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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Tony Phyrillas
Bio: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  June 29, 2006
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Democrats embrace flag burning, reject 'God'

The Democratic Party is out of step with the majority of Americans who believe the flag should not be burned and the words "under God" and "In God We Trust" should remain part of American society.

While American soldiers are dying on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, 34 United States senators mostly Democrats said it was OK to burn the U.S. flag to protest the war on terror.

Among those who believe the desecration of the flag should not be prohibited under the U.S. Constitution are such Democratic luminaries as Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Forbes Kerry, both of whom would like to become the next president.

What kind of message is that to send to our troops? Especially a week before the United States celebrates the Fourth of July.

The Senate vote was hailed by such American-hating fanatics as Cindy Sheehan, John Murtha and Howard Dean. I'm sure the radical trio and what amounts to the brain trust of the Democratic Party is trying to organize a "burn the flag" rally as we speak.

Sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the flag amendment simply reads: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

The 66-34 Senate vote was one less than the two-thirds or 67 votes required to send it to the states for ratification. The House cleared the two-thirds threshold last year, 286-130, with mostly Democrats opposing the measure.

Thirty of the 34 Senate votes rejecting a proposed Constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration came from Democrats. Surprise, surprise.

Three Republicans Robert Bennett of Utah, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Mitch McConnell joined the leftist cabal. Voters in those states should think long and hard about re-electing these RINOs Republican In Name Only. The final vote against the flag came from James Jeffords, the Vermont senator who claims to be an independent, but votes 100 percent of the time with the Democrats.

In addition to Sens. Clinton and Kerry, prominent Democrats who voted "No" to protecting the flag include 2008 presidential hopefuls Joseph Biden of Delaware, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin.

Of course, the liberal press was quick to praise Clinton, Kerry and the rest of the leftist bunch for standing up for "freedom of speech." Not too long ago, these same newspapers, led by the New York Times, refused to print the editorial cartoons that caused Muslim rioting throughout the world because they didn't want to offend Muslims. It's OK to burn the American flag as a protest, but you can't offend Muslims by printing a cartoon. So much for what the left considers freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that there is no absolute freedom of speech. Hate speech and speech that incites violence are not protected by the First Amendment. Although the high court has ruled in 1989 and 1990 that burning and other desecration of the flag are protected as free speech by the First Amendment to the Constitution, Congress and the states can amend the Constitution to reflect the will of the majority.

Most Americans believe it is wrong to burn the flag, which millions of Americans have died defending. The 34 Senators who failed to protect one of our most treasured symbols of freedom and the sacrifice of American troops should pay a price for their vote.

A day after the disappointing Senate vote on the flag amendment, the Democrats in the House struck. Democrats defeated a measure designed to protect the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Republican effort to counter the far left's campaign to remove "under God" from the Pledge failed to gather a majority vote in a House committee.

The legislation is designed to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over cases challenging the pledge. The most recent high-profile case involves militant atheist Michael Newdow, who wants "God" removed from our currency, the Pledge and all government buildings.

A simple majority is required to report a bill to the House floor with a favorable committee recommendation, but the House Judiciary Committee split 15-15 on the pledge bill Wednesday. One Republican, Bob Inglis of South Carolina, and 14 Democrats oppose the measure.

There is hope that the committee will act on the bill again because seven of the committee's 23 Republicans missed the vote.

Democrats spend millions of dollars on strategists and pollsters to help them figure out why they're the minority party. Here's some free advice. The Democratic Party is out of step with the majority of Americans, who believe the flag should not be burned and the words "under God" and "In God We Trust" should remain part of American society.

Until rank-and-file Democrats show the courage to take back their party from left-wing extremists, the Democrats will remain the permanent minority party.

Tony Phyrillas (Columnist)

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Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (, his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas

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