Call me out of touch for not knowing that, but yes, now I'm finally upset.
Of course, Kaepernick has started something, and he is a role model and will be followed by high schoolers and others in dissing the flag. I note that originally he sat down on the bench, but now all the rage is to kneel. Kneeling, you see, makes the whole thing seem nobler somehow. But you are still refusing to stand out of respect for the symbol of our country. You are saying you cannot respect our country, her flaws are so deep.
Kneeling is an easy way to say something loud and strong, and to feel noble while doing it.
But you are dishonoring our country. Please stop. Please stand.
Now, this disrespect is sadly something that Rush Limbaugh and ultra-conservative parents have been teaching their children for a long time. I'll express my disagreement with those liberals so vehemently that my scorn and disrespect is obvious. So when the kids grow up, they learn to disrespect a country they have disagreements with. Hm.
Some believe players have a constitutional right to free speech in this way. To force them to stand violates their first amendment rights. This grossly misunderstands the first amendment. When you are employed as a performer, you waive many free speech rights to do your job as the employer wishes. Could Disney employees disrespect the flag while performing at Disneyworld? If Disney allowed it, yes. But should they?
The NFL and colleges and high schools are culture-shaping institutions that should promote respect for our country and her flag, while also giving some meaningful forum for expressing protest. Schools for certain should not be promoting students dishonoring the flag. A rule that any player who doesn't stand for the anthem will sit on the bench during the game would be very fitting.
This is why Mike Pence is also a contrasting role model to Kaepernick, and will also be followed. This is why his walkout, leaving the game during the anthem when players knelt, was brilliant. We should not give our support to forms of protest that disrespect and disrupt our country. MLK's march on Washington was a planned and respectful event, and he exhorted all there to continue such respect. Today's Antifa and black lives matter claim to be the heirs of such protest, but their actions show a night and day difference.
As usual the media is severely biased, to the point of blatant advocacy for the players.
Al Sharpton compares Jerry Jones to a plantation owner, but Donald Trump gets accused of race-baiting? Come on.
Finally, of course we should avoid idolizing our nation. We don't want to say, "I side with my country, right or wrong." Or, "I stand for the flag because my country is near-perfect and is on the right track." We should be free to criticize our nation's policies and culture. (If we never do, maybe idolatry is near.) But just as older children can give their parents feedback, they should do so respectfully, and may never dishonor them. Patriotism with proper priorities is pleasing to God.
Kneeling for the flag smacks of ingratitude at God's gift of a good land.
It takes the easy road to loud self-expression at the expense of honoring your country.