Like fascism everywhere, a blind patriotism and demands by the government that certain rituals be followed are cornerstones of oppressive regimes. The Philippines is now taking it to the next level though, and proposing jail time if one is caught singing the nation’s national anthem in an “unenthusiastic” manner.
Those who are convicted of violating the proposed law could face public censure, fines between $1,000 to $2,000 and up to a year in prison. Of course, the proposal failed to mention how one would determine the amount of gusto with which a citizen is singing. There are other stipulations in this bill as well.
All students at public and private schools would be required to memorize the anthem. It should be played in accordance with its original composition, a 2/4 time signature when played instrumentally and a 4/4 time signature when sang. It should be played at a tempo between 100 and 120 beats per minute. All people are required to stand and face the flag during the anthem, or the band and conductor if there is no flag. Casting contempt, dishonor or ridicule upon the national anthem is considered a violation of the law.
Should flag worship and national anthem singing be forced?
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With public displays of dissent illegal, the order followers will now have an excuse to eradicate those who refuse to pay homage to a nation oppressing them. But oh, how the tables have turned. Does anyone remember Colin Kaepernick? He was the San Franciso 49ers quarterback who refused to stand for the national anthem before football games in an uncensored signal of protest. He was shunned, ridiculed, and received death threats for his actions by those who have no concept of the meaning of individuality or freedom; not unlike what the Philipines is now proposing to do to their own. Freedom of speech protects speech that even the snowflakes on the right get offended by.
Nazi Germany had this in common with the right and those in the Philipines as well. A blind allegiance and patriotism toward the Nazi party, who was oppressing people, was demanded by those claiming authority.
The Philippine’s bill, which has to be approved by the Philippines Senate and President before becoming law, does provide a stipulation for those “whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from singing the national anthem.” They must “show full respect” and stand at attention, however.
The goal of the bill is to instill “patriotism and respect,” Marlyn Alonte, one of the bill’s sponsors, told CNN.
“Some Filipinos don’t even know all the words to the national anthem,” Alonte said. Mired in a bloody drug war, the Philipines has more to worry about than mandating “singing with fervor.” Yet that isn’t how totalitarianism works. Patriotism will be mandatory.
Freedom of speech should be nonnegotiable, and that includes (and is certainly no limited to) reciting or singing songs and pledges deemed “honorary” by the government. That’s the definition of freedom. If one cannot burn the “symbol of freedom,” without political backlash, how free is that person?
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