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06/24/2005 Archived Entry: "Flag burning Amendment"

Gordon P. writes, On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed by 286-130 vote a Constitutional Amendment banning the burning or desecration of the American flag. As Jon Stewart noted on the _Daily Show_, this gesture is largely symbolic and pointless, since the overwhelming majority of U.S. flag-burning appears to occur overseas --- _outside_ of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution... (Of course, the NeoCons don't seem to recognize _any_ boundaries to the "jurisdiction" of the U.S. --- either domestically or overseas... :-(

Stewart also noted the irony of this amendment given the following section of the U.S. Flag Code: "(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, _preferably by burning_..." So apparently, whether or not burning the U.S. flag is "constitutional" depends on the _intent_ of the person burning the flag...

Additionally: In order for it to be possible to "desecrate" something, it must first be "sacred." Now nearly every definition of the word "sacred" in the dictionary involves _religious_ veneration, e.g., an object that is "holy," or has been dedicated or set apart for the service of god, etc. (The one exception is "entitled to reverence or respect.") So, are the NeoCons and the member of the so-called "Religious Right" therefore suggesting that the U.S. flag is an object to be _worshipped_ or _revered_ in some way? (Perhaps they were not paying attention to the passages in their Bible forbidding the practice of idolatry...)

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