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Does the American flag of unity represent cultural diversity?

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 03-04-2014 | in Government, Democracy, Critical Thinking, Freedom,

Courts ruled schools could ban students? American flag displays during Cinco de Mayo because of threats of violence. This is an absurdity of some people's reasoning about American cultural diversity. Some students in the United States celebrating a historic event of foreign, ancestor culture threaten violence to other students displaying the American flag that symbolizes protected freedom of expression.

During May 5, 2010, Oak High School of Morgan Hill Unified School District allowed a Cinco de Mayo celebration on campus. Some students of Mexican descent threatened violence against students displaying the American flag that day. Based on those threats, school officials directed students to remove or hide clothing displaying the flag. They excused students from attendance that refused to hide or remove the flag from their clothes.

The students sued in Federal District Court for violation of their First Amendment rights of free speech and for equal protection. The Federal Court ruled in favor of Morgan Hill school officials and so did a panel of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appellate Court reasoned that schools have authority to suppress speech to protect students from threats of violence or to prevent disruption of school programs. This court decision was a perverted application of law. It supported the denial of American students' free speech displays of patriotism while allowing the group threatening violence to display the Mexican flag and complete their Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Perhaps Oak High School officials could have used this occasion as an education event if the illogical beliefs of cultural diversity did not obstruct reasoning. American Cultural diversity presumes distinct inherited ethnic groups differences in important areas of morality, intellect, and human rights. Prejudices of skin color, race, religion, and nationality are the foundation for cultural group identities. Those identities energized by prejudiced-charged emotions convince many Americans that cultural diversity is a zero-sum game-each group advances its interests at the expense of another group. (That is, "White" students' display of the American flag belittles the Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebration." "Schools advance black and Asian cultural interests over white-race interests when they reduce European history and literature in the k-12 curriculum." "Improving Black-labeled students' English Language ability diminishes their African-American culture.")

Commonsense, should alert Americans the disputes over the worth of inherited cultures is unproductive of young Americans' duty to advance a common American culture. The direction immigration flow indicates how people value culture no matter the wistful claims of cultural equality. Americans or their ancestors voted the United States their preferred culture when they emigrated from their ancestral lands and culture.

Life is a relay for survival and not a static picture for admiration of ancestor achievement. Therefore, descendants celebrating past great cultures of the African, Asian, and European continents that no longer are dominant only highlight those cultures' lack of persistence. Alternatively, it highlights the failure of descendants to advance the baton. Ideas of cultural diversity set the United States on that same destructive track.

School officials had the duty to remind students of the patriotic purpose for displaying the American flag. On May 5, 2010, some students celebrated Cinco de Mayo by trying to force other students to remove displays of the American flag from their clothing. This same day, ten thousands American military members displayed the American flag on their combat outfit while at war in Afghanistan defending freedoms of Americans. Many of those military members were Americans of Mexican descent. The display of the American flag on the caskets of deceased military members is the nation's tribute to them.

If this reminder of what the flag represents failed to suppress the threats of violence from its display, school officials should have called for law-enforcement backing to protect students exercising their American freedoms. Alternatively, they should have canceled the celebration. In no manner should they have rewarded threats of violence against displays of American patriotism. Americans' respect for the displayed flag is not for a piece of cloth, but for goals of unity, it represents.

Misconception about Religious Liberty

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 02-24-2014 | in Democracy, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Freedom,

Religious liberty includes the legal right of Christian business owners to discriminate against same-gender couples. Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Republicans in ten state legislatures assert religious liberty extends to business decisions of business owners based on the religious convictions. Jindal claims a silent war against Religious Liberty in America, because Christian business owners face discrimination charges for refusing to sell product to same-gender couples.

Contrary to the common belief of conservatives and liberals alike, the Constitution denies government authority to protect or to interfere with religious freedom. The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting any establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof." This means that in the Constitution the people refused government authority over religious expression. No support or interference in religion by government means zero involvement of government. Federal Internal Revenue Service codes granting tax exemptions for religion expression that meets a government standard is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

This First Amendment exclusion of government authority over religion is a sensible check given the personal nature of religious expression. The free exercise of religion combines the thoughts, conduct, and morality of the individual. In other words, religious convictions are internal qualities of the person and not authority to decide other people's conduct. Therefore, government would not have a real-world standard of law to settle disputes among personal religious convictions.

For example, a bakery refused to make or sell a wedding cake to a gay couple based on the owners asserted First Amendment right of religious expression. However, as discussed above, the First Amendment does not protect an individual's right of religious expression over rights of other people. It only denies government the power to interfere in that expression.

Americans do have government protected human and civil rights including the right to decide their associations. However, government can protect this right only if the person sets out a clear personal standard of associations that someone or some group violated.

The bakery business owner announced a retail policy inclusive of all public members as paying customers when he or she sought a retail business license from the government agency. Therefore, the business owner had no legal grounds to refuse service to certain couples based on the owner's personal convictions about their sexual orientation or other personal traits. The Gay couple only wanted to buy a special cake. All else about them was not the business owners' concern.

Someone may ask if the bakery owner could deny service to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual (LGBT) individuals based on religious convictions if he or she indicated this restriction on the business license application. Rules of logic dictate the answer must be no, because the business owner could not hold those religious convictions and operate a retail business.

Obviously, government agencies, power companies, and business suppliers employ LGBT individuals. Religious convictions allegedly prevent some Christian business owners from associating with LGBT individuals as paying customers. If so, those same religious convictions should prevent those business owners from buying products and services of government and businesses that employ LGBT individuals. Therefore, the practical requirements of retail business operation offer prospective business owners two choices. They can apply their religious convictions only to them. They can apply their religious convictions to other peoples conduct and refuse to buy the services and products their business needs to operate.


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