Favorite

The enemy within 


 Desecrating the Bill of Rights is a far more terrible thing than desecrating the American flag. The Bill of Rights protects Americans’ freedom, the envy of the world, and does it 24/7. The flag is a symbol such as every country has, intended to stir feelings of patriotism. It is brought out for holidays, and for reprobate politicians to wave to divert attention from their misdeeds. Usually, these politicians never fought under it themselves, though they’re quick to send others to do so. “The higher they carry the flag, the farther they were from the front,” a World War II vet once told us.
The Bush administration and the congressional majority, both infested with chickenhawks, seek a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag-burning, a form of political expression heretofore protected. For the first time, the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights would be restricted, and the U.S.A. would join a select group of nations that ban flag desecration, including Cuba, China, Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Promoters of the anti-flag-burning amendment have said that if it’s adopted, they’ll come back with more — to restrict freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble … The Republican leadership believes it can gain political advantage by forcing votes on divisive issues, and is ready to sacrifice free speech for better numbers in the polls. These are perverted and un-American priorities indeed.

Friendly merger
 Political parties that are mere auxiliaries of an established church are common in parts of the world where liberty is uncommon. In America, the founders wisely took steps to keep church and state apart, for the protection of the church, the state and the people.
Times change. Political scholar and former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips wrote recently in the Washington Post, “Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush’s conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.”
Simultaneously, one of the biggest religious denominations in America has become so openly political that it’s hard to tell the church and the party apart. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice appeared before the Southern Baptist Convention last week and received a thunderous ovation when she spoke of the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Resolutions were adopted in support of President Bush, and the group’s outgoing president prayed for Rice, asking God to “send a band of angels and swords of fire to camp out over her presence and to protect her from the evil one. … You know how long we have yearned for leadership such as this.” Non-Democratic, that is.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Religious charlatans have been around for centuries. They prey on the weak, sick, poorly educated…

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Nicely said, Antwan.

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Sounds like maybe some of those descriptors hit a little close to home for you.

    • on July 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation