Crumpled Flags

I attended an impromptu comedy troupe performance on Saturday at a local Christian College of impeccable reputation.

During one of the skits there was a stirring speech about the American justice system complete with flag waving behind the speaker.

As the skit progressed though, the heroic moment was over and for convenience sake, the flag was wadded into a ball in the hand of one of the troupe members.

Some of the comedy was edgy and slightly uncomfortable given the mixed company and the environment, but the part that affected me most was seeing that flag wadded into a ball in the hand of the performer.

I posted a comment on the event website and received a response and query from one of the troupe members. He assured me it was an oversight that left the flag so, a lack of thought into the implications.

But then:

Just out of curiosity, why is flag etiquette so important? In my personal opinion, it doesn’t seem to matter. I just want someone else’s perspective on this, maybe it will challenge the way I think. Please don’t be offended.

I am sorry, but I was offended. This is a student at an upstanding Christian College. I assume he’s a Christian, and he lists his political views as “Apathetic”.

So I responded:

You live in America, the flag is a symbol of what is good in America. It is the symbol of our military men and women. It is the symbol of our noble past and our hopeful future.

Proper flag etiquette shows respect for your country.

If you disagree with the current state of America, the flag symbolizes the beauty of the American system allowing your dissent without fear of government reprisal and your ability to work to try to change the system.

Frankly I’m kind of surprised and disheartened by your statement that “it doesn’t seem to matter”. I assume you’re an American citizen? If not, then out of respect for your host country and the fact that despite the many appalling things which occur in America today I can still challenge you to find a nation which is freer, has a surer moral footing, a stronger past, or a more promising future, with the knowledge that you cannot find a better country.

If you are an American citizen, I ask you: Is nothing sacred anymore?

Do you hold your hand over your heart when the anthem is sung or when the pledge of allegiance is recited? Or do you shuffle uncomfortably? Or could you care less and you look around, wondering how long they’ll take this time…

John says if we don’t love our own brothers and sisters, who we see, how can we love God who we can’t see?

I ask, if you can’t honor this nation which God has blessed you to be involved in and benefiting from, and which you can see and work to change as you desire, how can you honor God who you can’t see and who accepts no change to meet our whim?

How would you have responded?

Do you believe differently?

And that is why I didn’t write a piece today called “All Americans Eat Burgers”. šŸ™‚

16 thoughts on “Crumpled Flags”

  1. Great post. In this time of political compromise and liberalism, we Christians must not be part of the problem by slipping into apathy. Instead, it should light a fire under us to further stand for the truth, for the light is more distinct when darkness is great. We must guard respect and honor in our country and world because if we don’t, who will? May God give us wisdom and boldness to stand alone for truth, honor, and righteousness!

      1. In the classical sense, yes. Not in the progressive/modern sense.

        Besides, you claim Christ didn't exist and that the Christian myth grew from one of the Jewish Zealot spinoffs. This would make early Christians stupid and insane. So if you want to compare liberals to stupid and insane people, be my guest.
        My recent post Protecting Privilege

  2. What I don't get is why you equate honoring the flag with being Christian. I know all of you Christians like to claim America as being a "Christian Country", but the fact of the matter is that it isn't, or at least was not established as one. I ask you to read what our founding fathers had to say about Christianity and religion as a whole, they regarded it as a very evil thing.

    1. Show me how and where I claim or imply, in this article, that American is "Christian Country".

      I assume you're reading into the later part of my comments where I am asking about "honoring this nation which God has blessed you to be involved in and benefiting from", though I cannot see how that necessarily implies a belief in "Christian Country".

      There is no "Christian Country". It cannot be argued with any factual honesty that any nation besides Israel has or has ever had God's particular blessing. And in Israel's case, they were required to be a people of a religion, not an ethnicity, so anyone who accepted "the One True God" could be an Israelite with all the rights and responsibilities of the same.

      On the other hand, one can argue with factual honesty that America, among all the modern nations, has been and continues to be a better nation by several substantive measurements than any other. In average wealth (ignoring the spikes of extreme wealth detractors love to focus on) America is far an above the best country for an average person attempting to make an average life. In personal freedom it certainly ranks high. Taiwan and other very small but growing nations come close and may exceed the US in certain freedom measures, but they are still learning, and America has already forgotten much and yet still remains at least competitive.

      Regarding the Founding Fathers, perhaps you believe the lies and arrogant falsehoods people like Bill Maher spout to bolster their own weak egos. Don't believe what people say just because their lips are moving. The least religious of the founding fathers were at least deists, admitting a God but relegating Him to a distant and uninvolved position. The vast majority were Christian, and of those, the vast majority were evangelical. They wrote sermons and argued theologies as readily as philosophies.

      Yes, they were reactionary to the government-religious cabals they'd escaped in Europe. But nobody is arguing for the Church and State to marry again, not here, not ever.

      I reject your hypothesis as false and without merit of any kind that the founding fathers found religion to be evil.

  3. Furthermore, the flag doesn't represent "what is good in America." It represents America, period. The good and the bad, which there seems to be a lot of lately. Since the Christian right took over American politics under Reagan's thrashing of American society we've been involved in numerous unnecessary wars, allowed banks and oil companies and insurance companies completely rape the middle class, let our private prison system spend more per inmate than our education system does per student, etc., etc., etc. America is not the free country you think it is, just look back at the unconstitutional Patriot Act from your good buddy W. It is not hard to find countries who are more free, have less problems, and have more solutions. I ask you to look at Denmark for one. How about Switzerland? Why don't you ask any Canadian if they want to renounce Canada and become an American citizen. They are more free and are not at the whim of big biz like our capitolist plutocracy is. Pull your head out of the 1,500 year old bible (a book that was written by men who thought that the Earth was flat) and face modern reality.

    1. Men who thought the earth was flat?

      Perhaps you believe Columbus was the one who discovered it was round?

      Pull your own head out of your own arrogant ignorance and realize the walls aren't falling about your ears as you believe. Find that people have known the earth was round since at least the ancient Greeks, and more likely the ancient Egyptians, of whom Moses, being a prince of Egypt, likely trained by the best and brightest and therefore likely very must aware of the fact of the earth's roundness, a fact that is at the very least alluded to at least obliquely in the Bible.

      The world hasn't necessarily progressed in the way your professors and teachers have told you it has.

  4. Look at common teachings throughout history. Yes, some early philosophers and scientists did theorize the sphereity of the Earth. It was not taught as common knowledge until well after the Roman Empire fell. In fact, it wan't until Capernicus that it was accepted beyond scientists and sailors. The disciples of Jesus, if you believe Jesus actually existed which I do not, were not educated men. They were poor shephards, farmers, and hired hands. They would not know the teachings of Aristotle. Don't assume historical fact Matt, that will only get you into trouble.

    1. You deny that Jesus was God, or you deny he existed at all?

      And if he did exist, his disciples were business men: Fishermen who had to leverage assets to gain access to resources they could sell to support themselves and their families and acquire more assets to leverage. Tax collectors who were more or less independent operators under Roman law. Yes, for the most part they probably weren't wealthy. Middle class is where we'd find them in our current continuum.

      1. Jesus never existed at all. There is not one written word spoken about him during his lifetime. On top of that, his "life" is a mirror image of Horus of Egyptian theory. Funny how it was most likely one of the 4 sects of the Jewish Zealots that branched off into Christianity. The same group of people who were direct decendants of the enslaved Jews in Egypt and were taught Egyptian "religion". I think you can see where I"m going with this.

  5. Your entire article is about your the flag and Christianity. And I love your argument about monetary wealth making America the best place in the world. Typical Republican answer (and no, I'm not a Democrat, but I'm definately not a Republican). Every year studies come out showing the happiest countries to be Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, and Finland. Shoot, America usually ranks below some 3rd world countries. Happiness should be the measure, not monetary wealth. Especially considering the wide gap of wealth in this country where the top 1% have what, about 80% or so of the wealth. How does that make America so great?

  6. As four the founding fathers, read this Bill Maher doesn't lie or fib for his own ego, Preachers of megachurches do. Fact of the matter is, our founding fathers, while they were Christians of some sort, were not overly religious writers of sermons as you claim. They were lawyers, scientists, and philosophers who were some of the most critical orators of the Church that history has ever seen. "One flag under God" is one of the most dogmatic things an American can say. I'm an American, but I'm under the laws of physics, not an invented character that has been used in numerous forms for political and financial gain.

  7. You'd be a great talking head twisting words to connect dots from different plains. I never said liberals were stupid and insane. Of course, some of them are. Just as there are some very intelligent conservatives (as much as you and I disagree on a lot of things I cannot deny that you are extremel capable). What I'm saying is that early Christians were brought up hearing story after story about Horus and other Egyptian fairy tales. When the Romans came after them they had no choice but to ban together and fight for their lifestyles and beliefs. That's all I"m saying.

    1. It was not a hard connection: On one hand you denigrate all Christians and the early ones in particular by stating the root and foundation of their break from Judaism didn't exist. You did not say he wasn't what they made him out to be, though that would've been a reasonable statement. You said he did not exist. Without qualification or

      People coming from a conservative Judaic religious perspective at that crux of history would not have grown up hearing stories of Horus. Their fathers and forefathers had struggled with what their prophets and teachers had told them was idolatry, and after years of enslavement as a result of this idolatry, the Maccabean revolt heralded their whole-hearted return to their God, forsaking anything to do with other gods.

      This created an environment that would have made it extremely unlikely they grew up inculcated with the myths and legends of any of the surrounding cultures.

      Further, being familiar with a fable or tale, for normal sane people, would make it much less likely they'd purposely craft a god myth around ideas so very similar. Much less one they would preach in the face of such adversity and hold as firm truth through torment and death. Especially seeing as the stories surrounding Christ's life were written originally within a generation of the time of his purported existence.
      My recent post Protecting Privilege

  8. Matt, maybe you should read up on "pious fraud". Also, read up on Eusebius. He is a well known fibber, not only by historians, but by his pears as well. The entire myth of Jesus is exactly that, a myth. Furthermore, how can you actually live your life worshiping a bastard? I don't mean to offend anyone by saying that, but look up the definition of a bastard. God was not married to Mary. So yes, if Jesus was the son of God then he was the bastard son of God. Sorry to point that out to you, but that's the truth.

  9. I find it funny that those who claim there is no God spend so much time and energy debating His existence and the existence of His primary proofs, such as Jesus Christ. Dawkins can't stop screaming that God doesn't exist and that we can be good without Him, and he never just goes about his life living as though there were no God. Instead, he seems to me to be attempting to persuade himself of the veracity of his multitudinous claims. Freud spent his final days writing a book about the biblical character Moses and the Jewish belief of monotheism, despite having rejected the possibility of God's existence. And now you. What is so important about there not being a God that you must spend so much effort showing how truly indeed you do not believe in Him?

    The idea that Jesus Christ did not exist historically, leaving aside claims of deity or miraculous works, is without serious merit and, correspondingly, without significant backing among historical scholars, regardless of their belief systems. The idea of the Jesus myth or the theory of nonexistence is an extreme attempt to rewrite history without the benefit of any historical evidence. It is sufficient, to the atheist, that it be proven that Jesus was not God. If Jesus was not who Christian claim he was, it does not matter if he existed or not, Christianity would be irrevocably false. Christianity bears the greater burden of proof. As it is said: If Jesus is in the tomb, it disproves Christianity, but if Jesus is not in the tomb, it does not therefore prove Christianity. So it does not follow that gossamer threads of nonexistent evidence must be brought up to show Christ did not exist, merely showing that he was not God is sufficient, and a much easier task, historically speaking.
    My recent post Protecting Privilege

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