Saturday, July 15, 2006

Desecration

Ordinary Time

Hey everybody!

Gee, it's been a few days, hasn't it? My housemate and I have spent most of our time this week looking for appliances, furniture, and various household items. As of today, we have a sofa, a loveseat, a fridge, a table, and four chairs. We've got an end table, and another on which we have planted the television. The sofas have khaki covers, and are quite nice. I'm very happy about it. We've been to Lowe's several times already to get various bits and pieces for the fridge and the washer and dryer.

I made tomato soup for lunch today, and quite enjoyed it. When the appropriate weather comes around, it'll be awesome! Not that I'm eager to lose the hot Kentucky summer just yet, of course. Conor's got a tournament game today, so I'm going to catch up with Alan to go watch. I think I remember what baseball is...

So I don't have cable, so I've not caught any mainstream media (MSM, I'm going to talk like a GetReligion correspondant, now) lately; is anybody really talking about this flag burning stuff? Does anybody really care? Do any of you have a strong opinion one way or another? Doonesbury has a great series on it, running these past couple of weeks.

Let me tell you what my problem with this is, as a Christian - never mind how it violates the very purpose of a constitution!

The language of these laws, and the would-be amendment, makes it illegal to "desecrate" the United States flag. As in, violate the sanctity of the object. Should it seem odd to Christians that the State is telling them what is and is not holy, and what they must reverence and respect? One can only "desecrate" something that is holy, and such laws assume that at some point, someone "consecrated" these flags.

I don't think I'm quite the type, should such an amendment ever pass, to burn a flag in protest. I could offer my disrespect by burning one, or by not burning one. I wonder if it could be a more blatant protest to completely agree with the Government, and go the extra mile?

I could say prayers before the flag - er, Flag. Perhaps build an altar to the American President, and burn incense before it? Perhaps in high masses, when we cense the altar, we could wave flags around it as well.

It's not that I mind the idolatry so much, as the dishonesty and inconsistency.

Technorati Tags: ,

9 comments:

Jared Cramer said...

It's not that I mind the idolatry so much, as the dishonesty and inconsistency.

Amen.

Ben Finger said...

Good stuff. Mostly what I have been hearing is Israel and Korea stuff.

#Debi said...

It seems that our minds have been running along the same track. I've a blog post rolling around in my head, that I hope to post tomorrow. It'll be titled, "What is Sacred?" I may go even further than you in knocking over some "sacred" cows; we'll see...

Caelius said...

That's my general feeling on the business. Of course, I go to a rabidly liberal church where a naval cadet brings an American flag up with the gifts on Independence Day. Huh? Are we symbolically consecrating the nation to Christ or something?

Legal Alien said...

I hadn't seen the religious angle on "desecration" in the flag-burning context before. Nice catch!

And its use is probably no accident. I guess we should be relieved the flag-burning amendment crowd isn't also trying to have the Establishment Clause repealed at the same time.

+ Alan said...

Well, George Washington "consecrated" the Capitol building was it was being built, all decked out in his Masonic apron and regalia with some mysterious rite - hmmm.

Perhaps there has alway been another notion of the sacred which has run parallel with what it found in the Church in this country. I certainly think that would be hard to dispute.

I think some of the trouble has always been the mixing of the two streams. We have been confused and partly, I'd say, deceived. We have considered the two things one and so some of our veneration, and even some of our "worship" has been misplaced. Some of the very ground of our hearts has been stolen away. This should never have been, nor should it be now.

#Debi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Will said...

So many thoughts Kyle. Isn't everything sacred? If so, then, the governments prattle is simply redundant. However, if we are making the distinction between the Christian world and the non-Christian world, then the amendment would be overstepping its bounds, for in that scenario, only Christianity has the right to declare something holy.
A third idea would be that the government propagates a civil religion, and in a pluralistic society, each religion may deem what it considers holy. This civil religion looks eerily like Christianity, but it is not. In this view, it is fine for the government to declare the flag sacred. I then have significant problems with Christians participating in this act of civil religion in which Congress is acting as priest. It is very dangerous for Christians to get sucked into acting in this way, and I think that too many of our family members are blurring their lines of loyalty and to which liege they owe what.
One of the good things about being a Chaplain for the armed forces is that I am asked to serve as a clergyman of my faith, and while some Chaplains do serve the civil religion, I do not have to. Any time I serve the nation, it is as a Christian clergyman. So as a Christian clergyman serving the US, I think that this amendment is stupid. It is going to be unenforceable in addition to castrating the freedom to criticize our own government.

Kyle said...

Hiya, Will!

No, I don't believe that "everything is sacred," actually. Without putting too much work into defining "spheres of authority," I would say that a christian has no business caring what a nation-state considers holy.

Good points, thanks for reading and chiming in. :0)