I wanted to post my response to some of the comments on my Facebook post concerning my blog article called, 'Patriotism, The Flag, and Kneeling Concerning Christians' that I posted on my Facebook page here instead of in the comment section...
My original blog post was a response to Christians who are infuriated by the perceived disrespect to a nation and earthly ideology by athletes kneeling during the national anthem—many have made it an issue of patriotism which was not what the athletes intended it to be about... [Find the original blog post here: Patriotism, The Flag, And Taking A Knee Concerning Christians]
The reality is the athletes are kneeling because of racial injustice and police brutality. If you think otherwise then you are not listening to what they are saying because your patriotism has muffled your ears. It seems many people who are outspoken against the NFL players kneeling are people who have the least chance of experiencing racial injustice or police brutality.
Social injustice and police brutality are very real issues.
Think on this quote from a sixteen year old kid I know:
"Imagine being so privileged that when people stand up to injustice you get to complain that it's getting in the way of your football."
This is kind of what it seems like we are doing—even though I know there is more to the issue. And I am just as guilty of doing this as others.
Racism and social injustice are very real issues—despite the other day someone telling me there are no injustices. Even though I am half Latino, and have experienced some level of police injustice in my teenage years, and some racism in places I've lived outside of California along with my wife and kids—my wife and kids look very Mexican—I would never in my mind pretend to understand or belittle my other minority brothers and sisters and the social injustice issues they are experiencing and tell them it is not real.
As Christians we must remember that all people are created in the image of God and we must become advocates and defenders of anyone—doesn't matter their race, gender, ethnicity and etc... who are experiencing any injustices or anything that robs them of their dignity, and moves them further away from the love of our heavenly Father.
The mere fact that we need to have this conversation about patriotism & faith, racism, and social injustice amongst ourselves as followers of Jesus is puzzling to me. But this is what happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fall in love with the things of this world. Christians, remember we have the message of reconciliation given to us by God and we are ambassadors of Christ Jesus.
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” —2 Corinthians 5:19-20
The kneeling is not about the flag, anthem, or disrespecting our great country. It's a protest to racial injustice and police brutality.
Let's be reminded by the words found in the book of James:
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” —James 1:19
“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” —James 3:9-10