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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Creepy Nationalism

Poor Poughkeepsi. They had to take a flag off a fire truck. Seems most fire trucks weren't built to hold a flag and somebody thought that perhaps it is not the best place for display. But now outrage has set in. Once a flag goes up it is such a delicate matter to take it down. Another example of the creeping fascism within this country. Don't have a flag on that fire truck? Well, why do you hate America? Every photo opportunity for every candidate for public office now has the guy or gal standing before a dozen or so flags. Flag lapel pin? Check. Flag tie clasp? Check. Flag underwear? Check. If you're caught on the beach somewhere and you are a public employee you better have your flag swim wear. Oh, and gymnasts everywhere, when that anthem plays you better hurry up and stand with your hand over your heart (which got its start in the 1940s due to the prior stance of the Bellamy Salute--essentially the Mussolini/Hitler salute--being, well, deemed less suitable), otherwise you'll be pilloried, cursed at, and generally demeaned by all those good flag-wearing people out there. Right, Gabby (but why wasn't Michael Phelps similarly pilloried--oh, yeah, he's a white guy)?


And by the way, where is your Bible?!

There are citizens of this country that do not feel they need to wear a flag or have one within ten paces every moment of their waking day (nor to sleep under flag-decorated bedspreads) in order to feel proud of their American heritage. That should be okay. There are also some people who feel that there is a problem with displaying the flag overmuch, that this reeks of fascism and a tendency to be hypercritical of anyone daring to point out deficiencies within our nation. This is highly ironic, since those on the far-right (do we need to say "far-right" anymore since that is the only locale on the entire right-wing political spectrum?) commonly criticize this nation. Indeed, the left has now become the arbiters of a neo-Reaganism with regard to national oaths if the recent Democratic convention is any example. 

If you do not display the flag that doesn't mean you hate America. It doesn't mean you disrespect veterans. It probably just means you think the American flag should be displayed at grave sites on Memorial Day, on public buildings, and at memorials. Not on fire trucks. Not on underwear. Not on swimming trunks. Heck, most of the time, a flag just isn't necessary to be in view. I so wish we could get rid of the flags that serve as a prop backdrop for candidates.

Let's not turn the flag into an ornament of discord--Francis Bellamy (socialist Christian minister that he was) wrote the Pledge of Allegiance so that the North and the South could have something to rally behind, to be united under. Hatred, it seems is always the disease of the nationalist. Do we really need to wrap it up in a flag, hang it on a cross, and salute it?

Friday, August 05, 2016

The Church in an Age of Doubt

"Science, in other words, thrives on anomaly, inconsistency, controversy, and doubt. Certainty kills it."

Hans Christian Von Baeyer, Discover, Mar.'96