Congress Shall Make No Law

Once again, I have found myself reaching for my pocket-sized Constitution. Just as I suspected, the words of the First Amendment have remained unchanged since 1791. They have not been amended, none have been deleted, nor are there any changes made via other amendments. It still says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis mine)

Like so many patriots across the nation, but most especially, the South, I am quite upset about the debacle concerning the Confederate flag. It is utterly ridiculous that Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as well as so many state legislators want to have the flag removed from their state capitol. It is equally disappointing that the flag that once represented the troops at Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, has now been removed from that location.

The grand prize winner for stupidity regarding the flag is a toss-up. This writer just cannot decide whether it should be given to TV Land for ceasing to air all episodes of “The Dukes of Hazzard” since the flag is painted on top of the ‘General Lee,’ Bo and Luke Duke’s car; or if it should go to Facebook for banning the flag from the social media outlet.

While recently on a business trip to our nation’s capital, I spent some time with friends in Bethesda, Maryland. Here I met perhaps the only four Republicans in the state. At the risk of sounding racist, one of these young men was black, not African-American (which he thinks is a stupid term since neither he, nor any of his family members, has ever even been to Africa). After visiting for a bit, some dancing, and a lovely glass of wine, one of my new friends (whom I’ll call Kayla) tried to bait this young man (whom I’ll call Joe) concerning the Confederate flag.

Kayla began by asking Joe what he thought of the Confederate flag.

“Nothing,” Joe replied.

“That flag means nothing to you?” Kayla cried.

“Not a thing.”

“You mean, it doesn’t offend you that former slave owners waved that flag, slave owners who probably owned some of your relatives!” declared Kayla.

“That happened in the past. It doesn’t concern me,” stated Joe.

“Do you not realize that your race has been victimized by people like me?” questioned Kayla as she drew nearer to his face.

“It’s a piece of cloth. It doesn’t have any power over me. I choose not to be a victim,” retorted Joe. “For that matter, haven’t you, as a woman, been victimized by men?”

At this point, Kayla and I both recognized that Joe was the “real deal.” He was and is a true conservative. Joe refuses to play the part of victim that so many liberals expect him to play. What happened in the past is in the past and, so long as no one tries to enslave him today, Joe is going to be just fine. He is a graduate student at a university in Bethesda, and I am quite certain that he has a great career ahead of him. He certainly is well-grounded and knows the truth.

Like Joe, the Confederate flag means nothing to me; at least it didn’t before the events in South Carolina a few weeks ago. My feelings haven’t changed much, though. The only real difference now is that I see it as something over which people want to fight. The concept that the flag itself is what prompted a young man to take the lives of 9 church members at a Bible study is as ridiculous now as it was absurd then.

The question remains, should the South Carolina legislature have the flag removed from their capital?  I don’t think so, but they are certainly not prohibited by The Constitution of the United States. Go back and read it again, just the first few words. According to those first five words we see that Congress does not have the authority to pass a law regarding the Confederate flag. If you are waving your Confederate flag, you can rest assured that our federal government cannot prohibit that.

However, the state of South Carolina, depending on the language of their state constitution, may very well be permitted to ban the flag. Facebook is a private business not governed by the FCC. Do you know of a single private business owner who would want the federal government to make decisions for them? I do not. So Facebook can legally ban anything they choose to ban. TV Land is also a business separate from the government and, therefore, has the right to ban any appearance of the Confederate flag.

That doesn’t make this action a smart idea. Truly, banning anything is really stupid! Think back, dear Patriot, to the time when newly elected President Obama was calling for banning certain weapons and ammunition. Their sales skyrocketed, and Second Amendment activists were howling. A good rule to remember if you are ever a parent or elected official: Do NOT ban anything, or people will scream out against you to get it.

Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it a smart move. Maybe someday Facebook, TV Land, and the South Carolina legislature will understand that. For now, you can purchase a Confederate, or any other American flag, here: http://www.americanflags.com/cofl1.html

~Temerity Dowell

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