"It would indeed be a hollow
victory to protect the symbol by taking
any chance at chipping away at
the freedoms themselves,"
-- John Glenn, former Senator, astronaut, and Marine
I've challenged the supporters of this amendment to explain themselves.
And the challengers are...
After getting the "flame warning," Chris took me up on my offer to print his views. He also challenged me to place them at the top of my page. Rather than just put them on a temporary comment page, I'm putting his essay right here. Hope you like it.
Senator Diane Feinstein
This is a transcript of an editorial Senator Feinstein wrote for the Open Forum section of the San Francisco Chronicle. No Congressperson has yet contacted me directly with their opinions on this subject, and this is the first public letter I've seen so far from any of them.
Although taking no formal stance on the amendment, gives a good explantion of why flag desecration should be codified at some level.
Mr Weekly maintains the Save Old Glory from Flames Page.
This essay shows how burning the flag as an expression of freedom of speech is hypocritical.
Minuteman is a self-described "staunch milita member, and publisher of right-wing extremist propaganda."
My Challenge to Supporters
Of This Amendment
I do not believe that there are any valid reasons to pass this amendment. I wrote an editorial showing this.
Several similar editorials have been written on the subject, by such notable journalists as Mike Royko, E.J. Montini, Charles Levendosky, Jim Spencer, among others.
However, with the exception of a well-written piece by William F. Buckley, I have seen no argument on behalf of this proposed amendment's supporters that bears any scrutiny at all. (I cannot seem to find that piece by Buckley -- several people have asked for it, and all I remember is that it was in the New York Times in 1995 or 1996. Sorry!)
Perhaps I am overlooking some critical argument. Perhaps my logic is flawed. I am willing to admit the possibility that I am wrong. As convinced as I currently am that passing this amendment will desecrate the freedom that the flag stands for, my convictions are never so strong that I will not listen to logic.
Senator Orrin Hatch, when confronted with the lack of editorials favoring his anti-freedom stance, proclaimed "there is more wisdom, judgment, and understanding on this matter in the hearts and minds of the American people than one will find on most editorial boards, law faculties, and, regrettable, in the Clinton Administration."
Is he right? A quick glance at the comments that the American people have sent me will show that the vast majority of them agree with me, not the House Majority. But, I am willing to admit that mail I get may not be sufficiently representative of the American people.
I challenge the Amendment's supporters to show America (and the entire world) why we need this amendment, via my web page.
I would like the members of the House who voted for this to let America know why they did. I want to give the Senators who are about to vote "yes" a chance to tell us why they are right.
And I promise to publish, right here, every essay, I get. I will not censor or alter anything.
I also want every member of Congress to consider this: If you cannot justify your vote to the America people - If you cannot logically, rationally, defend your position - why would you vote "yes"?
Every thoughtful comment I received in 1995 was posted to the comments page. Brief compliments (which I really do enjoy getting) get a "thank you," but only get posted to the comments page if they somehow further the discussion therein. Flames get a warning before being posted to the flames page. There are a few comments from people who show their opposition to the amendment. In November, I started asking the few people who write these to submit a longer essay to this page. I hope some more of them take me up on this offer, and provide some logical reason to change the Constitution, since I can't see any yet.
Warren S. Apel