This past week, the sports world has been in an uproar over the refusal of San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stand for the national anthem. Cries of treason and ungratefulness have come from various circles. Kaepernick for his part stated the following:
“This country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all and that’s just not happening right now.”
The controversy has been dusted up only a few weeks after U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas was criticized for not putting her hand over her heart during the medal ceremony for the All-Around gymnastics title for women at Olympic Games in Rio. What are we to make over this issue? Is it right to stand for the anthem and not pay respect for the country?
Kaepernick should have been paying attention for what the American government has done for the many years to our liberties, yet he has been oblivious to the fact that the government has not stood for freedom, justice and liberty for ANYBODY and not just for African-Americans only. In fact, the liberties that the country has had in the past have been slowly eroding for the past 100 years. Our interventions during the world wars, the Cold War and the War on Terror have cost us massive amounts of money, an increase of government that dominates all areas of our lives and a general decline of our cultural mores.
Up until just a few years ago, many football games were first opened with prayer and invocations were done by various officials and God was honored. As you can see about five minutes into this video of the 1966 Gator Bowl, prayer came before the anthem. With various Supreme Court decisions over the years, prayers at college and high school games have been banned in the name of the First Amendment. It seems that nationalism is the new religion and that refusal to stand is tantamount to blasphemy.
As far as respect for country, one must ask what is our country. Is it some mega country covering tens of thousands of square miles or is it our community or our area? When Robert E. Lee fought for his country, it was not the Confederacy, but his home state of Virginia. When Lee surrendered at Appomattox, it was the beginning of the end for this nation. We are now an empire that does not stand for liberty of any sort, but for materialism. statism, abortions and a general hubris that has been discussed so well by men like Michael Scheuer, Ralph Raico, Robert Higgs , Joe Sobran and William Grigg.
Andrew Bacevich opened his book “Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country,” with an illustration on how the flag had been elevated to god-like status and that the National Anthem is part of the new civic religion.
Kaepernick might be wrong in his motives, but there are many in America that have the feeling that something is terribly wrong with this country. I Samuel 8 is a perfect illustration on how a people refuse to abide by the standards of God and instead put their trust and faith in a king to rule over the land. We do not have a God-honoring nation anymore so why the fuss over someone not standing for a national anthem.