Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Iberville Parish Bans The Thought Crime of Flag Desecration And Contempt

Source: WAFB

Last week, the Iberville Parish Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits residents from 'desecrating' or 'casting contempt on any American, Louisiana or Iberville Parish flag', and it doesn't just preclude flag burning. The ordinance also makes it illegal to put any "word, mark, design or advertisement of any nature" on the flags (there goes campaign season). The penalty for this thought crime is $1,000 fine and a 6-month jail sentence. Under such a law, even people who genuinely respect the banner could be turned into criminals. 4thth of July advertisements could get a lot of business owners in trouble with the sheriff. Stars and strips bikinis? Who knows? That could be seen as defilement. What about all of the pro-cop simps with their #bluelivesmatter flag? Is changing the color scheme of the national banner and adding a blue streak through the middle not desecration? Why not? Of course, what constitutes 'contempt' and 'desecration' is completely subjective. In contrast, what constitutes an injustice is objective; we can quantify the damage done. 'Disrespecting' a piece of colored cloth with a certain pattern is not a violation of anyone's person, liberty or property in itself; it does not belong in the same category as say vandalism or shop lifting, and therefore doesn't warrant state violence.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat errors from the past. This is even more true of people who wish to legislate away offenses, imagined or real, against their feelings and beliefs. The old adage 'you do not have a right to not be offended' is the appropriate response. In my earliest posts on the subject of anti-desecration laws (see In the U.S., Like in China, There Is No Freedom, No Protesting, And No Due Process as well as Political Superstitions (part1)), I had likened it to anti-blasphemy laws the likes of which you would find in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the rest of the muslim world. But upon rethinking the matter I now see that it's much more akin to statutes against 'Hate Speech' the left would like to shove down our throats. The whole 'don't disrespect the banner and anthem' shtick is not so much a religion as it is the rightist version of political correctness.

Side Note: I should concede that there is some validity to this anti-desecration ordinance. Certain acts of destroying a flag, like burning it in public, should be illegal, but for public safety concerns, not to punish wrongthink. Passing a specific law that makes it illegal to burn flags, or really anything, on public property, without say the fire chief's permission would be useful for cracking down on antifa and wouldn't set a precedent for censoring other forms of political speech.

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