Felony stupid

Pardon the political but there are a number of things in the news this week that I consider felony stupid. What do you think?

Empire State Building Lighting Committee = Colossal FAIL

A New York-based Catholic civil rights organization submitted an application to have the Empire State Building light up the night sky with blue and white lights (the colors of Mother Teresa’s congregation) on Aug. 26 to commemorate her 100th birthday. Without explanation, the request was denied. This sounds questionable because sports teams, holidays, dog shows and cancer charities have all been recipients of the honor.  It sounds doubly questionable when you realize this same committee approved an application last year to bathe the skyscraper in the colors of red and yellow to commemorate the 60th anniversary of China’s Communist Revolution.


Mao Zedong, the greatest mass murderer in history, killed 77 million people. And this merited not just a mention, but a tribute on American soil? Mother Teresa, the recipient of 124 awards, including Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Freedom is evidently not worthy of recognition compared to the founder of an oppressive regime. After all, she only was responsible for building hundreds of orphanages, hospitals, hospices, health clinics, homeless shelters, youth shelters and soup kitchens all over the world.

Since the committee didn’t see fit to explain themselves, we are left with filling in the blanks on our own. Could it be that Mother Teresa is just the latest victim of the separation of church and state and political correctness?

Separation of church and state…only when convenient.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Catholic cardinals, archbishops and bishops she wants them to speak from the pulpit for immigration reform. It seems that this reform “is a manifestation of our living the gospels.” In her opinion, the estimated 12 million people who came across the border illegally, live in this country illegally and have no intention of becoming legal citizens, “cannot be told by society to go back to where they came from or go to jail.”

Ms. Pelosi, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot snub your nose at “religion” one day, and embrace its influence the next simply because it’s a convenient way to advance your political views. Year after year the government and the Supreme Court rule to remove/prohibit religious symbols from public lands, citing separation of church and state. The main purpose of separating church and state was originally to prevent the government from manipulating the churches for political reasons. Yet, isn’t this exactly what you are trying to do now?

Proud to be an American…except on Hispanic holidays

Students in a California public high school were sitting at a table when the vice principal asked them to remove the American flag bandannas and turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. Why? Because it was May 5th, Cinco de Mayo.

I thought we lived in America. Land of the free and home of the First Amendment.

Appropriate to wear on any other day, the school administrators called the T-shirts “incendiary” and thought wearing them would lead to fights. Evidently it’s insensitive to Mexican-Americans to wear the colors of the United States of America on a day that observes Hispanic heritage. Pay no attention to the fact that Cinco de Mayo has little significance in the majority of Mexico. It’s not, as many people believe, Mexican Independence Day. It commemorates the battle victory of the Mexican army over the French in Puebla in 1862 during the French occupation in Mexico.

Two hundred Hispanic students from Morgan Hill’s Live Oak High School staged a protest march from the high school to the school district office. They believed the students who wore the American flag t-shirts had shown disrespect to them by wearing the shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

This one is harder for me to call. I love a good margarita and you all know Caribbean beaches are my preferred destination. And, we Americans do love to establish holidays to celebrate different cultures. St. Patrick’s Day is an example. Yet, we don’t chide people about wearing colors other than green on that day, or force others to observe the day if they choose not to. Those who wish to celebrate the Irish do so with green beer and reckless abandon, regardless of what others around them think. No one would bat an eye if flag prints were worn in New Orleans during French-inspired Mardi Gras celebrations. Is there “off-limits clothing that shouldn’t be worn on Juneteenth (other than a Confederate flag)? So, why would it be insensitive for an American to wear the colors of America on American soil on Cinco De Mayo? How one celebrates Hispanic pride and heritage should not be dependent on what others wear. I could understand their objection if the students were wearing shirts with blatantly pro-French colors and messages, but American colors?

On the flip side, if the students deliberately wore the shirts knowing it would incite confrontation, there are deeper integrity and character issues to address.  IF this was the motivation behind their wardrobe choice, they disrespected both countries. Morally, what they did would not be right, but it’s not hate crime status. It may, however, be reason to require school uniforms.

I have a bigger issue with the fact that, as they were obviously consumed with “American pride,” they actually disrespected the flag by wearing its pattern. While it’s common in our society to see American flag prints on everything from t-shirts to swim suites to koozie cups, it’s also in violation of flag code and etiquette. Bet you didn’t know that.

The American flag code clearly states “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. …The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way. …The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. …No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.”

At what point in our history did we forget this? Oh, I know. It was when it wasn’t taught in schools anymore. It was when real American history was dumbed down or ignored altogether. The American flag Hall of Shame can be viewed here. It’s…well…shameful. And embarrassing.

“The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.”

If you are an American citizen, act like it. Be proud of your ancestry; don’t let anyone keep you from celebrating your heritage. But when the parties are over, remember in what country your loyalties should lie.

8 thoughts on “Felony stupid

  1. A thought provoking post Lisa. The Empire State illuminations? A *bonkers* (and hypocritical) decision that makes no sense at all.

    Church and State – I don’t really know enough about your politcal system to comment.

    The American flag/Cinco de Mayo – I recognise this kind of political correctness because it happens all the time over here. Something has got into people’s heads that makes us fearful to *say* anything or *do* anything for fear of insulting minority groups.

    Reading between the lines I actually suspect that it was a confrontational move on the part of the flag wearers and I echo your thoughts but would also add that the more we push people into corners, the more we tell them how they should think and act, the worse will be the fear and hatred of anyone who we don’t recognise as ‘our tribe’. In short, The Thought Police tactics are actually making matters very much worse. Not better.

    As for the wider issue of the American flag and what is and isn’t appropriate, I read about these rules a few years ago and was astounded. No such thing exists with the Union Jack (at least not that I’m aware) so I’m a lot more relaxed about flags on clothing …and cushions, as is currently the trend. *However* I’m also aware that Americans seem to be way more patriotic than us Brits and I regard that as a positive thing. I suspect your strong identity as American citizens and that staunch patriotism is partly to do with a shared respect for your flag. As a nation you have always welcomed in others from all over the globe and it helps you all pull together as a tribe when you see that flag.

    The rules regarding your flag then? On balance I’d say it’s probably wise to make everyone aware of them. I wouldn’t go prosecuting people for inappropriate use but those rules do give an indication of when the use might be inappropriate. For instance, the K9 fire hydrant (shown on the linked site) was a well meant tribute to a working pooch but ill thought out. A closer adherence to those flag rules might ultimately make life easier for everyone.


    • The flag code isn’t “law,” and no one is ever prosecuted for any violations. They were established as a code of conduct for respecting the symbol. I appreciate your comments and taking time to reply in such depth. I was just feeling the need to rant last night!


  2. I learned a lot about the reverence to the American Flag. Yes, all too often it isn’t handled like it should be.

    ….if you have a flagpole up…you better have a spotlight on it at dusk or take it down. Sorry..pet peeve.


  3. My hubby wants to fly our flag half mast in mourning of where our country has gone. Some things have truly gotten ridiculous! I am not even going to go on a rant because I will take up all your commenting space! And it will put me in a grumpy mood!


  4. I am stunned my the bit about the principal in California. I can’t believe he would ask kids in an American school to turn a t shirt with an American flag on it inside out, for any reason.


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