Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

maintaining the standard

 It is something that has caused me much consternation. Over a week ago I wrote a blog detailing my thoughts and feelings about the burning of the flag in protest. Someone who I believe to be quite open minded took some of what I wrote as a personal affront. I was shocked. I have been examining my words ever since. It is difficult to be totally objective and unbiased in that assessment because of the strong feelings I have on that subject. This individual felt as though her integrity had been called into question. I understand how unsettling a thing that can be. I have been questioning my own since reading her remarks.
 I decided to take a more pragmatic approach. I first looked up the definition of integrity. The dictionary describes it as : the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. I certainly never doubted the honesty of this person, nor her moral principles. So, perhaps it is something in the definition of morals that we were at odds with. I looked up that definition, a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do. Ah, so morals are standards of behavior. If the law allows a certain behavior am I then morally bound to support that law ? I can understand the reasoning that I am bound to obey that law but can the law define my moral character ? No, I don't believe it can. According to the definition morals are beliefs or behavior. Perhaps it is her belief that following, as well as supporting the law is her moral obligation. Could that be the issue ? The stated problem was her integrity being called into question. I don't believe I called anyone's integrity into question with my blog. The intent was to stimulate thought. I never doubted her or anyone else's honesty or beliefs. The area of concern for me was the matter of principle. My feeling is I am morally bound, by my own belief,  to oppose any belief or behaviors determined by myself to be incorrect. That is integrity.
 I am also bound to conduct myself within the constraints of the law. That isn't to say I can't speak out in opposition. Indeed I can condemn any law I feel unjust or morally reprehensible. I can not dismiss that objection with, " it's the law. " I do not get to attack those doing the behavior allowed by law. No matter how offensive I find their actions I must respond in accordance with established rules. That is the core of democracy. Yes, I can protest. I can speak out.  I can also condemn your actions regardless if the law allows it or not !
 The bottom line for me is this is all a matter of belief. What is morally acceptable to you may not be to me. Your definition of integrity is different than mine. There is no right or wrong in such manners. The laws of a society define that societies morality. Or, at the very minimum they define what will be tolerated. For me a nation that allows their national standard to be cast down, trampled and burned, is not showing much in the way of integrity or moral fortitude. The flag is called the national standard for a reason. It is not such an abstract idea as you might think. That Flag represents what is good, moral and just. That is my belief. It does cause me much consternation when others view it in a different light. I can't say what my reaction would be should someone desecrate my flag while I am present. I should hope I could restrain myself from doing something unlawful. I can't guarantee that however. I can get emotional pretty quickly. We all should be held to a standard. The maintenance of that standard is a moral obligation. It is my belief it should also be a legal one. A society without standards is no society at all.