Sunday, October 1, 2017

Taking a Knee

     Many NFL Football players have tried to make a political statement by taking a knee during the presentation of our flag and National Anthem. It has caused quite a stir among people. People love football, but most people also love their country and the symbols of our freedom as expressed by our flag and national anthem. To stand, and even hold one’s hand over the heart is to show respect and gratitude for the freedom and human rights that we enjoy. This is the common practice of Americans who love their country. To disrespect those symbols which give you the right and freedom to protest any injustice that may occur within our great country seems wrong-headed.  It is a strategic protest designed to maximize its impact by capitalizing on the large audience and by despising the values that should be honored. But the argument of those protesting is that it is not a protest against our country, but against police brutality, especially among blacks. Is it right then to protest the very symbols that give you the right to protest? Would it not make more sense (if less sensational), to protest in a way that makes clear what it is that you are protesting. Politics and power hungry people are always looking to seize the moment, opportunity, and felt need of people to trumpet their cause. You can be sure there is much of that going on in this display of dishonoring the symbols of our country. The sad thing is that many of the players participating do not realize that they are being used as pawns of the powerful to further their political agenda and ideologies. Everyone should acknowledge that actions should be taken to address the issues of injustice, inequality or abuse of our country’s freedoms. These actions should be carried out in a responsible and peaceful way that reflects our commitment to the values and the symbols that represent those values. It is possible to love your country and its symbols, while recognizing that we are far from being perfect and that there is still much work to be done in continuing to make our country a place where every life matters, and our liberties are cherished. Paul addresses our attitude as Christians toward those who are in power in Romans 13:1-7. This perspective must be guided by Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than men.