The Instigator
crazyninja77
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
gavin.ogden
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points

Flag Burning

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
gavin.ogden
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,921 times Debate No: 14518
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (7)

 

crazyninja77

Con

Maybe you won't cop out of this one!! The American flag stands for everything we believe in and everything that soldiers long gone have fought for. No, they did not just die for the material that the flag is made out of, but rather laid down their lives for their country and what they thought was right. Haven't they been disgraced enough over the years, why is it so hard to have some respect.The State of Arkansas imposes a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term up to one year on those convicted of mutilating, defacing, burning, maintaining on the floor, or trampling the U.S. flag.The State of Oklahoma imposes a fine up to $3,000 and a jail term up to three years for anyone who contemptuously or maliciously burns, mutilates, defaces or tramples upon the U.S. flag. The law forbids the public display of any red flag or other banner indicating disloyalty to the U.S. Government or promoting a belief in anarchy or the destruction of organized government. The law also forbids the use of the U.S. flag for advertising or publicity purposes. I don't care what state that you line in, this stuff is against law in some way or another. If the soldiers were willing to die for that flag, I think that you should at least have enough decency to respect the fact that they fought and died for your freedom. Why don't the people that support burning flags die for what they believe in?? I would be completely shocked if I saw someone being wrapped in a flag that was about to be burned. Heck, I would even supply the fuel! God BLess America!!!!!!!!
gavin.ogden

Pro

My opponent has a lot of zeal, and I can respect that, but he and I are on completely different pages on this one. I served in the U.S. Navy for six years, and one of the reasons I did that was to protect the rights of its citizens. Burning the flag is actually the preferred method disposal, and I will explain in my later rounds. Also, while I like my opponent's patriotism, his ad hominem remark is not acceptable in this debate. Thanks again for the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
crazyninja77

Con

There will be no need to explain later in this argument, for as I already know the reason. I thank you for your service to our country. I wanted to make sure you weren't one of those people who burned the flag because they were against America. I am glad to hear that you are not one of those kinds of people. Since I have not yet proved to you that I know the reason, please allow me to do so. Flag burning takes place when an American flag is deemed too marred and tattered to continue to fly. Never is it acceptable for an American flag to be thrown away, as this would be a sign of defeat for the message that it stands for. Instead, flag burning is deemed a more honorable option. The United States Military does everything that it can to take care of its flags, out of a deep seated respect for a€the republic for which it stands€
Sometimes however, especially if it has been torn apart in a battle, it is simply unavoidable. When this happens, a flag burning service is held, giving the flag its last honor. Military flag burning runs with a number of other traditions, designed to prevent the flag from being desecrated. For example, it is also a statute that the flag cannot be flown upside down. Nor should it ever be dropped to the ground, be made to dip, or be cut up and made into a costume. All of these preventions, along with flag burning, are a silent proclamation that the liberties endowed by the United States Constitution live on, safe and secure. I again want to say that I am not against this type of flag burning. I am against the kind of flag burning that requires people to twist the first amendment way out of its original context, and meaning. They claim that it is freedom of speech, I disagree, and say its treason. They say that they have respect for the constitution, but that is a lie. They desecrate the very foundation of the document that they say they respect. I was born an American, I will live as an American, and when I die, I am going to die as an American. God Bless America, and In God We Trust!! (Our Currency)
gavin.ogden

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for your well intentioned, and for the most part, accurate portrayal of the ensign(American flag). I am a patriotic American, and I honor the flag and EVERYTHING it stands for. However, there are a few arguments I would like to make pertaining to my opponent's first round. He mentions that "in God we trust" is on our currency. This is a popular argument for religious groups that our country was founded on religious(aka Christian) principles. Well, not only was this slogan not on our original currency, but it actually conflicts with our first amendment which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This is the first sentence of the first amendment, and this slogan was not put on our paper currency until 1957. A popular saying regarding this controversy is, "In God we trust, all others pay cash." I bring this up simply to negate my opponent's closing statement, which is an appeal to emotion, and holds no water in this debate.
http://www.archives.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

My opponent uses an example of military laws regarding the ensign. I agree that these laws apply, and should continue to apply only to the United States military, because that is the intended purpose of the laws. These men and woman who serve our country, a group that I belonged to for 6 years, have volunteered to be a part of an organization that protects the rights of its citizens, and who gain a sense of pride from this patriotic symbol.
We may not agree with all the rights we are protecting, but the first amendment still protects people from being prosecuted for expressing their disapproval of the government. I happen to agree with them in many circumstances, but that is for another debate.

The bottom line is, you are free to shun or otherwise engage flag burners(in a peaceful manner), just as they are free to burn the flag. Both rights are protected by our first amendment, and without that, we may as well call it quits and move the next regime in to impose their laws. I stand firm in my affirmation for the resolution, and argue for the country that pioneered the value of personal freedom, and for which I gave 6 good years in the hope to strengthen our constitution.

I would like to thank my opponent and the readers for your time, and urge a pro ballot.
Debate Round No. 2
crazyninja77

Con

If you are trying to deny the fact that America was founded on Christian principles, then you must be an imbecile. You need to go and take a tour of Washington DC., before you start saying that America was not founded on Christian principles. This is a flag burning debate, if you want to debate me on this issue sometime, I would be more than happy to do so, but since you brought it up.

The use of Christian religious references in the recent Presidential Inauguration prayers has served to reopen the debate over religion in America's public life. Professor Alan Dershowitz led off with an article strongly objecting that America wasn't a Christian nation; Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby replied that it certainly was. Who is right? Is America a Christian nation? The answer is both yes and no, depending on what one means by the phrase.
When President Harry Truman wrote to Pope Pius XII in 1947 that "This is a Christian nation.", he certainly did not mean that the United States has an official or legally-preferred religion or church. Nor did he mean to slight adherents of non-Christian religions. But he certainly did mean to recognize that this nation, its institutions and laws, was founded on Biblical principles basic to Christianity and to Judaism from which it flowed. As he told an Attorney General's Conference in 1950, "The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State."

Woodrow Wilson, in his election campaign for President, made the same point: "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.... America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."

The crucial role of Christianity in this nation's formation is not without dispute, although as Revolutionary leader Patrick Henry said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship."

John Ashcroft was roundly criticized for his "No King but Jesus" speech at Bob Jones University, but he was only reminding us of our colonial and Revolutionary War heritage. In a 1774 report to King George, the Governor of Boston noted: "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ." The pre-war Colonial Committees of Correspondence soon made this the American motto: "No King but King Jesus." And this sentiment was carried over into the 1783 peace treaty with Great Britain ending that war, which begins "In the name of the most Holy and Undivided Trinity... ."

Samuel Adams, who has been called 'The Father of the American Revolution' wrote The Rights of the Colonists in 1772, which stated: "The rights of the colonists as Christians...may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institution of the Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."

It is frequently asserted by those seeking to minimize Christianity's central role in our nation's founding and history, that the founders themselves were not practicing Christians, but rather were Deists or Agnostics. In a 1962 speech to Congress, Senator Robert Byrd noted that of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 29 were Anglicans, 16-18 were Calvinists, and among the rest were 2 Methodists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 lapsed Quaker-sometimes Anglican, and only 1 open Deist — Benjamin Franklin who attended all Christian worships and called for public prayer.

Samuel Chase was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Justice of the US Supreme Court, and, as Chief Justice of the State of Maryland, wrote in 1799 ( Runkel v Winemiller): "By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion... ." (Maryland was one of nine States having established churches supported by taxpayers at the time of the adoption of the Constitution; these churches were gradually disestablished, the last in 1833. The Maryland constitution, typical of many of the States, restricted public office to Christians until, in 1851, it was changed to allow Jews who believed in a future state of rewards and punishments to also serve).

Christianity pervaded the laws and the legal system of the States and the federal government. For example, Judge Nathaniel Freeman in 1802 charged Massachusetts Grand Juries as follows: "The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts... . [Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republic Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic." In 1811 ( People v Ruggles), New York Chief Justice James Kent held: "'...whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... .' We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity... . Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land... ." In 1824, the Pennsylvania Supreme court held ( Updegraph v The Commonwealth): Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law...not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men... ."

Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams said "From the day of the Declaration...they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct"

Justice Joseph Story, who was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Madison, said in an 1829 speech at Harvard: "There never has been a period of history, in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation." Story wrote several respected treatises or Commentaries on Constitutional Law, in which are found the following: "Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the [First] Amendment...the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. Any attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."

"The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage.
gavin.ogden

Pro

Well, my opponent certainly illustrated his views that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but in no way refuted a single one of my arguments in regard to the resolution. This is fairly disappointing, since I was very much looking forward to a civil and thought provoking debate on a widely controversial topic.

I must extend my arguments from my previous round and urge a pro ballot based on superior arguments and conduct in this debate. I would also like to say that all Americans should enjoy the rights of free speech and expression, despite the fact that many people may disagree with what they gave to say. This right extends to my opponent, and his views on our country's Christian origin. Although I disagree with him, he has every right to express this view, just as Americans who are displeased with their government have the right to burn a flag in protest. I wonder if my opponent would disagree with early Americans burning the British flag in protest...

While I might not choose to burn an American flag to display my detest of many recent government decisions, I fought to protect that right for millions of Americans who might, and I make no apologies for that. I really have nothing further, since it would unbecoming to introduce new arguments in the absence of proper rebuttals, and for those of you who value your rights illustrate your qualms with our government, I support that as long as no one is injured or put in jeopardy.

Thanks to everyone for your time, and vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Amethist17 5 years ago
Amethist17
I have a question for con. why did you go way off into the religious aspects of this?
and I agree with gizmo if flag burning became a crime I would gladly burn one and I'm the granddaughter of two marines {both sides}, and the niece of a naval officer. I have great respect the people who have fought for this country and who are still fighting. however I believe that what they fought for was our rights and freedoms, not just the flag.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
@tigg
wishful thinking...
Posted by tigg13 5 years ago
tigg13
I have to wonder...

If Con was freezing to death and the only things he had to burn were Bibles and Flags which one he'd choose? I think it likely that he would choose to freeze.
Posted by Yvette 5 years ago
Yvette
Con lost major points on conduct. But he'd still be losing by a long shot either way.
Posted by Shestakov 5 years ago
Shestakov
True, our rights do have limitations when they endanger others. However, flag burning doesn't do this. The only exception would be burning the flag close enough to cause property or bodily damage. In this case, it is unacceptable. But this is not the actual fault of flag burning. You cant burn anything if it threatens someone, regardless if its a flag or not. I dont see how flag burning is at all like shouting fire in a theater.

Also, aside from freedom of speech, we have rights to burn an inanimately object that we own just because. I can go to walmart and buy a bag of chips and a flag. But I can only burn one of them?
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
@ Cliff

I agree, and I had a arguments prepared to counter such an attack, but unfortunately it was never addressed.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Also, you rebutted exactly ZERO of my arguments."

Yes, I was looking forward to your counter because your primary argument of freedom of speech has a glaring and obvious rebuttal which I was expecting, freedom of speech is not an absolute an unlimited right. Speech is limited where it has the direct capacity to do harm such as hate speech, or simply direct mischief (you can't scream fire in a crowed theater than then defend it with free speech). That would be the direct counter to the expression argument.
Posted by Shestakov 5 years ago
Shestakov
I too believe in all the rights and freedoms America stands for and it is because of this that I am for flag burning. People have a right to express themselves; a right to free speech. If someone wants to show contempt for the United States, let them. Why can they scream "I HATE AMERICA" and burn a piece of paper but not burn the flag? It is hypocritical for us to embrace the right to express ourselves and then limit a form of harmless expression. I also respect the deaths and services of American Soldiers, however I also respect the rights that they died for. INCLUDING the right to protest against the government in any way as long as it does not threaten the rights of others.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
Also, you rebutted exactly ZERO of my arguments. Congratualtions on maybe the worst debate of all time.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
Nice Ad Hominem remarks in your final round. Why would you take the debate there after a civil and well worded debate to this point? That's disappointing.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
crazyninja77gavin.ogdenTied
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