Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

A burning right of freedom

He's a Republican and no bleeding heart liberal. A Marine veteran of Vietnam, he reveres the flag.

But he opposes the useless proposal to amend the Constitution to make desecrating it a federal offense.

Here's what Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest of Maryland said about the measure passed by the House last week:

"It took me a few years to realize that Vietnam War protesters' right to be obnoxious, to be unpatriotic . . . was the essence of what we fought for. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, just as surely as it means the freedom to be wise _ and no government should ever be so powerful as to differentiate between the two."

It has never been said better.