Random Thoughts on a Friday Afternoon

Random Thoughts–well, sort of random.

The Confederate Flag has been in the news this past week as a result of the murders of nine people in Charleston, SC. On a website registered to the accused murderer he was seen with a “Confederate Battle Flag.”

During its short history, the CSA had several flags. Its first official flag–the “Stars and Bars” (right)–looked

Confederate Flag - 1861-1863
Confederate Flag – 1861-1863

a great deal like the “Stars and Stripes” and caused some confusion of the battlefield. It was changed in 1863 to incorporate the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia in the place of the blue field and stars with the remainder of the flag being white. Eventually a large vertical red bar was added on the right.

Confederate "Battle" Flag
Confederate “Battle” Flag

What many think of as the “Confederate Flag” was the square battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia or the rectangular Confederate Navy Jack and the battle flag of the Army of Tennessee (left).

Perhaps it is time to retire this (these) flags from official and commercial sanction. For many in this country these flags stir memories of slavery and murder that are better left to our past.

There are those who say that these flags represent their history and heritage. Perhaps, they do. They have a right to fly them. Perhaps, they do. But these flags also represent slavery, cruelty, discrimination and murder to many of us. Perhaps, we should consider their feelings.

When the option presents itself, how about choosing to be kind?

“Gay” Marriage

This week the United States Supreme Court in a majority decision–not a unanimous decision–legalized same-sex marriage throughout our country. You know what? It’s not the end of the world.

I grew up in a era when homosexuality was considered by my church and parents to be a sin–in may places it was (and still is) a crime.

I’ve had students who are homosexual; I’ve had neighbors who are homosexual; I’ve had colleagues who are homosexual. You know what? It doesn’t make a dime’s bit of difference.

If they love each other, they can now get married and have (be) a family. All they want is to exercise the same rights and responsibilities as the “straight” community–they don’t want to convert you.

Get over it–spread Peace and Love not Hate.

Affordable Care Act–Obamacare

The Supreme Court also ruled this week on the ACA and the necessity of state health exchanges. This was, and still seems to be a deeply dividing issue. Compare the editorial and op-ed comments in the Orange County Register (anti) and the Los Angeles Times (pro).

Gee, now people in all of the US can get “affordable” medical care, subsidized if necessary. Those states which refused to set up health exchanges in order to keep people from getting this care are out of luck.

Bummer, huh?

The Supreme Court decided to go with the intent and spirit of the law rather than the “state health exchanges” wording. Good decision. Of course, Congress should go back and change the wording of the law. Who knows what might happen if a Republican president (with a Republican congress) comes along and appoints more justices opposed to the majority decision. Another case and this time a reversal of the decision.

After all, we are not governed by laws but by people.

 

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