Flag burning amendment?

So, what does everyone think of amending the Constitution to allow Congress to prohibit physical desecration of the U.S. flag?

I'm inclined to be opposed to it, not because I'm in favor of desecrating the flag, but because I'm opposed to unnecessarily giving the government any more power than it already has.

Oddly enough, it seems that Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Robert Byrd, Barbara Boxer, and the ACLU agree with me. Finding myself in agreement with that group concerns me, so maybe I'm missing something in my thought process here...

So, I'm issuing a plea to all my logically-gifted friends and acquaintances to straighten out my thinking on this issue, if it needs to be straightened out. Thanks in advance!

Edit: My friend Andrew emailed me his comments, since he's unable to actually get to my blog. He's given me permission to post his thoughts on the issue. Here they are:
I'm torn between the two sides of the debate. On the one hand, I would love for it to be illegal to burn the flag (or desecrate it, or whatever). On the other hand, I tend to object to such a trivial regulation being slapped onto the Constitution. I don't buy that it's free speech, but neither am I convinced that it's worth an amendment. More than anything, the whole question points out the stupidity of certain courts. It was a District Court that declared flag-burning "free speech," even though it certainly isn't the reason behind the "free speech" clause. Now, because a court has called the legislation unconstitutional, we must resort to actually amending the Constitution. Why don't we make an amendment instead that says judges who make dumb decisions can be removed by a majority vote of the Senate?

It is disconcerting to feel like I might be in the same camp as the flamin' liberals in the Senate, but with the current government's track record of gathering powers to itself, I wonder if might vote with them and against bigger government.

That'll be $.02.


Monica said...

I think I'm with you. I don't have really strong feelings either way, so I'm not going to be out picketing and it won't be a determining factor when I go to the polls, but I don't like the amendment either. Wikipedia has a good article about it; one salient reason to oppose the amendment is that a law against could very well attract people to an activity that is really fairly rare. Like putting up a "don't walk on the grass" sign. And in the current context of a government that is grabbing every last little scrap of power that it can get its grubby hands on, why should we give it any more?

Becca said...

I don't think it's suprising at all that those people oppose the amendment, but I also don't think that makes the position a bad one. Could be that they coincidentally got one right this time. I think I agree with Kennedy on this one: the amendment is motivated by laudable sentiments, but if it is passed the flag will wave over a land that is a little less free and a little less brave.

Becca said...

Oh, if you want a good example of flag outrage that we might be tempted to outlaw, check out the most recent The Mercied post.