What a privilege it is to live in a nation where we have the freedom to stand, sit, or kneel while the national anthem is played! What a privilege it is to live in a nation where we have the freedom to support those who stand, sit or kneel! What a privilege it is to live in a nation where we have the freedom to be offended by those who stand, sit or kneel! For me, that’s part of the beauty of the United States!
Let me ask those who are offended by athletes not standing for the national anthem a quick question…Are you offended by the injustice and corrupt systems that have led to athletes taking a knee? Are you offended by the off-color remarks, hurtful, and demeaning language used by our President that led to more athletes taking a knee? Are you offended that our President would call for someone to be fired because they decided to exercise their Constitutional rights?
Some argue that they are free to express themselves when they “aren’t on the clock”. I wonder how many of those offended by this form of protest supported the bakeries that refused to serve gay and lesbian customers? They were just expressing their religious liberty and freedom protected by the Constitution, right? But, they were on the clock, so naturally you would be offended, right?
I wonder how many of those offended by athletes taking a knee wear a cross necklace to work or have a Scripture framed on their office wall. I mean, they have the freedom to practice and promote their religion, but not on the clock, right?
The bottom line is, this is not a protest about the flag. This is not a protest against our military. This is an effort to draw attention that while we proclaim that “all lives matter”, not all lives are treated the same. This is an effort to draw attention to an ever-present injustice that has plagued our nation for far too long.
If we are more offended by someone “disrespecting the flag” than we are by the circumstances that led to the demonstration, I’m afraid we’ve allowed our patriotism to become our idol. I’m afraid that we’ve allowed Jesus’ Kingdom to be trumped by a worldly kingdom.
You see, the issues that these athletes are attempting to draw attention to are Kingdom issues. When others are treated differently because of their skin color, their nation of origin, their sexual preference or identity, Kingdom people have a responsibility to stand or sit or kneel with the disenfranchised. I’m pretty sure Jesus would not be pledging His allegiance to the nation either.