Shock and awe?

I was astounded to read the Mountain Xpress article [“Flag Fight,” Aug. 1] about the Buncombe County Sheriff’s deputy who doesn’t understand the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights—the first of which guarantees citizens the right to freedom of expression.

Oh, wait! There’s a local ordinance. Too bad. Federal law takes precedence over state and local laws. That’s because we are the UNITED States. Is this a difficult concept? Has the First Amendment not been tested and re-tested by our nation’s Supreme Court?

And police brutality as well as false arrest?

Just because Citizen A doesn’t agree with the political opinion of Citizen B, that doesn’t give anyone the right to pull the stunts that [reportedly] occurred in this situation. It’s glaringly obvious to a great number of Americans just who the lawbreakers are.

And while I’m at it, I’d like to address [certain] citizens in your locale who call themselves “Christians.” Do they realize that nationalism and patriotism are forms of idolatry that detract from our worship of and love for God? Jesus never taught nationalism or patriotism, and in fact he refused to get caught up in the politics of his day. He refused to assist the zealots in their efforts to escape Roman rule. He taught love and peace—and if we, as a people, would keep that in mind, there wouldn’t be a need for people to protest how our nation is being run.

Thank you for considering my opinion on this matter.

— Betsy Packard
Shelbyville, Ky.

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