There’s a great story in the news today. A teacher from the Sunshine state of Florida forced her Jehovah’s Witness fourth grade student to place his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. When the student resisted the teacher told him “You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag.”
Why is it a great story? Because the teacher was suspended for five days without pay and the comment section is filled with people who absolutely agree that the teacher was in the wrong.
It’s not about patriotism, it’s not about loving your country, it’s not about being a free-thinker; it’s about your constitutional rights, it’s about my constitutional rights. I’ve got a buddy who doesn’t stand during the national anthem and we get looks, angry looks. The constitution isn’t about uniformity. The constitution isn’t about conformity. The constitution doesn’t make for a pretty country. The constitution doesn’t make for a nation in lockstep formation.
The constitution guarantees me rights. It guarantees you rights. It guarantees members of the Ku Klux Klan the right to assemble and say vile things. The constitution guarantees the right of members of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funerals of service members.
The constitution guarantees you the right to say nasty things about President Obama. To make fun of his name. It guarantees you the right to say vile things about members of the Tea Party. It guarantees all these things but most importantly it guarantees me the right to say and do as I please with some limits.
Don’t like it? Tough.
If someone wants to look at my buddy with hate because he doesn’t stand for the anthem that’s their absolute right. If someone wants to tell him they don’t like it, well, I’ll tell them right back to mind their own damn business. This is the United States of America, bub.
His Freedom is my Freedom. Your Freedom is my Freedom.
Those who spew hate? Their Freedom is my Freedom.
A Flag Burner’s Freedom is my Freedom.
You want to take my freedom? Here I am.