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Burning the flag and swearing on the Bible4 min read

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Two current political issues that are just beginning to make waves are the proposed flag burning amendment and an Islamic group’s challenge to the tradition of swearing on the Bible.

I’m sure our normal readers all believe they know what stance I am going to take on both of these issues, but I may surprise you.

First off, I want to make it abundantly clear that I abhor seeing people burn the American flag. I think it is disrespectful to our nation and to the men and women who have died under the flag. I think there are many other less vile ways in which you can voice your protest of our nation.

Having said that, I also do not believe that the government should pass a Constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.

Conservatives wailed (and rightly so) at the passing of the Campaign finance reform bill and it’s limitations on the very speech the first amendment seeks to protect above all – political speech. But now I see Republican after Republican, Conservative after Conservative supporting this bill and it’s restriction of free speech.

I can only come to the conclusion that many Conservatives are for free speech when they agree with it, but against free speech when it can get them some votes. Do those in support of this amendment honestly believe this is something that the Founders of our nation had in mind?

Our flag stands for all that is good and noble about our country and I would never do anything to harm it or damage it (being a former Boy Scout, I know how to hold it, fold it and most of all to keep it from touching the ground). But it is a symbol not the real thing. What makes our country great is the freedoms that we enjoy.

Are we seeking to follow the paths of Islamic countries who outlaw the desecration of the Quran? Do we honestly want to pass an amendment limiting political free speech because we disagree with it? That is a dangerous path to start down.

Another dangerous path to start down is Christians waging battles on far too many fronts, fighting things merely because they can and they feel like it. Too many battles being waged in the name of Christ today are simply to protect tradition and not to advance Christ.

I’m sure Christians from around the nation will be outraged over an Islamic group’s attempt to allow witnesses in a court to swear on a Quran instead of the traditional Bible. Many on the left are engaged in hyperbole beyond belief, like this
editorial, which ignores the fact that North Carolina courts already allow for a person to simply affirm his testimony his true without swearing on the Bible. The provision is made for those not of the Christian faith.

I heard a Conservative radio host, who is a nominal Catholic at best, defend the use of the Bible based solely on upholding the Judeo-Christian traditions of our nation. By expunging every mention of our Christian heritage from the public square we are harming ourselves and our nation.

Having said that, I have no problem allowing a Muslim to swear on the Quran. That oath will mean a lot more to him than a simple affirmation or swearing on the Bible.

Why do we Christians insist on waging war on every issue that comes down the turnpike? We haven’t won one battle before we are jumping to the next cause du jour. Let the Muslims swear by the Quran or the Mormons by the Book of Mormon or whatever holy book the person claims. If no preference is given then use the Bible as the norm and allow people of other faiths to choose their own book (as long as they or someone from their faith provides it, as the Muslims have offered to do in this case).

Too often everybody on both sides, simply echo whatever the leadership is seeking to do or accomplish. My thoughts and convictions are not the same as the Republican party. They more closely resemble the Republican party than the Democratic party, but my convictions are my own.