As Christians we should reason together from both sides of the argument and pray for our country, leaders, and each other.
Perspective #1: The kneeling was never about the flag or the anthem but about racial injustice. Anyone who presumes the kneeling to be about the flag or the anthem has missed the entire point and probably thinks, for example, Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation when choosing not to move to the back of the bus or later not to ride the bus at all. Again, the point is not the flag or the anthem but in protest to racial injustice specifically relating to public servants recorded slayings of unarmed black men. As for the flag, we live in a country where we pledge allegiance to the flag, but simultaneously are free to burn the flag in protest as protected by the first amendment. The flag is representative of freedom even when those freedoms expressed by one offends another. As for the anthem, there is a stanza in the star-spangled banner that says “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Thus, the anthem (written in 1814) was not designed to be without controversy nor referring to African-Americans when it states “land of the free and home of the brave” since racial injustice cloaked those times and slavery still prevailed in our nation at the time.
Perspective #2: There is a mother somewhere clutching tags in her hand, with eyes filled with tears, who lost a son to combat, or a wife who has buried her husband and left to rear children alone, who at the grave side burial for their loved ones, watched as armed soldiers folded a flag to the sound of a bugle being blown is heard in the background, and is then presented with an American flag. For them, the flag bears a whole other meaning. Thus, to see someone refuse to stand, surfaces emotions of disrespect and ungratefulness towards the one kneeling of the sacrifice their loved made for the same flag. It may never enter her mind to reason or investigate why someone may be kneeling, almost the same way it may never enter the mind of the one kneeling to consider the many reasons that he could stand. Both need to embrace each other’s pain and reason together.
Conclusion: As we stand hand over heart, pledging allegiance to the flag “with liberty and justice for all” let us be careful that we don’t become enraged when someone decides to protest to ENSURE “justice for ALL”. Or, as we kneel with heads bowed, let us never forget the freedom affording us the right to kneel in protest was won and is protected by a fellow American who risk life and limb for flag and country.
Finally, as Christians, we have a duty to cry out for all injustice — age discrimination, gender discrimination, social discrimination, racial discrimination, in all instances that do not conflict with God’s righteousness, etc… As Christians we are instructed to “learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17). And, since our greatest loyalty is to the blood stained banner of Christ and His Holy Word, not to the star-spangled banner of our nation, let us all be objective in truth, and motivated by love to embrace the widow and fatherless, while simultaneously defending the oppressed in obedience to the Word, and seeking justice. Further, regardless of how we individually weigh in on these issues, refush to allow it divide us as a community of faith, and forge forward to advance ULTIMATELY the cause of Christ and His Kingdom.
I say again, Christians – reason together — respectfully, objectively, and in love — knowing that regardless of what side of the argument your opinion falls, there is one race (the human race, though a variety of ethnic groupings), only one Savior – Christ, and we all need Him, and the healing that our land needs, and our world needs will ONLY be accomplished through our obedience to and trust in HIM!