By Joel A. Hess –
Initially, I completely disagreed with those taking a knee during the national anthem. I certainly thought it was disrespectful to the men and women who gave their life for us to pay athletes millions of dollars. But then I asked myself if there would be a time when I would take a knee.
Like Mr. Kaepernick, I too am deeply displeased with what goes on in our nation. I too have thought about taking a knee when the anthem is played. Well, maybe I don’t get that chance as a pastor. But a couple of years ago, I began to question whether I would encourage my son to fight for a country that is so messed up. Why would I want to support a nation that promotes values across the globe that I no longer recognize as good or, quite frankly, “American.”
I’d take a knee for the millions of innocent children killed in the womb, some only seconds from breathing fresh air.
I’d take a knee for the millions of dollars this country has spent under some presidents as it promoted, if not coerced, poorer nations to abort their own children.
I’d take a knee for the state-sanctioned child abuse pushing children to mutilate their bodies for no other reason except that Johnny said he liked dolls.
I’d take a knee for the state-sanctioned child abuse of purposely placing kids into homes where there is no mom or no dad, where they have to endure sexually perverted acts and are conditioned to think they are normal.
I’d take a knee to protest a country that forces people to write phrases that go against their consciences on cakes and cards.
I’d take a knee to protest a country that claims to love women yet promotes perverts like Hugh Hefner who did more to dehumanize females than any abusive husband.
I’d take a knee to protest a country that pretends to care about sexual assault yet enthusiastically creates a culture that celebrates carefree sex.
There are plenty of other reasons more nuanced to put here. Perhaps you can add to it.
While I don’t agree with the quarterback’s belief that there is an epidemic of racist cops, I definitely believe it is a legitimate and respectable concern. After all, it was not long ago when that was certainly the case. Would you have taken a knee then?
I understand the protest. I understand those who find it foolish. Yet, for now, I will stand for the anthem because I don’t see it as an act that supports the worst of this nation. I don’t see it as an act that even supports the good of the nation or the ideal of the nation as expressed in the constitution. I see it as an act that supports a love for neighbor and neighborhood, whomever they are, no matter their views. And for that reason, my kids, if they choose, can very well fight for this country. For by doing so, they are not fighting for good or bad policies but for their neighbor, which is God-pleasing.
But for someone to say that they would never take a knee or protest the flag, think harder.
In the meantime, may the blood of Jesus wash away my own sins, perversions, injustices, and hatred.
Thank God His Son did not take a knee but took a cross and a death for Colin and for all us, no matter how messed up we are. In Him, we have true freedom and peace.