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Once flag burning was called an expression of free speech; once flag burning as an expression of free speech was considered a right; flag burning was made easy for individuals who otherwise never would have given a moment’s thought to burning one of our nation’s most honored symbols of courage and bravery. The American flag, carried into battle, raised in victory, respected around the world; the burning of that flag was proclaimed a right by our highest court. Certainly it was foolishness on their part to decide an affront, a reach beyond the nose of patriots everywhere, could be made a right simply on an unauthorized rewrite of the first amendment.

Consider how pervasive the practice has become to transform into rights what we previously worked for, qualified for, paid for, or earned. At one time to enter this country as an immigrant, application was made and approval given before entry. Today, take notice how immigrants sneak in, protest, and revere their Mexican flags while burning our American flag. By doing so they insist on a right to arrive here illegally, to collect benefits, to stay here without becoming Americans, to import entire extended families on the basis of a single “anchor baby,” and to participate in protests calling for southwestern states to again become states of Mexico. Sentimentality, fuzzy thinking, and malice on the part of our President and others have helped produce today’s devious “right to immigrate” mindset.

Another example; notice what recklessness our government entered into when they mistook healthcare for a right. Having instituted healthcare as a right, no cost was, is spared to ensure every individual, citizen or illegal immigrant, is insured and cared for. No coercion is spared to ensure those who have, pay the healthcare costs of those with little means to fend for themselves. Then there is the right of a living wage. More coercion is warranted, because the haves have what they should not have because they are greedy. The illogical claim is if the poor don’t have any money, it’s because the rich have it. If the poor have some money, we have government to thank for preventing the rich from keeping it all. Add the right to an education and the right to livable housing. Let’s just say the debt clock is ticking….

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Once we establish as a right anything we formerly worked or paid for, someone somewhere continues to work and pay for it. To those who receive the right for free, it does look and feel like a right. But to those who pay for the ever increasing, ever more numerous “rights” of others, it feels and looks more and more like servitude and slavery; which is what it is, involuntary servitude and slavery. Then watch the real rights disappear when those with the newfangled rights claim it’s politically incorrect for their slaves to exercise their unalienable rights of free speech and protest.

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Observe what was done to Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, when she exercised her religious rights in the face of the fanciful concept of a “right of marriage.” Marriage was never a right, as we discussed last week, until a special interest group wanted a right for its members no one as an individual has ever had a right to, marriage. The work of the LGBT to destroy and replace the institution of marriage made easier when the courts suddenly declared marriage a right.

That brings us full circle to the flag burners; who also made their “work” much easier by transforming an act of outrage into a right; an act of sedition or treason into a new style of patriotism. Need we be reminded? The flag burners additionally believe they have a right to vote, without citizenship in this country.  In part they rely upon [ The Voting Rights Act of 1965, ] based itself on the erroneously phrased fifteenth amendment of our US Constitution, “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”  In what sense did voting become a right through passage of that amendment? A God-given right? An unalienable right? Does Mexico or Honduras allow any citizen of any other country the right to vote in their elections? No. For that matter, did Israel under Moses have a right to vote? Of course not. The earth opened up under those who exercised their “God-given unalienable right to vote.”

The fifteenth amendment is simply an anti-discrimination amendment. It specifies a little more clearly when a citizen’s privilege to vote cannot be denied. The amendment was never intended to declare a global right of every individual in the world to vote in our elections or in the elections of any other county of which they are not citizens. Rights we are born with. LBJ and Congress did not have that kind of power in 1965, to declare a desire for citizenship in any country of one’s choosing a right. Nor did anyone in government have the power to transform a privilege of citizenship into a right in 1870, when the fifteenth amendment was ratified.

It’s not if flag burning is a right or when flag burning is a right either. Neither is a right to begin with. But for argument’s sake let’s step back, humor the flag burners just for a moment and play with the idea flag burning is a right, an expression of free speech. What have they said? Announced? Driven at? Attempted to achieve? The Mexican flags lifted up and waved while the American flag is burned should be a clue. The protesters indicate by destroying our flag and waving another flag they want another flag, another government. They act out their refusal to abide by America’s immigration laws. They give evidence they will use whatever tools are at hand, including unalienable rights, to get what they want, by hammering away, “beyond the nose of others,” offending their rights. They reveal they want transient rights, of their own making, for their own convenience, at the inconvenience of their hosts. Through the burning of our flag they express their determination to remain here, without a pledge of allegiance to our flag, “or to the republic for which it stands.”

Words spoken or acted out: regardless whether they are loud shouts of betrayal, fists or cocktail bombs thrown in betrayal, flags burned voicing betrayal, or words whispered in secret of plans for sedition and betrayal; are all the same; expressions of a sinister desire for inclusion, so once here they can eliminate and replace the host. Of course that’s a right. What else could it be?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

The Time Travel Pundit

The Time Travel Pundit provides allegorical commentary on the benefits and perils of time travel because, according to one sacred writing, effective interpreters of things significant utilize the familiar and old to illustrate the richness of the present. Don Swank is a retired window washer and inactive runner, he earned his B.A. Degree in Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University in 1971, and his M.Div. Degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in 1974. He lives near Toledo with his wife of 40 years. Tap the blue button to visit his site:


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