Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Supporting free expression with flags

“Thanks for flag amendment editorial”

Thanks to The Advocate for defense of human rights in "Flag amendment threat to freedom." At risk is freedom of information.

If my neighbor wants to burn an American flag, I would like to know. Then, I can ask what caused extreme concern and can either express opposing views or spread a patriotic message. If the concern seems out of line, I could say so and go home. In any case, I would know what is happening around me.

I take my camera and hoe when I learn a snake is in my yard--my camera and some veggies when it is a rabbit. Either way, I want to know.

Phil Beaver, letter, July 4, 2006, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA

“Tolerance and controversial flags”

I think the Advocate’s call for tolerance (Nov. 29 opinion) should be extended to people with rebel flags in LSU colors.
In the war to end slavery, “scripture” was set aside for goodness. Everyone should remember and celebrate that Christian victory and tolerate any law-abiding citizen recalling his/her roots.
Confederates and their posterity were the chief victims of international politics and religion when America endured civil war to terminate a Constitutional travesty.
The “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union” cites unfair taxation, Northern states breeching the US Constitution, and “erroneous religious belief.”
Confederates who cited the Bible to justify slavery were culpable:  see, for examples, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 4:1, and I Timothy 6:1-3.
English enterprise dominated Colonial slavery. (England outlawed slave trade in 1807 and slavery in 1833). However, with attention to Thomas Paine’s, “African Slavery In America,” published March 8, 1775, the US Constitution of 1787 would have either scheduled emancipation or omitted from the Union the three states demanding slavery.
 Paine wrote, “The past treatment of Africans must naturally fill them with abhorrence of Christians.”
Unfortunately, the Constitution specified 1) taxation until 1808 at ten dollars per “property” and 2) state representation counting slaves at 3/5 per man. The national travesty was in place.
Seven decades later, abolitionist Abraham Lincoln, having nevertheless promised to uphold the US Constitution, accepted war to save the Union. Subsequently, Christians exercising justice and reason defeated Christians “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.”
Thereby, human history has the example of one religion’s progress:  Christian goodness overcame Christian delusion. This triumph should be recognized and then celebrated without objection.
I would be the last to throw stones at the Confederates:  As a Christian I conformed my conscience to my sect’s Bible interpretation and thereby could suppress goodness.
Advocate writer William Taylor (feature article, “Gaining Faith,” October 28, 2006) reported a comment I modify and follow:  Citizens, to get along “must give up the view that everybody who doesn’t know [God] as they know [God] is” wrong.
American citizens should celebrate cultural differences and honor everyone who observes the law. In Louisiana, Confederate Memorial Day is June 3. Then will flags in purple and gold be welcome? Confederate descendents should decide.
Then will anyone nourish the thought, “Confederate flags not welcome”? I hope not.
Do Louisiana citizens include Confederate descendents? Yes.
I envision Sugar Bowl TV coverage of tailgating by creative Confederate descendents waving their symbol in purple and gold, perhaps to avoid being mistaken for Ole’ Miss fans. The commentator observes, “The LSU community celebrates diversity and freedom for all peaceful people.”
Phil Beaver, letter, December 16, 2006, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA