Spouting Off

Published on Sep 27th, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Spouting Off

Spouting Off I know that I am a pastor and this is kind of a church blog but I just wanted to “spout off” for a minute or two about an issue that is not really a Bible issue. The NFL players have created a storm by protesting during the National Anthem. The idea is that they are upset about a number of different inequalities in our country and this is how they have decided to bring attention to these problems. The protest has morphed into a protest against our President who spoke out against the protests but decided to do so with some foul language. His lack of decorum has muddied the waters and now we are several steps away from the original protest and the original problem of disrespecting the flag. One argument that people use in favor of the original protest is that it did what it was supposed to do. It raised awareness and people were now talking. The problem is that people are not talking about the inequalities but they are talking about how the protest is being done.

I find much of this absurd. If I have trouble with my treatment from a company, let’s say, Chevrolet, I protest against Chevrolet. I don’t stop driving cars or blame every car company. Segments of our country may struggle with treating people poorly but we do not blame the whole country. We speak out against those segments. When you kneel for the national anthem you blame the whole country. Which you are a part of. You blame the very one that is giving you a voice to speak. So go ahead and protest, I want to hear what you have to say, but don’t disrespect what the flag and what the National Anthem represent. To say that you are not disrespecting those things when you take a knee, or continue to warm up, during the anthem, does not make it so. It is exactly what you are doing and it takes away from the conversation that you do want to have.

So why not take a knee during your own time? Here is what I would suggest. When the game starts with the first kickoff. Let the ball go into the end zone or be caught by the return man. He takes a knee and every other player takes a knee at that time. That signals the unity you wanted to express, it puts the attention back on the issues you want to be discussed, and it does not disrespect the flag. I know that many will disagree with me and would argue that they are not allowed to protest at their workplace and so the NFL players should simply do these things on their own personal time. I understand that argument, but in reality, they have generated discussion and debate by doing these things at work. I just believe that they have communicated the wrong message.

As for our President, I certainly wish he would filter his comments so that what he is saying is discussed more than how he has said it. What also needs to be pointed out though, is that he is not the only one who is wrong in this area. The initial protestor, Colin Kaepernick, wore socks that called police officers “pigs”. Maybe we all need to clean up how we address each other and issues. As my wife always adds to her thoughts, “I’m just saying...”

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