Should there be laws enforcing patriotism?

Young baseball players holding caps in front of American flag

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The nation of India continues to slide toward a full-fledged police state in the wake of the government’s crackdown on cash, which has roiled the country’s economy and thrown the nation into chaos.

India’s government institutions are doubling down and enforcing official state worship. The nation’s supreme court, in an effort to promote a sense of nationalism, has mandated that India’s national anthem be played in Indian cinemas prior to the start of any movie, and that everyone in the theater must stand so as to show proper respect. Failure to do so can lead to an indictment for sedition and often leads to offenders being berated by the crowd, and sometimes to their being beaten.

Past Supreme Court rulings identify flag burning as protected speech.

Would you agree with India’s supreme court and would you like to see the criminalization of flag burning and refusal to stand for the national anthem. That’s essentially criminalizing an act that has no victim, for the state cannot be offended nor a piece of cloth “disrespected.”

Requiring by force of law that one perform some specific government-mandated act in order to demonstrate proper fealty to government or a symbol of government elevates government and that symbol to the status of a god. It creates a phony form of patriotism within the population that becomes strong leverage against independent thinking, keeping people ignorant of the treason by their own government.

And ask yourself: Do you really want government dictating to what god you must pay homage? For if government can decide what god you must worship, it can likewise determine what god or gods you cannot worship.

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to granting government more power. You will always end up with less liberty.

And requiring a pledge of fealty to the state, its symbols or its leaders is the action of totalitarian regimes, as is suppressing the free expression of ideas. The very act is anti-liberty. Castro, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler filled many graves and many prisons with people who had the temerity to refuse to pledge fealty to their regimes or who spoke out against their oppressive polices.

Do you really want to go there?

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