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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Flag-burning and idolatry

AKMA has been an eloquent commentator on the relationship of Christians and American civil religion in the past, for example his ruminations on the Pledge of Allegiance, and he continues in this tradition with his thoughts about the proposed amendment to the Constitution which would prohibit flag burning. Some excellent exploring of the idea of "flag desecration". (Maybe use of this term is just one more way that the nation seeks not to be idolatrous, but to be a secular simulacrum of the church.)

Last year, there was a grand total of one flag burning in our nation. So the question for me is: what's the real motivation behind this legislation?

And might it not be a better idea to focus our efforts on making this the sort of nation whose flag people wouldn't want to burn?

3 Comments:

Blogger Philip Young said...

"And might it not be a better idea to focus our efforts on making this the sort of nation whose flag people wouldn't want to burn?"

Amen, brother! Instead of improving the nation and making it a better place to live in, the government is trying to stop certain types of protests. In fact, this senseless legistlation will probably cause more flag burning episodes in protest.

Lately, both my wife and I are frightened by the country we live in and the freedoms we lose every day.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gaunilo said...

JF, you're turning into a political commentator on us! (-:

It's fascinating to see the dynamic of civil religion in this country. I have no idea if this really works out historically, but it's as if America's response to a perceived threat to its security and identity is have a revival of civil religion: the Eisenhower 50's and communism, our post-9/11 "war on terror." Somehow conflating God and (as) country seems to be a function of a national need for identity and solidarity (perhaps because we have no other such function?). Perhaps the "democratization of America Christianity" is so closely aligned with America's 19th century expansionist development (your prior post, with the mention of Indian blankets, has me thinking about Manifest Destiny; incidentally, those remarks are unbelievable) that the rhetorical legitimation of religion is always so close to hand.

It's curious that the charge of idolatry doesn't appear more in the church for this; but for many patriotism has all the fervor of religion.

Friday, June 24, 2005 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Young said...

But making this nation better is really really hard. And in most instances out of the hands of most politicians.

But in an interesting turn of events, this evening the Simpson's rerun was the one where Bart moons the flag. Classic.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 4:23:00 AM  

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