[FoRK] flag burning...

Kevin Elliott k-elliott
Tue Nov 1 13:06:55 PST 2005

At 20:45 -0800  on  10/31/05, Bill Humphries wrote:
>On Oct 31, 2005, at 3:42 PM, Kevin Elliott wrote:
>>  Don't forget the issue of courtesy/politeness.  It isn't 
>>unreasonable to expect or schools to teach polite behavior.  If I 
>>were in Canada and the anthem were played (just to pick a random 
>>example) I'd stand face the flag and follow along negating the 
>>"pledging part".  It doesn't seem inappropriate to have students 
>>behave similarly if the choose not to pledge.
>A couple of years back, I was listening to a panel discussion on the 
>radio, one of the >panelists was an Islamic cleric who was asked 
>about tolerance of non-Muslims in the Umma. >"Of course," he said, 
>"Islam is tollerant," as long as Christians and Jews don't offend 
>Islam. >Now offending Islam brought up a whole list laundry list of 
>things that you would normally
>expect Christians and Jews to do in their daily life, and of course 
>following Islamic dress >codes.

Yes.  We have a culture, it has rules, and we are quite intolerant of 
people who break those rules.  People get mad when a man beats a 
woman in public.  People get mad when someone talks loudly on their 
cell phone in a public area.  A "culture" is little more than a 
collection of rules about how people should behave.  Middle eastern 
culture happens to refer to a large collection of them as coming from 
"Islam" (though their is some debate as to the appropriateness of 

I don't see how it's surprising or inappropriate that children 
brought up in an American public school would be educated and trained 
in American culture.

>I mention that radio interview, because Kevin's statement reminds me 
>of that cleric, the >majority faith "Patriotism" barely tolerating 
>people who don't practice it.
>If your patriotism is so fragile that one person sitting down during 
>the pledge will offend, >look into a more robust religion.

My patriotism is unaffected, but that's not the issue.  The issue is 
what acceptable behavior do I want my child taught, and by extension, 
how children at school should be expected to behave.

Lets get concrete- your the teacher in charge of a bunch of 5th 
graders.  The class is saying the pledge of allegiance.  What range 
of behavior from the children is acceptable?

My feeling is that it's a solemn occasion, they should be expected to 
quiet and respectful (not looking around, not moving a lot).  Sitting 
is probably ok.

I don't see how this issue is any different than demanding children 
not yell or trow food while eating in the cafeteria.  It's about 
demanding and building polite, civilized behavior.
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
Kevin Elliott   <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com  (video chat available)

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