I’m a patriot. I love America. My mother and father were both immigrants to the United States. They never let me forget how lucky I am to have been born and raised in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. I lived in the UK for 18 years and traveled the world. So I didn’t just hear about the differences between US and them; I saw them, heard them and tasted them. Lived them. So American flag art? Bring it on! American flag art with an embedded cross? ‘Scuse the blasphemy, but why the hell not? If you’re a Christian and you know it happy clap your hands. But an American flag and embedded cross sold by the NRA? Uh . . . well . . .
The National Rifle Association is not a government institution. It’s under no obligation to be non-secular. As a Jew educated in a Quaker school, where we recited the Lord’s Prayer every day and sang Christian hymns aplenty in Glee Club, I’m down with the whole Son of God thing. (He was a Jew, after all.) If the NRA wants to worship Jesus (one way or another), or evoke His name to sanctify their mission, God bless ’em. It’s the mission that matters.
That said, the NRA needs to reach out to as many Americans as possible. While white Christian gun owners are their base, minority gun owners are Americans too. Sure, most American minorities are Christian. But many are not. To take the moral high ground, to establish a claim that it represents all Americans, the NRA needs to be seen as a catholic movement. (Small c.). It should start by being one.
Equally important, minorities could well be the NRA’s secret weapon. They are, after all, the most important part of the Democratic party’s base—if only in terms of branding. Steal Black and Hispanic voters from the anti-gun side of the aisle, and the NRA will find opposition to gun rights melting away like the Potomac River in spring.
In short, the NRA needs to gradually move away from the urban cowboy, Chuck Norris gestalt, towards a more inclusive image. Something that celebrates diversity. No, not that affirmative action, equal-time-makes-us-all-equal BS. Real equality. The equality that led our Founding Fathers to enshrine the right to bear arms in the U.S. Constitution.
Offering NRA-branded talismans blending Jesus, guns and patriotism is no great sacrilege. But it’s not clever. Just like the organization itself, the NRA should sell American values without alienating anyone. Would the NRA sell a flag-draped Star of David? I wouldn’t want or expect them to.
“Impressions of Old Glory” Print, $79.95 plus S&H.
Description Jack E. Dawson’s artistic themes and renderings really strike a chord with NRA members. Jack has once again stirred our patriotism with his newest print, “Impressions of Old Glory.” Channeling inspiration from the time-honored National Cemetery Flag Folding Ceremony often used at veterans’ memorial services, Jack depicts a war torn U.S. flag draped over a cross. But look more closely, and you will see hidden images of inspiration.
A newborn baby (representing life), a woman pledging allegiance (representing love of country), and Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard emblems (representing respect for our Armed Forces) are among the many subtle images that correspond to 13 folds used in the traditional flag folding ceremony.
Jack E. Dawson is at his creative best here, combining spiritual and patriotic elements sure to touch your heart. A key to the hidden images is provided on the back of the piece. Professionally framed in dark wood grain with an NRA medallion prominently displayed, “Impressions of Old Glory” measures 20” L x 24” high. Made in USA.