With just about an hour before the next chapter in the Kaepernick story it seems as appropriate a time to address the incredible contrast of social media posts I’ve seen over the last two weeks. One post in favor of the actions by certain players is immediately followed by another post completely against their actions. While that in itself is not surprising, what is alarming is the number of posts from brothers and sisters in Christ that seem to be forgetting that our ultimate calling is to love our neighbor as ourself and preach the gospel to all nations. This is problematic no matter which side of the player protests you support.
The reality is that despite progress made over the last 60 years, systematic oppression is still very much a real thing in the United States. Mostly, we are still dealing with the aftereffects of horrible domestic policies that have torn apart black communities by ripping their families apart. Denying the presence of systematic oppression is not only foolish, but also delegitimizes any complaint one may have about the form a protest takes. That being said, I don’t think that Colin Kaepernick had completely thought through what he was doing, and whether it was the most effective way to create discussion and change. It is certainly not a perfect protest, but can anyone honestly expect someone to be perfect? Kaepernick understood that there are problems that are barely, if at all, addressed by the majority public and he saw an opportunity to express his beliefs. If his entire team joined in with him, would that make a difference? What if it was the entire NFL? It, by all appearances, seems that this protest has simply further defined the line of separation that divides our country.
I believe that the United States, and the Constitution that created it, has provided the opportunity for change to happen. I still believe that this country is worth fighting for, and we should be working to unite the people of this country behind the Stars and Stripes. Our founding fathers were bright enough to create a document that would enable future generations to affect change that their society and culture simply did not allow for. However, at what point do Christians stop pledging allegiance to a country that has ripped and hacked at biblical faith for the better part of a half century. Abortion is legally protected by US law and has allowed for the murder of millions upon millions of babies. The same flag we pledge allegiance to has defended, time and again, the murderers of those millions. Pastors have been under attack at an increasing rate for what they say from the pulpit. At what point do we remember as the body of Christ that our allegiance is to our savior first and foremost? We must seek truth and defend the defenseless and love our neighbor. Hatred and fear mongering and gutless rhetoric only further separate us from the freedoms that this country provides.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”