It’s Not About the Kneeling

“It speaks volumes about our country when the most courageous voices for morality, ethics comes from the ballfield and not the pulpit.”
@cmross on twitter
I think it is important to expand on my statement.
Like many, I am challenged to understand how we, as a country, got to where we are now. It seems that, in less than a year, we have become a nation polarized by both large and small differences of opinions, ideals, even interpretations of the the very fabric by which I believe God has fashioned this great country.
To be clear: I am not necessarily supportive of athletes kneeling during the playing of our national anthem. But I am 100% in support of free speech. So while it is their right to protest in a peaceful and lawful manner, the method they’ve chosen, I believe, has done little to communicate their intended message and bring change through national reflection and discussion.
But when our President decided to weigh in, by implying that their protest was not acceptable and should result in someone losing their job, I was shocked. And for him to disparage both the athlete AND his mother (because that’s what calling someone a ‘son of a b*****’ does), well, that was a new low for someone who continues to dig that ditch every.single.day.
Yet, I was heartened by the number of athletes, business executives, that spoke out against our President. What they demonstrated was the ability to respond in a manner that was a much higher road than where it was being taken.
Still, I think it’s a fair question to ask: where are the voices of the religious leaders that supported this man from the pulpit? That during the election, decried the supposed villainy of the opposing parties and entreated their congregants to overlook his multitude of hypocrisies and crown him the leader of our country?
And if you believe, as I do, that we each have a ‘pulpit’ in our daily life, by which we demonstrate the values and beliefs we have, where are those voices, crying foul on our leader’s attacks on the very rights we see as God-given?
Often in our history, athletes have championed the causes that we now look back on as examples of America rising to the occasion of the common man. And until recently, religious leaders have stood side-by-side with them, adding a voice of moral authority. That cannot stop. It just can’t.
It’s a slippery slope towards hypocrisy and compromise, when we choose to keep silent when those we believe are righteous, do wrong.
My statement was meant as a summation of my opinion, not a statement of political stance.
I’ll leave you with this: if we as a people, in particular those of the Christian faith, choose to limit our voice to the ‘easy’ or ‘non-confrontational’ issues in society, over time, people will not listen to our voice at all.
We don’t have to support athletes kneeling. But we should support their right to kneel, understand the reasons why they kneel, and stand against anyone who attempts to take those rights and privileges away from us or them.