I humbly submit the following thoughts for consideration:
Forced respect isn’t respect at all.
Forced love isn’t love in the least.
Forced allegiance is a far cry from loyalty.
Forced religion is bad faith.
I’ll take honesty over a forced sentiment any day. That’s one of the reasons I don’t get the whole NFL thing. I’m not a football watching kind of guy, so boycotting isn’t an option for me anymore than grounding me from going to a game was an option for punishing me when I was a kid. I think Americans (U.S. citizens, actually) should stand for the National Anthem and I think we should put our hand over our hearts for the Pledge. I do these things out of respect. But as far as people taking a knee during the Anthem, here’s the thing: I say let’em. Because it’s honest, and forced patriotism isn’t patriotism anyway. The whole issue brings to mind an old Irish blessing:
May those who love us, love us;
And for those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping!
So from my perspective, I would rather know which of the players don’t respect the Flag or the other symbols of our Nation, than have those people forced into feigned respect and leave everyone wondering.
But then I haven’t contributed to making these guys into the multi-million dollar idols that they are, and I can understand that those who have invested significant time and money into the players’ wealth would probably rather not have their bubbles burst with the stark disillusionment that their heroes may not share their sense of patriotism. I understand that, I do. But I still value the truth of the person’s perspective over the idea of them faking respect. I want to know them by their limping, or kneeling. But then I’m not watching anyway.
It just seems we have been spending a lot of time in the U.S. for a couple of generations, trying to force people into positions that violate their conscience. I’m not a fan of that, even when their conscience is opposite to mine. Actually, especially when their conscience is opposite mine, because I want to know who they are.
The sentiment I see in our founding documents matches up with this, and the issue is much, much broader than football, but I’ll get to that that in the next installment.