I came across a very difficult article this morning about what’s happening to our brothers and sisters in St. Louis.
So when I came across this Facebook post from a friend, a good guy:
I am so glad that Houston Texans stayed classy during #TheNationalAnthem cause I haven't watched a game yet and if any of them kneeled, I was going to wind up watching Lifetime with my wife, I agree with protesting, but do it classy and don't disrespect the flag #letsgoTexans#TexasStrong
I needed to respond:
St. Louis and Football
America is built on dissention. America thrives where other groups of people haven’t because we have consistently chosen progress over tradition and status quo. We value the ideals of opportunity and equality because we know that this is the path towards a more perfect union. Let’s remember that many of the European settlers in America left Europe for America in order to seek freedom from the oppressive forces of the state. They weren’t coming to America on vacation. They fled because they were getting their asses kicked at home.
Now America is top-dog and we must not forget what history has shown us - power has a tendency towards self-preservation and therefore we must always be vigilant with our leaders, laws and the values by which we all hold each other accountable.
It is not by blind allegiance to tradition for tradition sake that we grow and make America better. It’s rather by and through the continual challenging of our core values that we make America great. We must prioritize minimizing oppression and expanding opportunity first from within our borders and especially when it is difficult. We must remember America doesn’t do what is easy, America does what is better. And we can do better!
When people rise up and raise legitimate concerns, we owe it to them as fellow Americans to extend them grace in the same way we’d hope for if an injustice had be done to us. Our care for each other should be above all games, all songs, all statues, above the flag, above everything else. Remember the golden rule: The "Golden Rule" was given by Jesus of Nazareth, who used it to summarize the Torah: "Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets" (Matthew 7:12 NCV, see also Luke 6:31).
When we forget that the flag, traditions, and laws are in service to us as American citizens and not the other way around, we have lost our way. Flags and songs don’t deserve my blanket respect or allegiance. Such blind allegiance is more North Korean-esque than American. Furthermore Jesus called us not to put our faith in idols. That is true even when, especially when, the idols are ones that we like.
Instead of being more “classy” and “respectful” we owe it to America to be well…American. That means we need to challenge the system more. We need to get rid of unnecessary regulations that limit us in enterprise in the same way we need to rid ourselves of unnecessary regulations that act to limit equality for all of our citizens. In this way we we make our democracy better. It’s through our protest that we honor our veterans and our forefathers.