Friday, March 16, 2007

The American Flag Flies in Front of My House

As of 15 minutes ago. And I chose to put it up there with my housemates-- in our version of a hippie commie group house -- and I want it there. And, boy, do I feel uncomfortable.

Let me tell you how it got there.

First, I have to preface these remarks with where I live—Santa Cruz, CA. You need to know the context. I live in the ultra-"progressive" hippie commie freak capital of the universe. There I said it. In the least politically correct way possible, to make a point.

Anywhere else I could fly a flag for ANY reason and not feel concerned. But here I definitely worry about what my neighbors are going to think and not in a good way. And that bothers me. Not because I love flying the flag and what it stands for -- since the Iraqi war I actually feel embarrassed when I see that flag. But because a person ought to be able to stand up for what they believe in, a person ought to be able to express a different point view. Hell, a person ought to be able to love a person of the same gender, practice a different religion from the dominant culture, or be a psychic without being labeled a freak. . . or worse.

My next door neighbors are great people. They're also overt Christians -- which means that at Christmas they put up a creche outdoors with their other holiday decorations. They go to work everyday at two jobs to make ends meet, and they happen to love the American flag. Yesterday my neighbor told me that last Christmas someone stole the baby Jesus from their holiday creche and someone in the neighborhood has stolen his flag three times in the last two weeks. Once, literally minutes after he left for a short while with his car and we went inside. That means someone watches the house because we were there up until the event happened the last time and our neighbor came home soon after.

That makes me mad. I don't like the flag these days. . . but he has a right to fly it. I'm not a Christian (and as a Jew I've been hurt by Christians) but I respect his right to celebrate his religion the way he sees fit. We're flying the flag today to express our solidarity with that point of view.

Knee jerk liberalism is no better than Republicanism. There, I've said it. It's fascism no matter what side you're on.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hi Sheryl,

Good for you. I totally agree with you.

My mom started flying the flag many years ago because she believed that America and the flag belonged to everyone and not just to the Republicans. I really honor her for that.

For the 4th of July celebrations you will usually see a flag waving from the top of my hat - celebrating the America that we cherish and dream of what can be.

And celebrating our ancestors who came to this land with a dream for a better life.

Everyone who flies the flag does it for their own reasons. I fly it in respect for the America that is inclusive, joyful, peaceful, and beautiful.

My first 4th of July celebration in Vermont demonstrated this wonderfully. Here democracy is alive and well and never easy.

I urge all your readers to hold onto the ideal and work to make it manifest.

With love and thanks to you and Paul and all who want to help this country be great.