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Cross Burning: Protected by the Constitution or Not?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BassAxe, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Yes

    22 vote(s)
  2. No

    14 vote(s)
  1. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    Initially, I felt that if flag-burning was protected and that the cross burning took place with the permission of the property owner and was not done someplace where it was likely to intimidate anyone, then why not?

    Since then, I changed my mind. Cross burning is a form of terrorism. Even if done in private, I see it as terrorism training.

    What if some people took a fuselage of an airplane deep in the woods and practised hijackings? Like all of the hijackings, even prior to September 11, 2001, cross burning comes with a history of terror and murder.

    So the Klan of today is not the same as the Klan in the past? How many times do white supremacists need to motivate themselves with their views before they actually act upon them?

    Here's a link to a news story, if anyone is otherwise uninformed.


    Anyway, just thought I'd put this one out there to see what others think.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    $20 this is gone by noon Sunday.
  3. $20... for me? Yes please!
  4. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    Why would it be deleted? There's a thread on the Trent Lott debate that is up to 6 pages already.

    Some discussions about racism are more tolerable than others?
  5. And the tool of the day is.....

    How can you connect burning a cross with terrorism? Is it because they use fire?? with that kind of logic we better catch those scummy boy scouts and throw away the key! God forbid they might use their knot tying and campfire skills to start another spanish inquisition.

    I certainly do not like the clan, and oppose them as much as any open minded person alive in the 21st century. But i don't think there is any connection between the lighting of a symbol on private property and people out in the woods training to highjack a plane.

    You watch to much CNN. That's what i think.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You know, sometimes they burn them on other people's lawns.
  7. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
  8. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA

    So if conducted with the permission of the property owner, you think that cross burning should be protected by the Constitution?
  9. I don't understand the question.

    I guess if you are burning a cross and putting it on the lawn of a heavily Christian person, if that's what you are saying, that is downright disgusting. They aren't buggin' you; that's just foul to do that to them. To each his/her own.

    However, If you burned a cross and put it at the foot of my apartment, it wouldn't offend me in the least. What SHOULD it mean for me? I can't think of one reason why that would bug me. I would actually find it FAR more odd than disturbing. Doesn't mean anything to me.

    And I'm not touching the flag thing with a ten, maybe a hundred-foot pole.

    Maybe a million though...

  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I have no religion at all. Though, I am respectful of everyone's thoughts and beliefs, as long as these don't lead him/her to fundamentalism.

    This means I would feel shocked if someone put a burnt cross on my lawn. Most generally, my vision of this is that no attempt should be done to any religious thing or symbol.

    But as usual, that's a very personal point of view.

  11. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    Sorry if this poll is an exclusion of those who are not in/from the United States.

    Wow, Spitzburgen! Do you ever get over to Franz Josef Land? What's the population of Spitzburgen? I imagine that it's quite desolate there.

    You'd have to know something about the history of racism in the United States in order to understand the question. See my link in my first post or do some web searches for the subjects of "cross burning" or "Ku Klux Klan" to read up on the topic.
  12. I may not be offended by the cross, but I'll probably get pretty angry over someone throwing something burning on my lawn.
  13. I am not actually from Spitzbergen. I was born a United States Citizen, have been a United States citizen my whole life, and POSSIBLY might remain that way my whole life. Sorry; I just am really interested in geography for some weird reason :confused: I do know of Franz Josef Land though :D Spitzbergen has a native population of around 35,000 I believe (don't take that number to heart; it's been a while since I checked that), abut 70% that of Greenland. It is actually milder than its latitudes suggest; 2 weeks ago it was 36 degrees Fahrenheit there, and at the same time it was 18 in Central NY! The Jet Stream apparently does make it up that far. The area looks AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS; you get northern lights up the yin-yang hehe.

    Anyways, I do understand about racism. My family is Italian, and my mom was called a "n*****" for most of her childhood for her extremely dark skin. :mad: If you wanna know my honest opinion on what should be done with the Ku Klux Klan, I say dig a few pages out of Dr. Mengele's infamous deeds, let not just blacks, but whites, hispanics, asians alike should join in hands in torturing these filthy pitiful excuses for humanity-byproduct.

    Hey, that was kinda weird....

    I TOTALLY am not being angry. I have a LOT (TRUST ME, YOU DON'T WANT TO GET ME STARTED; MANY OF MY FRIENDS ARE HOMOSEXUAL, SO THAT IS JUST ONE LITTLE ASPECT) of things against Christianity, probably more than 99% of people on this board, but I still can't understand upon my wildest dreams what would possess someone to burn a cross on someone's lawn. Not only is that vandalism, it unfortunately has a deeper meaning.

    Burning a cross on someone's law is wrong. But why is it exclusively a Klan activity? I would feel that many other groups of that hideous nature have figured out many other ways to reduce themselves to pond scum. I guess I just don't get it. Are they trying to say that the presence of Africans/African Americans wounds the soul of Christ or something? Hmm.... 99.999999% of the Christians I know don't believe that...hmmm....CAN SOMEONE SAY PSYCHO? OR IS IT FANATIC? OR PERHAPS SOMEONE WHO TAKES WORDS FROM A RELIGIOUS HOLY BOOK, MISCONSTRUES THEM FOR THEIR OWN IDEALS, AND THEN STARTS BEING EVIL?

    I have no problem with any belief until people start killing and/or harming for it. Honestly, if it says anywhere in your (GENERAL YOUR) book to kill and/or harm people for their race, sexual belief or sex, and you believe it, I hope you die the most ferociously painful death possible. Like being held upside down, and having a chainsaw....OK, I'm going to stop there...

    If a Klan member burned a cross at my doorstep, well, there can only be one meaning, since cretins like that aren't really capable of intellectual thought of any kind. In that case, I'll ask Neptoon to allow me to fire some Naval weapons upon the nearest Klan stomping ground.

    If it wasn't a Klan member, well, I'd have to know why they did it first. If it has anything even remotely to do with why a Klan member would do it, well, then I might need to ask Neptoon again...

    Sorry for the graphic images and/or language; I am at SEVERE risk of failing out of college and have NEVER felt this wave of intense anger. No lie. Even with legitimate personal problems, they still manage to possibly deny you what you deserve.
  14. For those who choose to burn a cross as a form of terrorism, or intimidation I say!

    When are you and all the other racist peice of ****s of this world going to realize there is only one race.

  15. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I think the issue goes to inciting violence. The Klan burning crosses is closely tied to a history lynchings and firebombings. It's symbol that is inextricably linked to the most wretched hate crimes. The message of a burning cross is one of intolerance towards minorities by a group that advocates violence as "solution" to the existence of non-whites and non-protestants in America. It is the symbolic equivalent of a speaker saying that minorities are to be killed or driven out of America. And, as I understand it, incitement to violence is not protected as free speech.
  16. And, as I understand it, incitement to violence is not protected as free speech.

    <start cheesy game show music>
    <end game show music>
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It seems that Brad's excellent point was lost by many.
  18. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    "Protected by the constitution" is no guarantee for things to be right or in good taste...
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Ok, my original plan was to not touch this eith a ten-foot pole, but it's bugging me so here goes:

    It should not be considered unconstitutional. While taken in most contexts (there are some places and festivites where cross-burnings are a non-destructive religious act), I think they are horrible. The Klan has used them as a symbol for years and has turned the sight of one into a message of hate.

    But....the act in and of itself is not necessarily harmful. I think kids playing those Grand Theft Auto games where you shoot cops and prostitues is horrible in theory, but I don't think they should be made unlawful because of their potential to cause harm. This is similar to what the Nazis have done to the swastika symbol. It's originally an Indian symbol, and a very balancing shape compostitionally, although placing a similar shape in a modern work of art immediately connotes Nazism rather than the functional balance of the shape itself. So because of the horrible associations with th swastika, it is very taboo-but that does not mean it should be made illegal or taken as a sign of terrorism. The same way speech that is offensive but not person-specific is protected, so should actions that are negative but not person-specific be protected. The only way to keep free speech in this country is to let it work for everyone, even if it means allowing racist idiots to say what they wish. If someone puts a burning cross on someone else's lawn, then yeah, that's an illegal offense as it is both property-related AND a specific threat to the person who lives there. But if a bunch of yoyos in sheets want to do it on their own property? As historically evil that symbol may be, it's their right.

    And as far as it being an offense to religion, I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, so I don't think the government has a right to intervene on that behalf.

    So to me, basically: cross-burning=bad, but not unconstitutional.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Because it was meant for your neighbor? Would that bug you?

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