Tuesday, August 16, 2016
In the U.S., like in China, there is no freedom, no protesting, and no due process.
An Iowa man who protested the placement of an oil pipeline next to his well, through eminent domain, by flying the American flag upside down, under the PRC flag with a sign asking if there was any freedom or due process in the U.S., was arrested and charged with the thought crime of 'desecrating the American banner.' Of course constitutional law, and more importantly, moral law only place a few limitations on free speech and expression (threats of violence, inciting a riot, defamation, and perjury) and desecrating an American flag that you own isn't one of them. To make flag desecration a crime is to treat it as a sacred image, as if it was an idol, and to treat it as a sacred image amounts to imposing a national religion on people, much like how Islam is imposed on people in the near east, or how the subjects of North Korea worship the 'supreme leader.' Thus, Iowa's flag desecration law violates the first amendment in two ways, and if you think about it, reverence for the 'American banner' does have parallels to state religion. The U.S. is the only industrialized country in which citizens pledge allegiance to a flag; of course, they aren't pledging their allegiance to a piece of colored fabric, the flag is a symbol that a criminal syndicate known as the U.S. federal government uses to identify themselves. Pledging allegiance to the flag is not much different than pledging allegiance to Cosa Nostra or the Sinaloa Cartel. American children are indoctrinated from a very young age to stand at attention, put their right hand over their heart, and mindlessly parrot an oath of loyalty to the federal government, an oath which they do not even understand at five or six years of age. This ritual is regularly repeated, in school, over the course of their formative years, and even as adults they are asked to 'revere the banner' before sporting events, graduation ceremonies and political assemblies. This flag reverence isn't too far removed from religious worship: both involve ritualized gestures (standing and facing the flag, putting one's right hand over their heart), reciting certain phrases (similar to how catholics recite prayers during mass), and of course there is the dogma that goes along with the pledge such as the false belief that America is a 'free country', or that the constitution is infallible (as if it was authored by God himself). It is precisely reverence for the flag, not desecration of it, that should disturb people.