were created to take down the mob. The prosecuters were charging Operation Rescue with being an organized crime ring.
And guess what. They got defended by none other than the ACLU. Yes, the same ACLU that is staunchly prochoice, completely liberal, and totally left of the entire universe. And let me tell you why they defended old Randall Terry. Because if he was convicted, it would mean that ANYone exercising their right to free speech could go to jail for life. It was just a matter of a prosecutor and a judge nutty enough to do it. Randall Terry and his group were guilty of upsetting a lot of people, and even trespassing. But trespassing is a far cry from organized crime.
My point is this. Flag burners are offered the same protection by the Constitution as everyone else. What other country in the world defends the very people that speak hatred against it? That’s what makes America great.