Why I Support #taketheknee


The United States of America is not a nation founded on a blood-soaked Motherland, unless you count the blood of indigenous peoples and black slaves. Nor is it a nation of treaties and borders carved out of surrounding lands and bounded by ancient natural divisions, such as rivers and mountains. Nor is the U.S. determined by the pronouncements of a petty tyrant, or strung together by his or her lineage.

The flag is a symbol of the new nation, of a declaration of independence from Britain. It is itself a protest, a cheer flying up from a freed people. The national anthem, so declared in 1931, became part of sports pomp when it was played to pump up a gloomy Cubs/Sox World Series game in 1918.

The Star-Spangled Banner was that generation's version of "We Are The Champions."

Our Constitution -- and especially the Bill of Rights -- is perhaps the most radical document ever written. It claims that a a nation is not about borders, or shared heritage, or a king, but the consent of the governed. A nation is about the people in it choosing to live together and guaranteeing the freedoms of all.

We aren't a nation of borders and blood, but of protest against injustice and intolerance. We are a nation founded by knee-takers.

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The NFL has the right to punish the protesting players based on their contracts. That is why the protests matter: there is a potential for penalty. Make no mistake: the potential for penalty reaches far beyond the NFL and into the daily lives of men who are idols on the field and targets off of it.

As a Christian, I am a citizen of a kingdom and servant to a king. That affiliation far outstrips my belonging to any earthly nationstate. Let me be very clear: Patriotism and nationalism are not Christian ideals. The New Testament is itself a kind of declaration of independence. It frames faith in Christ as beyond borders and blood, beyond divisions of race and class.   

@@God And Country is an oxymoron, if your god is the one called Christ.@@

I support peaceful protest always, and particularly when it targets a self-made king, a culture of violence, and the purposeful destruction of a group of our people. I cannot help but support it. 

My own King protested peacefully and quietly with his body, too.