Monday, August 9, 2010

What Do You Think About This?

Students at Lincoln Memorial Told to Stop Singing National Anthem

A group of high school students attending a conservative leadership conference in Washington, D.C. said they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a June 25 visit to the Lincoln Memorial.

“They told them to stop singing,” said Evan Gassman, a spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation. “I was taken aback. You wouldn’t expect a display of national patriotism to be censored."

U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain “completely content neutral.”

“The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity,” said Sgt. David Schlosser. “The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas.”

Schlosser explained that performances, regardless of content, are banned to “maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial, for the other guests and visitors.”
Schlosser said the students would have been in compliance had they moved approximately 25 steps from where they were standing.

“It’s not the content of their activity – that being the national anthem – it’s the location,” he said. “A couple steps and it would have been no problem whatsoever.”

Instead of doing as they were instructed, Gassman said the students resumed the song – an impromptu form of civil disobedience.


So, what do you think?

Civil disobedience or disrespectful?

I am all for signing the National Anthem and it is nice to see high school kids doing it but is there a time and place?

What are your thoughts?


Phill Senters said...

How can it possibly be "inappropriate" to sing our National Anthem anywhere in America?...Political correctness has gotten WAY outta hand.

Mustang said...

No guts, no glory.

Z said...

I'm just so amazed to hear kids WANTED to sing it at all that I say LET THEM SING!
But, the law's the law (stupid as it sounds).. I mean, you can't let one group sing this and another group who wants to set up a band stand and do heavy metal can't, you know? I guess?

Chuck said...

I have a tendency to disagree. I understand the thoughts posted here and I am glad to see young people want to sing the National Anthem.


-I think a site like the Lincoln Memorial, or pretty much anywhere on the mall, deserves a little reverence.

Would we be okay with them standing in front of the US Constitution in the Library of Congress and loudly singing?

-It is against the park service rules. Before we enshrine these kids as the best of American youth, they were asked to stop and instead disobeyed and sang louder.

Quite frankly I think I would have planted a foot up one of my kid's butts if they had done this.

While I am for standing up against unjust laws, keep in mind they were asked to show some respect.

I'm sorry, I just don't see this as a freedom of speech fight. I tend to lean more towards a group of entitled children doing what they want without any respect to tradition and a glory hound teacher (I caught him on Fox this morning, he was loving the spotlight) seeking his 15 minutes.

Let me have it ;)

Z said...

Well, Chuck, my patriotism demands they SING but, as you can see from my previous comment, the 'law's the law' I do agree with you.
And I HATE that '15 min in the limelight' thing...
A kid from the group was just on and I wanted to hug him for even LIKING that song!, but I think you're right.
If the law says one thing, you can't let kids do the other.

Mustang said...

Chuck you are free to believe what you want. But let's review for a moment: The Bill of Rights contains our MOST important rights. It is the purpose of these rights to protect the rights of citizens against government infringement.

One of these rights is our freedom of speech; the right to speak (sing) without censorship or limitation. Freedom of speech is not limited to verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used; we call this symbolic speech.

We also have freedom of assembly, the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. This too is an inalienable right--a right given to us by God, which government may not usurp.

I'm siding with the kids.

Chuck said...

Mustang and Z, sorry - we just have to disagree. I think this is a false controversy. These kids could have done this away from the monument. They should show some respect for the monument and the rules. We would all be raising hell if they sang the Mexican National Anthem there, which is also freedom of speech.