Tommy Lasorda (Commentary, July 9) recounts that a 1976 Dodgers crowd burst into an impromptu rendition of “God Bless America” when then-outfielder Rick Monday foiled an attempt by protesters to burn the American flag.
If the flag is that popular, why does it need a constitutional amendment to “protect” it? Just because Lasorda finds flag burning “terrible, offensive and wrong,” whose interest would be served by outlawing the activity?
It would make a mockery of the 1st Amendment to ban flag burning or any other form of political protest, no matter how unfashionable. Encoding idol worship and repression into the Constitution will not make America freer.
Lasorda has served well as an ambassador for the sport of baseball. But he insults every baseball fan by wrapping himself in the flag and shilling for special interests, who are bent on undermining our fragile privilege of democracy.
As a veteran of World War II and Korea (two battle stars) I think it’s fair for me to ask: What does Lasorda plan to do with the flag burners? The same thing Catholics did in the Dark Ages to witches and “heretics”? Next we’ll be hearing from Tommy about those who don’t happen to share his belief in God. They must be evil too--right, Tommy? Let’s burn ‘em all.
ROBERT W. LOVELL
I’m in full agreement with Lasorda’s opinion to add a constitutional amendment banning flag burning. The flag symbolically represents everything that the people of the United States believe in about ourselves and our country and our Western culture. I would expect a fundamentalist, militant terrorist who lived across the seas to burn our flag with chants of death to the U.S., but I would not expect an American to do so.
Such an act--burning the flag--says only one thing: “I hate the United States and support anarchy in its place.” Burning the flag is treasonous and should be prosecuted as such, under Article III of the Constitution, and if not by that article, then by an amendment.
Lasorda is off base in asking that the Constitution be amended to require “respect for God and country.” Monday’s retrieval of a burning flag in the outfield was heroic precisely because he was voluntarily showing respect for what it symbolized. Under Tommy’s new law, Monday would have run to the dugout to call the police, which would unlikely have evoked the same outburst of patriotism from the crowd.
And while we’re on the subject of patriotism, why are schoolchildren required to pledge allegiance to the nation-state every day, when expressing allegiance to God is taboo? Progress in such matters is definitely uneven.
CARMEN A. LODISE
First, Lasorda trades away Paul Konerko and Dennis Reyes, then he goes on to attack American freedom. Isn’t it obvious that the man is dangerous?