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Traditions Under Fire
by Doug Hagin
03 September 2003Ole Miss

Football and its traditions are targets of those who would reshape our society in the name of "sensitivity," "inclusion," and "tolerance."


Months of waiting have finally paid off for the millions of football fans across America and the world. Thursday, September 4th kicks off the 2003 season in the National Football League and college football enters its second week this weekend.

For fanatical followers of this great American tradition there is no better time of year. Tradition is a great part of the football culture. The college game is so deeply entrenched with traditions it is impossible to imagine the games without them.

Football and its traditions, however, are becoming targets of those who would reshape our society in the name of “sensitivity,” “inclusion,” and “tolerance.” The traditions of football are no more welcome to the dealers of political correctness, than any other traditions here in America. In fact, at times it seems anything traditional is under siege by the political correctors of modern-day America.

Every year there will be episodes of the political correctors trying their best to stop student led prayers at high school football games. No matter that these prayers are long in history and heritage, no matter that the students and players wish to pray. The political correctors oppose traditions like prayer at games because they oppose America and any tradition, which honors our roots and culture.

The recent uproar over the Ten Commandments in Alabama is more of the same effort to squash American traditions. This country was founded on a belief in God and the liberties He blesses us with. Remembering this truth of our founding as a nation is therefore a target of the political correctors. The Ten Commandments being displayed in public celebrates our heritage, thus the political correctors oppose it being displayed.

Another great example of the Left’s attack on American traditions is the campaign they are waging on the Boy Scouts. No group has felt the sting of the anti-traditional America crusade more than the Scouts have.

The Scouts dare to honor God in their ranks and dare to oppose Gay scoutmasters. This is of course their right to do. They are a private group, and the freedom of association is one of America’s greatest liberties. 

The Scouts honor things like duty, belief in God, and honor. These are the hallmarks of American tradition. Of course the political correctors do not believe in these and certainly not in the freedom of association either. To them there should be no right for any group to control its membership roles. They feel the Scouts should leave God out and welcome Gay scoutmasters, so they will never cease their campaign until the Scouts give in.

As has been documented here repeatedly the tradition of gun ownership has long been the favorite target of the political correctors. Securing our God-given liberties is not possible without guns and the freedom to own them. There is no greater or more vital American tradition and surely none other has been attacked with more fervor or venom.

Likewise the American tradition of hunting is and has been under attack. The political correctors rant and rave about animal rights, cruelty to animals and the harm allegedly done to children by hunting with their fathers. Yet the real reason they oppose hunting is it is a tradition passed down for generations and generations.

Like hunting, competition is a deeply held tradition here in America. And of course this too is under fire from the left wing. Grades are discouraged in school lest we hurt the self-esteem of those students who do not make the highest marks. Never mind that the competition will drive them to improve and learn more. Never mind the facts that students should feel competitive. No one succeeds without a competitive spirit.

Yet the campaign against competition continues, targeting children's sports where keeping score is criticized as too competitive and demeaning to the losers of the games. Again, never mind that competition builds character and perseverance. All American traditions must go according to the political correctors.

Finally consider the attacks by the political correctors on the confederate flag and more recently the American flag. No Southerner with a knowledge of their history can look for long with dry eyes at the flag his ancestors fell under in the War Between the States. Our traditions pay homage to the flag, but these traditions have felt for decades now the  sheer hatred of the political correctors.

The same shameful type of attack now wages against Old Glory. Nothing is more traditional than that banner. It is the most powerful symbol of everything America is. Thus the attacks against it.

The traditions of this nation are many and should be defended against those who would rob us of them. If we lose them, or fail to defend them we will lose our nation. This must not happen. 

Doug Hagin is a freelance writer
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