Dear Conservatives: Do You Really Believe in Free Speech?

Dear Conservatives: Do You Really Believe in Free Speech? September 25, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 10.06.04 AM

I have to admit, I’m not understanding the consistency of your logic, conservative friends.

While our country is facing a string of catastrophic natural disasters and seems to be edging closer to the brink of nuclear war, the President is spending his time cursing and denouncing NFL players who do not stand during the national anthem.

It’s truly an inexplicable and twisted prioritization of issues. As so many of you jump on board with this national distraction, it also reveals a deep inconsistency in the supposed belief system of an “American patriot.”

As conservative American patriots, you claim to love America above all others. I used to be one of you, in every way you can imagine.

I believed in our freedoms. I believed those who hate us, hate us because of those freedoms, and I believed that people’s attitudes toward America should be “love it or leave it.”

I was just like so many of you who consider yourself American “patriots” today.

However, as I have watched Trump’s rants on twitter– cursing black athletes who take a knee during the national anthem, calling one’s mother a bitch, and his insisting that the NFL should fine or fire anyone who doesn’t “respect the flag,” I am reminded once again why I no longer belong to the roaring crowd of professing patriots.

You see, what’s clear to me is that you love our freedom– right up until the point that people actually use it.

Furthermore, in situations like this you prove you don’t really believe in free speech at all– because you can’t say you believe in free speech, but also believe in compelled speech.

We often frame first amendment as having the freedom to speak your mind and say whatever you want. The concept of free speech is often seen as the freedom to actively say something– it’s framed as freedom to take action, instead of freedom to take inaction. What we forget is that the freedom of speech isn’t always about saying something. What is equally true is that the freedom of speech is also a freedom to say nothing at all.

Conversely, when we describe the next part of the first amendment– the freedom of religion– we often describe it as the freedom to do, or not do something.

We don’t simply say, “I have the freedom to practice my religion” but would also say, “you cannot force me to practice yours.” Case in point: it’s why people lose their shit at the mere mention of sharia law.

Thus, we easily see that freedom of religion means we have freedom from being compelled to participate in a particular religion.

However, when it comes to the issue of free speech, so many of you American patriots who would start a civil war if someone tried to compel you to practice Islam, have absolutely no problem compelling someone to say or express things they do not wish to say or express, when the topic at hand is patriotism.

Here’s what you’re missing and the inconsistency in your own logic: When you say that people should be forced to stand for the national anthem or lose their job, you are in fact insisting that people be forced to express a sentiment or belief they do not actually believe or wish to express.

This is compelled speech. It is using force and coercion to make someone express something they do not want to.

All this brings us to a legitimate question, conservative friends: Do you really believe in the first amendment? Do you really believe in the freedom of speech and expression?

Because when it comes to religion, you rightly have a visceral reaction to even the slightest hint that you might be forced to express something you don’t want to express. You see the freedom of religion as including freedom from having to participate in any religious expression you don’t want to.

And you know what? You’re right on that count. In fact, I don’t know anyone who would remotely disagree.

So– and here’s the kicker– why is it, that when it comes to the freedom of speech and expression during our national anthem, you no longer believe that it’s wrong to force someone to express something they don’t want to express? How is it that your logic and expressed values completely go out the window the minute the flag comes out?

Because if you *really* believed in the freedom of speech and expression, you’d also be firmly against compelled expression.

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unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Bones
  • Matthew

    Thanks for this Dr. Corey.

    Can someone please explain to me how one moves from a song about a flag into a song
    about a soldier´s service? All the American patriots say that when you refuse to stand and sing
    about the stars and stripes you are disrespecting the American military establishment.

    I fail to see the connection (especially when I consider the lyrics of the song) … but then again
    I may indeed be missing something I´ll rightly admit.

  • mimij

    The reality is that most of us recline our way through the National Anthem. I wonder if those who insist that we must stand for the National Anthem actually stand in their den or local bar?

  • Barb

    So this morning I thought this: I bet the majority of those “offended ” by players kneeling during the anthem are happy when players cross themselves or kiss their crosses in the end zone. Or when a mic is put before them and they give a big ” thanks to God”. I’m not saying they shouldn’t do that either. Just saying they are definitely mixing their personal passions with football. I, for one, am glad to know that these athletes are human and that they care about more than sports.

  • It’s worse when you know football didn’t start these jingoistic demonstrations until 2009. That’s when the DoD began paying the NFL to rouse up patriotism in order to encourage more people to enlist in the armed forces. So — compelled speech in more than one way.

    Also, yes, I have great appreciation for the irony of “you were given the choice of X, so you have no choice but to do X.” Previously, I had often said that conservative Christians love free will so much that they cannot wait for the first opportunity to abandon it. The response to these protests of late, invoking military action and associating it with “for your freedom!” seems to paint a similar picture: the only acceptable use of free speech is to remain silent.

    This is nothing new, of course. In the 1930s, celebrities were criticized for their opposition to racism, sexism, and abuses by foreign governments. They were explicitly told “we pay you to do your job, not to have opinions.” Hollywood most infamously tried to craft morality contracts wherein actors could be jettisoned if they used their free time to advocate for change, or for opposition to the Nazi party (this being before the United States became involved in WW2).

    But if studying American history has taught me anything, it is that there is never an acceptable time, place, or use for free speech.

    Incidentally, I could make an argument that “our soldiers died for your freedom” has basically never been true for African Americans, as the United States has not required military action to uphold freedom since the Civil War, and the slaves were not truly considered citizens until after it had concluded. Every engagement since then has been more about protecting the interests of the United States than anything to do with protecting its everyday citizens, so a case can be made that African Americans have never truly enjoyed the benefits of “soldiers died for your freedom.” Especially when, as a consistent timeline of incidents have shown, it’s still really only freedom on paper.

  • I’m told the people with the tiki torches are “some fine people” and the ones below are “sons of bitches.”

  • Soldiers, especially veterans, especially homeless veterans, are the perfect scapegoats to deflect all human rights movements.

    Not that we’re going to lift a finger to help any of them either, but their existence means we shouldn’t be focused on anything to do with annnnnnything else.

  • And as for respecting the flag… hah! Flag violations are a dime a dozen. Or $49.99 each depending on how much you can get out of them.

  • W. A. Bess

    I have a question for Dr. Benjamin Corey? What War did you fight in ?

  • Typical incendiary rhetoric. Notice the lone Steeler who had the courage to stand for the anthem was a soldier who has fought to keep the freedoms you enjoy and employ in this blog. Racism! Compelled speech! Only in the mind of the Left.

  • hisxmark

    W. A. Bess” “I have a question for Dr. Benjamin Corey? What War did you fight in ?”

    Are you perhaps implying, Mr. Bess, that only those who have been paid killers are entitled to opinions?

  • celticcoll

    Maybe you should should read all the post by vets who say they fought for the right for these guys to take a knee. Where were you when black soldiers fought in WWI and WWII and were not allowed to vote (until the 1960s)? Did you care about their disrespect? Did you car about all vets disrespect before the defense department paid the NFL 50 Mill n 2009 for endorsements? This is hardly an issue of respecting veterans. And since when is taking a knee a sign of disrespect? They aren’t spitting on or burning the flag; this is a peaceful constitutionally allowed protest. But perhaps you need to familiar yourself with the constitution these veterans fought for that is fundamental to our rights.

  • W. A. Bess

    I am only indicating that Freedom is Not Free but you answered my question and told me volumes about who you are.

  • WayneMan

    It seems freedom of speech is only valid when the topic is religious freedoms or confederate flags and statues. Otherwise, they expect people to sit down and shut up. It doesn’t work that way.

  • $144948586

    I think you mean Republicans. And, no, they don’t, but, again, Trump is not a Republican and certainly not a conservative.
    As a leader of such people who read this blog, you should be less ambiguous concerning your obfuscation. Something about “let not many of you become teachers”, or something?

    You can forgive the layman for their confused speech, but you have a higher duty. To conflate these folks with conservatism just because they might refer to themselves as such is to conflate the term conservatism with something it is not–namely, a term that doesn’t intrinsically allow for free speech (which it does). That, my friend, is on them AND on you. As someone who is attempting to point at the hypocrisy (and rightly so) of the situation, your attempt is awash in dishonesty starting with the title.

  • richard

    i have a question.
    In order to present one’s business as marketable, respectful, unified, etc., does an owner have a right to curtail freedom of expression and require a code of conduct for his employees? I would think so.

  • Usurpertoo

    All should read 18 U.S. Code Sec. 227 (Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch) & 18 U.S. Code Sec. 241 (Conspiracy against rights). It is a Federal Felony to wrongfully influence a private entity’s employment decisions as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did in regard to the ESPN Sportscaster who tweeted that 45 is a White Supremacist, and by 45 (the current principal resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC) in regard to NFL players kneeling, not standing, or, standing and raising a clenched fist. All those who agree with 45 or Secretary Huckabee Sanders, or collectively agree with any person who agrees with them, and petitions ESPN or the NFL to fire their employees commit the Federal felony of conspiracy against rights and face arrest under 241. Mrs. Huckabee Sanders faced arrest and charges from the moment she voiced her remarks from the White House Press Room podium. 45 becomes indictable upon his impeachment or the end of his term. Peace. Out.

  • Jim

    No Barb, as I find it abhorrent and I am not Abrahamic…ie. Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Personally, I am saddened that they care less about the country that gave them the opportunities they have had than their own personal agenda. :-(

  • Trump is not America. Therefore the flag does not represent Trump, it represents all of us.

  • Jim

    Matthew…you, and people like you, are the problem. You have absolutely no concept of what it is to be an American, and pass this ignorance on to your progeny (a fancy word for kids). And, no, they are not saying you are disrespecting the American Military Establishment. They are saying that you are disrespecting America and all it stands for. All that our fallen soldiers have died to protect.

  • MindWarrior

    As with most of the populace–fixated on very minor issues while the giant problematic ones float by…

  • This is just another in a series of Left orchestrated constructs. This is not a free speed issue and certainly not a racism issue. It is an opportunity to see who loves their country and who hates it. In this case the haters are self-declaratory.

  • Rick Fiedler

    It’s racism pure and simple…….white evangelicals are so threatened by losing their majority status

  • Dream on. The Left is in a death spiral.

  • Rick Fiedler

    In war there is no black, brown or white, we all bleed red…….NOT red white and blue

  • This is more about Book marketing than anything else.

  • Bones, is that you on the Right?

  • Dennis

    Benjamin Corey: Here is what Trump actually said at a rally in Alabama: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field now. Out. Out. He’s fired!'” Trump is allowed to have an opinion, and I happen to agree with him. He is not saying he will propose legislation to enforce this. He is just expressing his opinion that you should honor our flag despite your politics. You echo the absurd, frankly stupid, criticism of Trump when you state: “While our country is facing a string of catastrophic natural disasters and seems to be edging closer to the brink of nuclear war, the President is spending his time cursing and denouncing NFL players who do not stand during the national anthem.” Don’t you think Trump can express an opinion AND also deal with North Korea and the hurricane aftermath? I think so. I don’t care about athletes’ politics. When I tune into a sports event, I want to see the sport and not any political commentary.

  • Nonsense. You cannot love this country and revile and wish harm on your fellow citizens for exercising their constitutional rights. Well, you can, but that makes you an asshole, not a patriot.

  • William Gaines

    Disrespecting the Flag that so many brave American patriot died for is not racist there were men and now woman of all races that have fought and died for America and that Flag stands for America. It is this same America that gave these same young men the opportunity to play a game and become wealthy. If this continues I believe that the true American should stay home and watch that game or some other game until this very Un-American activity ends

  • J’amie

    The American flag has become a graven image. Simple enough. If they can square that away in spite of holding Old Testament law over everyone else, then sadly they’ll never understand the rest of the hypocrisy their extreme patriotism is wrought with.

  • wolfeevolution

    Yes, they died to protect my right not to stand for the anthem or to put my hand over my heart during the pledge of allegiance (which, as a Christian, I feel is inappropriate to repeat). I thank God for those rights!

  • wolfeevolution

    If I understand correctly, Dr. Corey was actually in the military, though… Mr. or Ms. Bess should do his / her homework

  • wolfeevolution

    Pro tip: When you don’t use Disqus’s “reply” feature, nobody knows who you think you’re insulting.

  • celticcoll

    that’s the problem it is neither a free speech or a racism issue TO YOU–to many IT IS. Try putting yourself in their shoes.–if you refuse to see the problem, you are part of the problem and never part of the solution.

  • Usurpertoo

    When an opinion is expressed by POTUS, it is more than opinion. Frequently with 45 it is desired policy from the mouth of POTUS. 45 also said “I am the reason Kaepernick does not have a job”. That is an admission under 18 U.S. Code 227. Peace, Out.

  • masteradrian

    I’ll answer the question for the creatues referring to themselves as conservatives: No we do not believe in Free Speech for other people then ourselves!
    Having answered the question for hypocrites the following:
    Those referring to themselves as conservatives but in fact are equals to the national-socialists indoctrinated by the principles of adolf hitler and his scumbags are not interested in anyone’s opinion simply because they regard their own opinions as been given to them by their god! And as these fools are regarding their imaginative god as being unable to be wrong their opinoons are never wrong, according to their idiot logic !
    The fact that people kneel when the national anthem is sounding is because these people are considered by the conservatives as sub-humans, regardless of the People kneeling are Black, White or any other skin-color or minority!
    The flag and the national anthem of the United States of America does ot stand any longer for honor, respect and bravery, both represent at the moment dishonor, disrespect and cowardness!
    With Trump and his peer nazis in the White House no one respects America, no one feels honored and no one feels anymore to be an American! All feel sickened, all feel like throwing up when they see and hear the representative of filth, insults and lies!

  • Bones

    That would be the white ones and the black ones.

  • Bones

    That’s you with the sunnies at night with your tiki torch heiling your fuhrer.

  • Who wishes harm on anyone in this issue? You are wrong. We the people are against this type of nonsense at a football game. The only people for it are the corrupt Media, the Progressive Democrats and the Left elites. The Media are only for it because they can criticize the President and they still think they can damage him. Talk about slow learners. Now as for your comment about assholes, If you think the media gives a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves you are full of shit!

  • Ohhh, here I thought identifying them would be far more nuanced!

  • To many more it is not. Today anything the Left wants that we resist makes us Racist. It is not possible for half the country to be Racist, Homophobic and Misogynistic but the Left wants you to believe that.

  • Dennis

    Trump’s statements seems to fit 18 U.S. Code § 227’s basic definition. Like in many statutes, however, qualifying language substantially limits the applicability of 18 U.S. Code Sec. 227. In order for it to apply, Trump must make his statements “with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation”. It seems like a stretch to argue that Trump’s directive to league officials and owners reflects his “intent to influence solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.” Just the opposite, actually, a growing list of NFL owners who frequently support Republican political candidates have criticized Trump, a Republican, for his statements about protesting NFL players.
    Source: https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/09/24/donald-trump-nfl-comments-fire-players-protests

  • Edward

    Hmm… nobody likes free speech when it’s their opinions getting skewered

  • Usurpertoo

    That 45 made these comments at a political rally in Alabama support of the current Junior Senator Luther Strange who holds the seat relinquished by AG Sessions in April by appointment of the Governor. Sen. Strange has been a solid pro-Trump vote in his brief tenure. Strange trails former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Moore in the polls in this GOP nomination race. Look at the aftermath of 45’s comments from the GOP talking heads. None are speaking to legality of 45’s comments. Their praise, even of elected officials and party members, speak to the everyman nature appeal of 45’s remarks. How much more political could this rally have been. 45 goes to Alabama to support the Junior Senator who replaced AG Sessions by ridiculing NFL National Anthem protests by black players begun by Colin Kaepernick, a hard dog whistle to does who voted for him in November. How many NFL owners and GOP political candidates vote in an Alabama GOP Senate primary?

  • Clayton Ryan

    Splitting hairs over the legality of Trump’s comments misses the point. If you think the protests are disrespectful, the players involved entitled, etc., it’s all well and good to have your opinion on that. But if you’re not bothered by the “leader” of the free world, who is sworn to defend and protect our constitution, endorsing punitive action against people exercising their constitutional right, don’t let me catch you calling yourself a patriot.

  • Dennis

    But Trump’s comments applied to the NFL even though he made them at a political rally. The First Amendment guarantees the President the right to offer opinions about sports controversies and countless other topics. Given that the NFL is a private entity, Trump’s urging that protesting players be sanctioned carries no weight of law. Simply put, the President does not have the legal capacity to require the NFL to take any action against protesting players. The ability of the league or an NFL team to sanction players is governed by legal documents—namely, player contracts and the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA.

  • Dennis

    I am an American patriot and am not bothered by the leader of the free world giving his opinion on this. The First Amendment guarantees the President the right to offer opinions about sports controversies and countless other topics. I agree with the president that our flag should be honored. The National Anthem is not the time and place for political discussion. I agree with Jerry Jones, owner of Dallas Cowboys: “I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag. That’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little bit for it.”

  • Bones

    Ffs…could you imagine the outrage if Obama ‘expressed an opinion’ that anti-gay activists should be sacked.

    Stop being a hypocritical idiot.

  • Bones

    Trump doing what Trump does….Gee I’m glad we don’t have such a manipulative narcissistic prick as a leader.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYH7s2pSfSI

  • Philip Bourdon

    The flag in itself is nothing. It represents a mindset and freedoms. To protest injustice in the USA is a constitutional right. Would you prefer to compel them to stand? Yes, it’s also your right to have your opinions, but who are you to declare what is unAmerican? Peaceful protests are as American as our history

  • Bones

    You mean the majority who voted against Trump.

    Last I heard gays were still getting married.

  • Philip Bourdon

    And the right is…?

  • Philip Bourdon

    Why won’t they? Power! They know they can’t curtail what is happening because they want to win. The players would stop playing.

  • Bones

    Yet you can’t stay away, Bob.

  • Philip Bourdon

    Who are you talking to? We can’t tell

  • Bones

    Wow, so conservatives and Republicans didn’t vote for Trump.

    That’s news to me.

    There mustn’t be many of you people at all in the US.

  • Bones

    You’d be crying like a stuck pig if Obama had said non-gay marriage supporters should be sacked.

    And well done for showing for the endless time that you are indeed full of shit.

  • Also trying to stop the President’s agenda. What else explains McCain behavior.

  • Usurpertoo

    18 U.S. Code sec. 227 is a Federal Statute. It has not been found unconstitutional. It remains enforceable. It limits the free speech of Members of Congress, their employees, and, among others,The President and Vice President from influencing the employment decisions of a private entity. The NFL is a private entity. Seeking to limit the free speech rights of NFL players is an official act at odds with the oath of office of The President (to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic). 45’s comments sought to influence the NFL owners to fire those players who “did not respect our flag and our heritage.” The NFL teams have not yet fired any players for availing themselves of their free speech rights, but, reportedly NASCAR owners have said they would. NASCAR is also a private entity. Now, as a result of 45’s loose speech at a GOP U.S. Senate primary rally in Alabama NASCAR employee’s free speech rights are abridged by their employer. Such is the power of the bully pulpit of 45. Violation of 18 U.S. Code sec. 227 for those listed in the statute is a federal felony and constitutes an impeachable offense for The President and Vice President. Peace, Out.

  • David Boyle

    Trump is a mess, he has no regard for women, black and hispanic people, or anybody who is not in his tax bracket. The question is how long will the American people stand and support this foolishness that he represents. I thought no one could top George W, I stand corrected

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much for your thoughts Jim.

    I do have to admit I´m no longer as nationalistic or patriotic as I once was and I pledge my primary allegiance to the cross of Christ, not to America, not to the flag, although I am rather thankful for the good America does (and has done) in the world. Being also European (and not a pacifist), I thank America for its NATO leadership and I hope the coalition remains strong and united even under the Trump administration.

    Peace

  • Matthew

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Dennis, about the NFL owners and players who locked arms, kneeled, etc. as well as Trump´s right to his opinion, but do you really believe the way Trump expressed himself regarding this topic was presidential, Christian, or even remotely diplomatic?

  • Bones

    Hey Clay…I ain’t Dennis…Though I am a bit of a Menace…..

  • Respect the Anthem and the Flag. Stand in a certain way and place your hand in a certain way when the Anthem is played. Do not hang the Flag at the wrong angle; do not allow it to touch the ground; make children pledge allegiance to it; scream “desecration” when people use these symbols to criticize the reality of the nation that they represent.

    That’s not reverence. That’s idolatry.

  • dave

    While I agree with all of this post, we are all reading far too much into Trump’s rants. He cares not one iota about the NFL or who kneels or stands. He is the most masterful manipulator to ever hold the office, and he is playing America (both the Left and the Right) like a finely tuned fiddle.

  • Dennis

    Trump is a businessman, not a politician and, therefore, not politically correct in what he says. He says what he thinks. That is refreshing for people like myself who voted for him. I put up with years of Obama saying things the politically correct way but ruining our country. If the mainstream media would realize this about Trump and stop dissecting each word he says and each tweet and look at his policies and executive orders, then there would be less blowing things out of proportion like the media, NFL players, and the sports commentators did about his NFL firing comments.

  • Matthew

    Even though I don´t agree Dennis, with each passing day I´m beginning to understand more why Trump supporters like yourself are so attracted to the man and his style. Thanks for your input.

    That said, I believe both presidents and professional sports players (for example) should be held to a higher standard given the impressions they make, the influence they have, the stage they are on, and the many people who look up to them (especially young people).

    What they say and how they say it does matter.

  • Nancy Moore

    Exactly. As I was reading this I thought that this is much more about compelled worship than speech.

  • I guess if he were shooting the lights out on foreign policy and domestic troubles, I’d be warmer to the idea of him just expressing his opinion, but he’s obviously investing a lot of effort into this NFL thing and directing attention to it, probably because he’s made a total hash of every front we expect a president to perform on. This is a way for him to rally his base and focus attention away from the fact that he has no clue what to do with North Korea or how to address domestic emergencies.

  • $144948586

    “Wow, so conservatives and Republicans didn’t vote for Trump.”
    So you’re saying that a person is defined by what others believe about them?

    May notable Republicans voted for Hillary, what does that make her?
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/meet-republicans-speaking-out-against-trump-n530696

  • Yes, the NFL is full of people who hate America. Every day, they pick up that football in an act of self-loathing, knowing that they are playing for the entertainment of a nation that they secretly long to destroy, tucking their hammer and sickle symbols behind their “Cowboys” logo. Ironic, that a team so full of people who hate America would choose as their mascot an icon of American culture. And we all know that Texans who love to play football are easily the most subversive, American-hating demographic in America. Also, Jerry Jones is a Reptoid whose play formations are designed to guide the mothership to Earth to enslave us all.

  • Clayton Ryan

    Dennis, which Jerry Jones are you referring to? The one that kneeled before the game on Monday Night Football last night?

    Again, arguing about the legality is fruitless. The point isn’t that Trump did anything illegal, it’s that his words carry more weight than a private citizen, and those of us who are actually liberty minded, by necessity, take umbrage when the highest officer of the executive branch, the branch of government responsible for the enforcement of law, expresses an anti-free speech value. Even if he’s encouraging a private, non-government entity to do it, it’s still an anti-free speech value, and that’s dangerous, my friend. I obviously take a more libertarian tach on this than you, but it dumbfounds me when anybody, especially conservatives, don’t place a higher priority on accountability toward officers of the state on things like this. I mean seriously, how much are you actually willing to concede to Caesar? Or is it just easier to let the nanny state run your life by letting them do and say whatever they want with no accountability? Whatever that makes you, it’s definitely NOT a patriot.

  • Clayton Ryan

    Sorry, was just tacking on a comment to the end of the thread, didn’t realize I needed to hit the reply button on a specific comment to address there right person. Still new to this. Deleted and tried again above. Thanks.

  • Correct. And now we have a President with the courage to tell the American people the truth. Unafraid of the liberal Media and their desire to label everything he says Racist, Homophobic and Misogynistic. Notice the lone Pittsburgh Steeler who told his team and his coach that his country was more important to him than some misguided leftist propaganda. Notice real people who actual live in America do not agree with the NFL. All you have to do is see the ratings.

  • Dennis

    Shooting the lights out on foreign policy? You mean the way wimp Obama did? We have problems now with North Korea because Obama never took care of it.

  • Dennis

    Same Jerry Jones. He and his team took a knee BEFORE the national anthem in some show of solidarity with NFL but stood DURING the national anthem. So you are a patriot? Give me a break! This past Sun., Sept. 24, during a matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens in London, players kneeled during the American anthem, then stood during “God Save the Queen,” Britain’s national anthem. You probably like that, don’t you?

  • Dennis, when I was in the military, long before Obama, we ran simulation after simulation on how to handle the threat posed by North Korea. Not only is the North Korea situation not a product of the Obama administration, it’s totally irrelevant to the fact that we have the country’s stupidest man threatening to destroy it.

  • Yes, because people in the NFL do not actually live in America! They are not Americans who became professional football players because they love America’s sport and have the American dream, they are Communist subversives who are also Muslims and gay and actually live in Sweden (socialist!) and get flown in for football games. Probably amillennial, too.

  • Dennis

    I’m not saying that the North Korea situation is a product of Obama administration. I’m saying that Obama did nothing to try to solve it. At least Trump is getting other countries, like China, to restrict trade with North Korea.

  • Herm

    Bob, you cannot be a follower of Jesus Christ and president Trump at the same time. You would be serving two masters if you tried. This is what it takes to have it in your heart and mind to naturally, in everything, do to others (all others of mankind) as you would have others do to you:

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

    “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

    “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    Luke 14:25-35 (NIV2011)

    Please, ask yourself, who do you take a knee, or a cross, for?

  • The actual strategies Trump is pursuing are virtually identical to Obama’s. The only substantive difference is that Trump will verbally and aggressively call out the other people involved. To the extent this places greater public pressure on China, that is a good thing, but Trump is also failing to actually enact secondary economic sanctions against Chinese financial institutions that have money in the U.S.

    And the public verbal sparring with KJU and calls for destroying the country are incredibly counterproductive and a severe danger to everyone involved.

  • Herm

    Who is this “Left” and “liberal Media” that you scream are haters that you are not? Exactly what do you believe is the agenda of the “Right”, relative to the “Left”, or vice versus?

    Is it possible that it is you being led by propaganda? All these words of hate spewing from your keyboard, in defense of Trump’s divisive rhetoric, tells us all that you have no empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness for those others as you would have those others have for you, none. If you did actually love your good neighbor others as yourself, you would know that there are people (good, constructive, and loving people) who are taking a knee against those, like yourself, who trample the flag raised up first in defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

  • Herm

    Bob, it is actually possible for the entire “country to be Racist, Homophobic and Misogynistic“. Why would you believe it is not ,and that all of us have much more to learn through empathy, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness about each other? Why do you try so hard to insert that you, and your like (?), know the truth, the whole truth, about all others unlike you?

    The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    … he really cares and is smarter than the President’s agenda?

  • Seriously? A follower of Trump. He is our President not the head of our church.

  • President Trump will always choose our country and our way of life over those who hate our country. His comments are not divisive rather the behavior of others reflected in this nonsensical farce over the National Anthem.

  • I am sure you felt that way when he ran against Obama?

  • Herm

    Yes, Bob, seriously!

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me“.

    Bob, this isn’t a game where there are time outs to catch your breath and you get do overs. There is only one playing field for what you do to others and everything you do counts as constructive or destructive. What “in everything” don’t you get in Matthew 7:12?

    You are the same spirit, good or evil, in church, in our nation, on our earth and in heaven.

  • Herm

    … two different agendas, completely different; candidate for president McCain’s and president Trump’s.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    The difference here is that the athletes are at their place of employment. How many employers allow their employees to stage personal protests or demonstrations during working hours at their job site?

    If these athletes don’t want to participate on the ceremony,they should remain off the field until it is over then come out to start the game ( their job).

  • Bones

    Trump got nearly 63 million votes including the usual Republican stronghold states.

    If you think they weren’t conservatives and Republicans, you’re even more deluded than usual.

    Btw Trump was dog whistling to your mates in Alabama but even that wasn’t enough. Roy Moore, the conservative got up.

    Your boy Moore on homosexuality in one of his rulings…..

    “To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants…

    The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

    Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people’s lives, particularly the lives of children.”

  • Clayton Ryan

    What is this anthem business you keep going on about–did you reply to the wrong comment by mistake or simply not read what I wrote?? I never brought up the anthem–that’s YOUR soapbox. The point I’ve made consistently is about executive overreach, not flag or anthem respect, and it happens to be something our framers were very concerned about.

    The fact that Jerry Jones knelt BEFORE the anthem, so as not to disrespect, PROVES MY POINT EXACTLY. It wasn’t about respecting the flag or anthem anymore; rather, his act of defiance was a symbolic statement in direct response not to the flag, but to TRUMP’S statements over the weekend, which suddenly changed the whole debate, sparking a reaction even among conservatives. Jerry Jones, along with other players, coaches, and owners, some of whom even supported Trump’s campaign, recognize the greater good of free speech even if they disagree with the anthem protests, and made it clear through both explicit statements and symbolic gestures that they won’t tolerate being bullied by an agent of the state in such a fashion, whether they supported his campaign or not. They recognize the greater good of free speech (even though they disagree with the anthem protests themselves), which only strengthens my point. To true conservatives, like Jerry Jones, liberty supersedes ideology and partisan loyalty, an admirable quality you seem to be missing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your enemy Obama, your man Trump, or Abraham Lincoln himself. Be consistent, not partisan. Don’t be a sheep that allows an agent of the state to overstep their bounds. True liberty-minded Americans do not tolerate government officials suggesting punitive action for constitutionally protected rights—period.

    You can try to bait me into becoming defensive about my own patriotism, but it will be to no avail because I don’t really care what a stranger on the Internet thinks of me. I’m also indifferent to the queen, so couldn’t care less about what people do, or don’t do, during her song. I’m just trying to point out the chinks in the armor you’re attempting to pass off as patriotism, because it’s anything but. And not by my opinion, but by that of our nation’s framers. And lest you think I’m some liberal just trying to troll you, don’t take my word for it–go read yesterday’s article from the indisputably conservative publication The National Review, which basically levels this exact same criticism toward the president. Good day.

  • $144948586

    “Trump got nearly 63 million votes including the usual Republican stronghold states.”
    This still doesn’t make him a Republican.

    “If you think they weren’t conservatives and Republicans”
    I never said they weren’t. But they certainly weren’t conservatives–by definition.

    “Your boy Moore on homosexuality in one of his rulings…..”
    This has nothing to do with me.

  • W. A. Bess

    Narcissist, the perfect person to fit the name/title was Obama. Some have forgotten that and now want to take pot shots at some one that has actually done something. Of course Obama is now getting his Masters in trying to undermine and sabatage Trump, if you don’t believe that just ask yourself where he is living now. The only ex-president in history to stay in D.C. to undermine his replacement. But that tracks because everything during the Obama administration was Bush’s fault.

  • KonCern

    This is crazy. Speaking of ” Sabotage” ? It was Mitch, Ryan and others who made a policy of sabotage and obstruction against Obama from DAY ONE. The objective was to make America
    fail so Obama can be a One Term President. Mitch admitted to it .
    Speaking of ” Undermine”? It is Trump who refused to uphold the ACA Law and it’s funding mechanism and has signed EOs with the expressed purpose of making the Law fail so he can say ” I told you so”.
    ” But that tracks because everything during the Obama administration was Bush’s fault.” Obama inherited a messed up economy from Bush. That was a huge problem. It was Bush’s fault. That’s a Fact.
    Obama also inherited a ” dumb war” that cost $$ trillions and many lives. That too was Bush’s fault. And that too is a FACT.
    Trump inherited a thriving economy and has taken credit even though NONE of his policies are in effect. His economic adviser Gary Cohn said back in the Spring , ” Trump has done NOTHING to be given credit for the economy for none of his policies are in effect”.
    But these are considered as ” alternative facts” so it won’t make sense to you and your ilks.

  • KonCern

    Conservatives do believe in ” free speech ” when they agree with the speech and the people presenting the speech.
    But this quote came to mind from the American President Movie: quote,” …America is advance citizenship… You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.
    These are truths that Conservatives and Trump cannot understand especially when Black folks are the ones doing the protesting. Sad but true…

  • William Gaines

    Hi Phil
    The Conservative Right and the Liberal left may never agree on much but respect for our country was never a point of disagreement. To show a lack of respect for the flag of our nation is to show disrespect for our nation. We have all seen the pictures of The American Flag being burned and stomped on in the news that was to show disrespect to America.
    First I am a moderate conservative by that I mean I am not Tea Party right but a Conservative and Trump supported with strong God, Country and family believes.
    I do disagree that the “flag itself is nothing”. The Flag of the United States is the tangible or physical symbol of our nation. To disrespect our flag is to disrespect our country. The flag has been a strong national symbol from the time of Betsy Ross to the battle at Fort McHenry were brave men died in 1814 holding our flag during the British naval bombardment so the British would know that the Americans were still fighting and had not surrendered to the Marines raising of the flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Our Flag has meant something worth fighting for and our flag was worth dying for. From the American Flag at The hollowed grown of 9/11 to the flags that cover every coffin of our fallen military. An Yes Our Flag means America to disrespect the American flag is un-American even thou it may be a constitutional right.
    I hope this explains my position and feeling.
    Dr. William T. Gaines

  • $144948586

    “probably because he’s made a total hash of every front we expect a president to perform on.”
    Chill out, it’s been 8 and a half months–I hardly think he’s approached all fronts we would expect a president to perform on.

    #SetTheBarHigh

  • $144948586

    “Not only is the North Korea situation not a product of the Obama administration”
    You’re right; he just ignored the growing military presence of a China-backed nation whose citizens have to ration food.

  • Then how do you account for the take of some that they’re actually kneeling before the flag and constitution.

    Idolatry exceeded tenfold into the realm of state worship so befitting of statism.

  • Especially when compelled speech is a construct of the left

    It’s all bull-dust

  • Bones
  • Bones

    Yes, you like someone who dog whistles to racists…..

    Do you want a medal?

  • Bones

    I wasn’t aware North Korea had only been around since Obama………..

    The Trumpbois don’t know any history beyond Obama….

  • Bones

    Derrr..

    Because you’re dealing with sovereign countries ruled by a psychopath who’s personality is not unlike your messiah.

    North Korea has been a problem for the US since ummmm, I don’t know, the Korean War…..

  • Awful. Clever, but awful.

  • The Obamas are doing what Melania Trump was doing — living with their child(ren) until school was over.

    As for undermining Crooked Donald, he needs ***NO*** help in that endeavor. He’s undermining his own so-called presidency just fine.

  • Well, the owners of the teams are protesting in solidarity with their teams, so….

  • Why yes, the entire world was in a state of continual peace until Obama was elected and somehow, I guess, “blacked everything up”?

    Darn that guy. *That* must be why our Glorious Orange Leader is spending his days reversing everything good that Obama did!

    {*s*a*r*c*a*s*m*}

  • No, he wants an armband.

  • How strongly do you support Crooked Donald’s insults against John McCain as “not a war hero, as a hero doesn’t get captured”?

    Look, even the Photo Op American Bald Eagle that attacked Dipsh!t Donald has more respect for the American Flag than he ever did.

    https://giphy.com/gifs/attack-donald-trump-eagle-3o8doYRSVzXu3l000g

  • Oh, are we referring to Deceitful Donald’s approval numbers as “The Left” now?

  • Bones

    We all know Obama is short for satanobamahitler.

  • Bones

    Lol…..you’re saying states like Alabama aren’t conservative….Trump won that state by more than Romney did.

    The Republican base voted for Trump…..

    And who led the ground work for Trump…the tea party patriots….

    And Moore is an example of your type of social conservative.

    Not sure why you’re distancing yourself from him.

  • Bones

    Yeah because the black NFL players were compelled by the Left…..

    What sort of fantasy world do you people live in?

  • Bones

    I’ve heaps of respect for McCain even if he is a conservative.

    He genuinely wants what’s best for the country and I remember him putting nutters like you in their place in his presidential campaign with their hateful comments about Obama.

  • Bones

    No one’s worshipping anything you clown.

    Eric Reid: Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee

    In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police. The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area. I felt furious, hurt and hopeless. I wanted to do something, but didn’t know what or how to do it. All I knew for sure is that I wanted it to be as respectful as possible.

    A few weeks later, during preseason, my teammate Colin Kaepernick chose to sit on the bench during the national anthem to protest police brutality. To be honest, I didn’t notice at the time, and neither did the news media. It wasn’t until after our third preseason game on Aug. 26, 2016, that his protest gained national attention, and the backlash against him began.

    That’s when my faith moved me to take action. I looked to James 2:17, which states, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” I knew I needed to stand up for what is right.

    I approached Colin the Saturday before our next game to discuss how I could get involved with the cause but also how we could make a more powerful and positive impact on the social justice movement. We spoke at length about many of the issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system. We also discussed how we could use our platform, provided to us by being professional athletes in the N.F.L., to speak for those who are voiceless.

    After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.

    It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.

    I can’t find words that appropriately express how heartbroken I am to see the constant smears against Colin, a person who helped start the movement with only the very best of intentions. We are talking about a man who helped to orchestrate a commercial planeful of food and supplies for famine-stricken Somalia. A man who has invested his time and money into needy communities here at home. A man I am proud to call my brother, who should be celebrated for his courage to seek change on important issues. Instead, to this day, he is unemployed and portrayed as a radical un-American who wants to divide our country.

    Anybody who has a basic knowledge of football knows that his unemployment has nothing to do with his performance on the field. It’s a shame that the league has turned its back on a man who has done only good. I am aware that my involvement in this movement means that my career may face the same outcome as Colin’s. But to quote the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And I choose not to betray those who are being oppressed.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/colin-kaepernick-football-protests.html?mcubz=0

  • $144948586

    “Trump won that state by more than Romney did.”
    Trump is not conservative, Bones.

    “The Republican base voted for Trump…..”
    Republicans are not conservative, Bones.

    “And who led the ground work for Trump…the tea party patriots….”
    No, Obama, Hillary, and a leftist media who called people trying to make a living “homophobic and racist” led the ground work for Trump.

    “And Moore is an example of your type of social conservative.”
    Again, Moore believes in using the State. #NotConservative

  • $144948586

    “The Trumpbois don’t know any history beyond Obama….”
    If I were a Trumpboi, I might be offended.

    “I wasn’t aware North Korea had only been around since Obama………..”
    Grasping at straws is pathetic.

  • That’s true. He’s only made a hash out of all the fronts he -has- performed on. Thanks for the correction.

  • You mean, apart from all the sanctions?

    If that’s the case, then virtually every president we’ve had “ignored” North Korea. When I was in the military, Bill Clinton was president, and we were running simulations. 400 simulations, all of which ended in the destruction of Seoul.

    Then we had George Bush Jr., and it was during his tenure we got the short range missile tests against Japan. Did Bush “ignore” North Korea by pursuing sanctions? Of course, the first missile test North Korea performed was a Scud during Reagan’s administration. Did he also ignore North Korea?

    To say that somehow the situation we face with North Korea is at all the fault of Obama is just ludicrous. Now, the one thing -none- of those men did that our -current- president is doing is mouth off with dramatic boasts and threats in an equally childish manner so much so that even Kim Jong is questioning his mental faculties. I’ll take a hard pass on that, thanks. I don’t want to be put in a position where I have to consider that the whackjob tyrant of the DMRK is making good points about the President of the United States.

  • $144948586

    I’m Ok with that correction.

  • $144948586

    “You mean, apart from all the sanctions?”
    Correct; why on earth would you hurt an economy whose people already have too little to eat?

    “400 simulations, all of which ended in the destruction of Seoul.”
    There’s, of course, the non-military options.

    “Did Bush “ignore” North Korea by pursuing sanctions?”
    Sure.
    “Did [Reagan] also ignore North Korea?”
    Sure.

  • Ok, I might have misread you at the outset and I apologize.

  • $144948586

    It’s cool. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure you and I would disagree on much.

    I do think Obama was a particularly terrible president who sowed divisiveness in this nation. However, that doesn’t mean I want a new guy at the helm. I want no one; I don’t believe government has legitimate claim to who I am, what I earn, or, thus, what I trade for it (my life). I am a believer in two things: God and that people have the right to decide what their efforts are worth. And I think forced payment to government be it for military or medical expense is still a forced payment at the threat of violence.

    Thus, I am a capitalist and I recognize that change happens and it takes time unless governments force the issue–which is, quite frankly, oppressive in its own right. And I would assert that we could use markets to free the people of North Korea–maybe not this generation, but perhaps the next…I don’t think that change would come willingly at the end of a gun or the other side of a U.S. Carrier.

  • gimpi1

    Jim, there’s no one way to be American, no more than there’s one way to be a cook or Lutheran or a woman. However, freedom to peacefully protest is enshrined in our Constitution, so peaceful protest is, for sure, one way to be very American. I feel confident in saying no soldiers died for pieces of cloth or songs. These are symbols. You may find them potent symbols, but they have no independent reality. They grant no freedom, protect no part of the nation, create no wealth, and guarantee no rights to the people. They’re just things.

    Also, I don’t understand the connection between the U.S.flag and the U.S. national anthem, or the connection that either has to sports. Now, that may be because I’ve been to exactly one professional sports event in my 60 years, ( I took my late father to a Seahawks game in the early 1990s) and I brought a book. My husband follows mostly baseball, but he watches the occasional football game – and he couldn’t tell me why this ritual is part of professional sports. Do you know?

    However, I can see nothing wrong with this protest. Yes, it may make some people uncomfortable. Most protests do. However, it doesn’t block traffic, clog city-centers or hurt anyone in any tangible way. If you don’t want people who have legitimate concerns regarding the actions of our police forces and our national priorities in law enforcement to protest governmental actions in this way, how do you suggest they raise these concerns?

  • Nimblewill

    I may disagree with your protest, but I will die for your right to protest. Not sure who said it but we can’t even disagree with a person without Liberals saying that we are against free speech. Free speech is not, nor should it ever be, a synonym for correct speech. To me being a conservative means that I support the constitution, in particular the First Amendment. We all have the right to be on the wrong side of things. Even Conservatives!

  • Right, we probably would disagree on a lot, but my point was that you can’t lay problems with North Korea at Obama’s feet, as if he/his presidency is somehow uniquely responsible for our current situation with them.

    If your point is that we’ve had a long succession of leadership that has failed to deal adequately with North Korea and maybe even has contributed to what they’ve become, well, it’s hard to argue with that.

  • billwald

    The situation demonstrates the difference between prejudice and discrimination and the principle that statistics always applies to data set and never to the datum. A civilized person may have personal reasons to join an uncivilized mob but if I have no knowledge about the person, I will discriminate against the entire group of uncivilized people.

  • jekylldoc

    I think you make a good point. But I think it carries with it an obligation to disagree just as vigorously with those who don’t stop at disagreement but seek to compel what they view as “correct” speech. If you only call out correctness police when they are stepping on your prerogatives, then you are not making a moral point so much as choosing up sides for a fight and picking up rocks to throw.

  • jekylldoc

    And do you think it’s right if employers compel employees to participate in demonstrations they disagree with?

  • HelenaConstantine

    We’ve imposed savage dictator on them for 60 years, killed any politicians who were actual elected in a free election, turned one of their cities into a concentration camp that our proxy bombs periodically (especially the schools used as bomb shelters), used are mercenary army to invade their countries and commit murder by the tens of thousands (so our companies can profit from exploiting them),and you thought they hated us for our freedom? Really? You’re so stupid you believed the war criminal George Bush?

  • HelenaConstantine

    You think MacDonald’s, maybe, can make their workers stand for the national anthem?

  • IconoclastTwo

    This is part of why I keep coming here: for the humor in reading statements such as yours that are so blatantly delusional.

  • IconoclastTwo

    I love how these people all act like Other People’s Countries are problems that ought to be as easily ‘solved’ as a sudoku or a Rubik’s Cube.

  • John

    Some, I say some because this isn’t even close to being a consistent conservative position, conservatives aren’t demanding that the players get arrested. They are, at most, arguing that there be appropriate social repercussions. They aren’t saying they shouldn’t have the right to free speech. They are saying that NFL teams have the right to fire players who do things they disagree with. The players are welcome to protest somewhere else.

    Was it compelled speech when liberals tried to boycott Chick-Fil-A because it’s CEO said he was personally against gay marriage? Was it compelled speech when liberals forced Brendan Eich out of his position as CEO of Firefox because he donated to a prop 8 group? Was it compelled speech when liberal activists shut down speaking engagements at universities for right wing speakers? Etc.

    Unless you have condemned liberals for all of these, then your condemnation of conservatives falls flat.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Simply, for the same reason you would presumably support a person being fired from a network if they disparaged black or LGBT people on air. It isn’t difficult to understand… one can support a person’s legal, constitutional right to say whatever they want, while believing that their company ought not finance or fund their offensive speech.

    By the way, what happened to your love of free speech when it comes to the President’s choice words about the sons of bitches that don’t kneel? Is your love of free speech similarly limited only to those who share your social or political perspective? Trump is being just as much a “patriot” for exercising his freedom of speech, no?

    Kettle, behold pot.

  • quippian

    Conservative “free speech” tends to disparage and deny reality. It’s generally based on lies/fabrications and is aimed at trying to disrespect, obfuscate, excoriate and denigrate. Accusing President Obama of not being born in this country and demanding his birth certificate and of being a Muslim are perfect examples of conservative “free speech.” All lies, but the mainstream media reported it ANYWAY! . Claiming Civil War generals as heroes and overtly worshipping immoral beliefs in human beings as chattel are expressions of “respect for southern heritage” and more examples of conservative free speech meant to deny reality. Liberal “free speech” does not denigrate or shade reality. It’s this aspect of so-called liberal free speech that makes conservatives go ballistic whereupon they start inventing even more lies and fabrications to support the lies they originally concocted. Look at FAUX “news” anytime.
    .
    donald trump as U.S. President DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to say what HE wants, when HE wants, to whomever HE wants. His “free speech” rights are abrogated and dictated by his position as U.S. President. He is NOT a dictator … yet! He can’t say just any ol’ thing. Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference between trump, the private citizen, and trump the U.S. President is an ignorant fool, likely a white male, who arrogantly believes he is right and anybody who doesn’t look like him, is wrong. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1919 ruled, unanimously, that the 1st Amendment protects freedom of expression but DOES NOT protect dangerous speech, i.e. you can’t yell “fire” in a theatre (which is what this ruling came from). So trump calling for these young men to be fired is not dangerous speech, perhaps. But it’s out of place and should not come from the mouth of a U.S. President.
    .
    Conservative “free speech” is hurtful, unhealthy, regressive…and based on fabrications.
    .
    Liberal “free speech” is helpful, progressive and verifiable.
    .
    Conservatives care about “things.”
    .
    Liberals care about “people.”
    .
    HUGE difference.
    ##

  • $144948586

    I enjoy your words.

  • Tracey Tate

    This country was built on compelled speech. “It is using force and coercion to make someone express something they do not want to.” Force was used to take America from the natives, force was used to enslave people of African descent, force was used to make some wealthy and others poor and force is still being used to separate this country.

  • Tracey Tate

    People who have money, power, and privilege believe that their freedom of speech should carry more weight. They used all of their resources to prove a point. So is it really freedom of speech when people of position tries to silence you.

  • Tracey Tate

    Nimblewill when that wrong side of things cost people’s livelihood or life priorities are totally out of line. In my opinion, it is okay to be wrong about something. Nevertheless, our disagreements shouldn’t be use to punish us.

  • Tracey Tate

    Bess, Bush’s record speaks for itself. Nonetheless, making progress for an entire nation is probably almost impossible. Learning to see diversity in our country is going to take different people with a different spirit.

  • Nimblewill

    Now we are talking about individual rights and I agree with you. When my rights take away your rights then my rights cease to be rights.

  • Nimblewill

    I agree!

  • It’s really very simple. The athletes are at work. They do not pay for the stage they are taking hostage. Their childhood friends are serving in the military protecting this country while these misguided athletes disrespect our great country and dishonor the flag. But now the people have spoken through our great President, Donald Trump, and we the People have won:
    NFL 10 – Trump 21.

  • Peter Bateman Mockridge

    I hope you work on something differentiating patriotism and nationalism. I think this essay could be helped a bit here if that nuance could be explored.

  • I’m sorry, but this has nothing to do with free speech. Read up on NFL rules and you will find that football players (employees under orders like everyone else in the working world) are required to stand for the anthem. The confusion is the product of cowardly owners and coaches who have tolerated this kind of insubordination for too long. Like so many other topics, we really need to be able to think clearly to understand what’s going on.

  • Bones

    Apparently not………the NFL states players ‘should’ stand. Not ‘ must’.

    Another one who is more outraged by black people than injustice.

  • How arrogant for you to assume you know what outrages me. When exactly did you gain the ability to read minds? Furthermore, if your employer told you you “should” do something and you didn’t do it, you’d probably be out of a job. Why are football players any different? As usual, you have an uncanny ability to bellyache but lack any real analytical ability.

  • Melodrama at its most pathetic.

  • Bones

    I give you Exhibit A….the Sanctimonious Mouse who is outraged by black people.

  • Bones

    Lol…..if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck,… then you can bet it’s a f***ing duck.

    Btw the NFL aren’t taking any action…oh you poor thing……how will you console yourself…..

    “The N.F.L. for now will continue to let players kneel or sit during the national anthem without a penalty, capitulating to demands by the athletes for free expression but potentially further alienating fans who object to the protests and feel they are disrespectful to the flag and the military.

    But, after a meeting Tuesday with union representatives and players, the league did promise to help support some of the causes targeted by the protesting players, including reform of the criminal justice system.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/sports/football/nfl-anthem-protests-trump.html

    Sanctimonious Mouse
    “Oh no, the black men will keep on disrespecting my flag….how dare those sons of bitches exercise their freedom of speech…if only they were like those good Nazis.”

    Fmd you people are hypocrites. How you squealed when someone was sacked for refusing to hand out marriage certificates to gay people.

  • You don’t even have enough brain activity to achieve hypocrisy. Thank you for convincing me that engaging with you is a waste of time.

  • Bones

    You have no brain activity at all. You’re flat out reading the words on the page. You are totally ignorant even of the scriptures.

    You are a cultist the only hope for you is education.

  • SamHamilton

    I wish Mr. Corey would tone it down on the patronizing “conservative friends” stuff. One of the problems with the political debate in our country is the incessant desire to divide people into two opposing tribes and ascribe a singular position to people in the other tribe in order to more easily refute the other group. There is no one conservative position on the myriad issues in the NFL/Kapernich/Trump kerfuffle. So what’s the point in calling out all conservatives right up front? Why not call out the particular position he disagrees with and take issue with it. Using the latter approach dials things down a notch and doesn’t raise people’s hackles unnecessarily. Readers would be more likely to give his opinion a fair hearing rather than immediately think “He’s attacking my tribe.”

  • SamHamilton

    The problem is that Donald Trump is the head of state and he’s telling employers to fire their employees because of their speech. While it may not be a legal violation of the first amendment, it certainly raises troubling free speech issues.

  • SamHamilton

    Leaving aside the fact there hasn’t been any one conservative response to the athletes kneeling, the principle of freedom of speech does not mean people are free from any social consequences of their speech. Speaking up means you might get booed. It might mean people stop shopping at your business. It might mean you get fired from your job. If advocating for any of these kinds of social consequences means you don’t support freedom of speech, your accusation could be applied to all sorts of people on the left, not just conservatives.

  • I read the quote, and I find it somewhat troubling that Trump gets involved in stuff like this. He’s actually helping leftists by dignifying the hysteria. It would be better if he ignored the Colin Kaepernicks out there. However, if you look up the quote in question, it was an off-the-cuff opinion, not a president calling for action. Context!

  • E_Ruff

    I’m not about forcing anyone to do anything but if you’re going to disrespect the flag, police officers, past and current military personnel, the country, then I’m not going to respect you by paying your salaries and so I use my freedom of speech to boycott the games..

  • E_Ruff

    Ah yeah, the left is all about free speech, that is why antifa otherwise known as anti-first amendment, and other SJW’s are shutting down free speech at universities across the country.

  • guadalupelavaca

    Conservatives are not against free speech. This matter is not about stopping free speech. It is about time place and manner. People oppose the kneeling because they see it as offense to our Country. Furthermore, the constitution applies only to the government. An employer can limit free speech in the workplace. The football players are at work, and the NFL could, if they chose to, order them to stand. The NBA does it. They all stand at the anthem. No one is claiming the NBA is violating the player’s right to free speech. Think about this…what if a player wanted to stencil John 3:16 on his jersey, or under his eyes the way Tim Tebow did…the NFL could order the player not to do that. Would that be a violation of his right to free speech, or religion? No, because employers can ban that type of speech in the workplace.

  • swbarnes2

    Of course. There are always those claiming that any protest is “unwise and untimely”. Perhaps if the players surrounded a church with torches, you’d agree with your president that that’s how “very fine people” protest?

    I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

  • Kevin Jackson

    But the bazillian tweets that have followed are NOT off the cuff, and HAVE called for action.

  • Daniel Boome

    I love the revisionist history and straw man in this one. This is exactly how a lie makes it half way around the world. State a complete misrepresentation (i.e. that Trump called white supremacists with Tiki torches “very fine people”) and just pass it on. Then when someone challenges it, you can just dismiss them as someone who hasn’t been paying attention. Because, you know, everybody’s saying it, so it must be true. It’s kind of like Steve Bannon. Refer to him as a white supremacist over and over again. When someone asks for an example of his white supremacy, express incredulity at the fact that someone would need an example because, after all, everybody has been talking about the fact that he’s a white supremacist. It can’t not be true, right? Nevermind that there isn’t any example of his supposed white supremacy.

    I don’t even know why Trump bothered to make it clear that he was NOT talking about the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, leftists found a way to tie the “very fine people” to the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, aka the Jew-biting tiki torch doofuses. Apparently, there’s no difference between “I’m not talking about the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists” and “the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are fine people”.

  • Pennybird

    Among the opportunities is the right to be shot by the police for a broken tail light?
    They are not protesting their country they are protesting police violence that goes unpunished. Public protest is designed to get attention, and thus far, letters to the editor have proven ineffective, so they felt the need to up their game.
    Pay attention.

  • swbarnes2

    “At that time, most in the church had no idea that the large group of white nationalists had formed just a short walk away and were then lighting their torches. “Hey kike!,” one snarled at a reporter who walked down the line taking photos. “F— you, f*ggot!” yelled another. As they climbed the steps leading out of Nameless Field, they let loose a loud roar that was soon followed by chants of “Our blood, our soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!””

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-stark-contrast-inside-and-outside-a-charlottesville-church-during-the-torch-march/2017/08/19/a2311a7a-847a-11e7-902a-2a9f2d808496_story.html?utm_term=.46566c35c049

    If you want to assert that in your moral universe, very fine people quietly march along side Nazis screaming “F— you, faggot!” and Our blood, our soil!” and “Jews will not replace us!””, then you should say so clearly for the record.

    Most people think that truly moral, fine people would not be able to stop vomiting if they marched alongside violent racists. But Christians are now supposed to be used to, and proud of being in the moral minority, so why don’t you own your moral conclusions with pride!

    (I figure a 50/50 chance that this doesn’t post, because of the language used by Daniel and Trump’s “very fine people”

  • Daniel Boome

    Holy smokes, stupid doesn’t even begin to define your post. Are you sure you don’t want to add any further lies and misrepresentations? Because it used to be hard to believe someone could fill a relatively short post like yours with so many of them, yet you somehow managed to do so with relative ease, not to mention plenty of snark. The echo chamber you live in has some incredibly thin air.

    Do me favor and specify exactly what in my post led you to believe that I want to assert that very fine people are marching alongside neo-Nazis. How in God’s name you managed to deduce that from my post defies any semblance of credulity. You have constructed the most clever straw man anyone has ever constructed regarding something I said. The point I was making could not have gone further over your head. Your lack of reading comprehension is astounding if you are at least over the age of 10. Try reading slowly, over and over again, and doing so without assuming all sorts of false narratives. Keep in mind that Trump was simply mistaken about the day when the statue removals protesters were organizing their protest (for which they had a permit). Those are the ones he was calling “very fine people”, because all they were doing was protesting the removal of the statues. He was mistaken about the day of their organizing. That was clear as day, but you people simply didn’t want that to be the case because then you couldn’t call him a Nazi sympathizer. So, you took a mistake he made regarding the day and ran with it, pretending he actually believes a bunch of deranged menaces with tiki torches are very “fine people”. You can tell yourself that all day but it won’t make it true just because you keep repeating it. How many times did he need to assert that he was NOT talking about those people for you to stop asserting otherwise? You can tell all the Jews in his cabinet and the numerous Jewish writers at breitbart, but they are much saner than you are. They don’t fall for a bunch of manufactured, sanctimonious nonsense. I’m not falling for it either, which is why my post was specifying how the entire is built upon the trafficking of lies. You missed that completely and somehow concluded I think it’s true and have no problem with it. God help us with people like you carrying the water for so much of our society’s inability to engage in critical thinking. I guess parroting narratives is much easier.

    Oh, and spare me your pompous caricatures of Christians. Christians don’t have anything to do with this, other than the fact that you don’t like the fact that they don’t march in lockstep with the thinking of race-obsessed leftists. I’m thinking if those jacka$$es were chanting “Christians will not replace us!” that you would be marching right alongside them.

  • Deserttrek

    the President did not curse anybody
    nobody is against free speech that I know of
    the nfl is a bad organization to start with as they are taxpayer supported, therefore ALL players should stand and respect the anthem
    they can protest on their time
    this is NOT a free speech issue

  • In summary, a bunch of heavily one-sided political nonsense followed by an advertisement to buy the new book!

  • swbarnes2

    Sigh. We can all read the transcript. Especially the part where Trump stresses that he waited to make a statement precisely so that he would not get any facts wrong. So your assertion is that despite this extreme care, Trump still got an elementary fact wrong?

    REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.

    TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

    TRUMP:There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/15/full-text-trump-comments-white-supremacists-alt-left-transcript-241662

    The “very fine people” present the night before were happy to quietly march right alongside the people screaming “f*ck you , f*ggot”, according to Trump. Trump said he waited to collect all the facts, he knew perfectly well what transpired the night before.

    If you sincerely think that, in the context of world history that “Christians will not replace us” means the same think as “Jews will not replace us”, you are morally lost.

  • Daniel Boome

    Sigh. We can all read the transcript.

    No, you people are doing far more than just reading the transcript. You are inserting your own context, your own perception of how the events transpired, and your own apologies for the equally vile thugs who decided it was a good idea to give the neo-Nazis a bunch of publicity.

    Especially the part where Trump stresses that he waited to make a statement precisely so that he would not get any facts wrong.

    And he was proven right in the fact that Antifa thugs were there acting every bit as menacing. Not only that, but the local authorities made sure to do everything to enable to violent confrontation. Subsequently, they made sure to do everything in their power to lay blame solely at the feet of one side, even though that side would have simply faded into their usual obscurity had they been left alone.

    So your assertion is that despite this extreme care, Trump still got an elementary fact wrong?

    The “facts” you’re referring to that Trump didn’t want to get wrong had nothing to do with minor details that you’re trying to turn into major details. The truth is that there was a group of people who, with a permit, were there simply to protest the removal of the monuments. The truth about the entire fiasco, which is what Trump was referring to (not just what went on Friday) , is that there were two groups of thugs making damn fools of themselves and who are both menaces to society. You people simply want him to call out one side and ignore the other, the side which had been spreading nothing but violence across the country in protest of Trump. What you don’t realize is that, in so doing, you turn them into victims. Instead of letting them just make fools of themselves and fade into obscurity, you turn them into victims by pretending they were the aggressors and the people confronting them are just pure of heart patriots. Stop with your parsing of Trump’s word and hyperbole. He got the facts of the overall thrust of the situation right, which is what he was talking about, no matter how many times you try to tell yourself otherwise. He made it crystal clear he was not referring to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. It’s only by being extraordinarily petty and parsing to the nth degree that you can tie him to support of the neo-Nazis. It’s really pathetic. You all have an insatiable need to set up every news cycle in a way that puts him on defense. Then when he inevitably fails to push back perfectly against an impossible number of lies, you cheer watching him fall into a trap that nobody could possibly get around.

    If you sincerely think that, in the context of world history that “Christians will not replace us” means the same think as “Jews will not replace us”, you are morally lost.

    If you sincerely think that there is a difference between shouting either one of those things out, you are nothing but an anti-Christian bigot who is using “world history” as a cover for one being more acceptable than the other. You are also morally lost, because you simply find one acceptable and the other unacceptable because it’s attached to the “white supremacy” you like to puff out your chest for opposing. How about neither one is acceptable? Yeah, sure, we all know the history of the Jews, their persecution, and the depravity of Jew-hating bigots. Does that somehow make Christian-hating bigots who possess the same attitude better? Get out of here, dude. Trump is a strong supporter of the Jewish state and has numerous Jewish people working for him. Meanwhile, most of those who oppose him do not support the Jewish state and are full of anti-semitic bigots, in addition to anti-Christian bigots. The fact that you have thrown in with his rabid opponents means you are much more on the side of those who oppose the Jewish state. Which means you’re only pretending to care about the anti-semitism of neo-Nazis because it gives you an avenue to hate Trump. A hallmark of progressivism has always been turning Palestinians into victims and blaming everything on Israel.

  • Nicholas Mocalis

    Your comment in a nutshell: We do not want them to express free speech because they are liberal and we do not like liberals. Yeah fire players who disagree with our conservative point of view that would shut them up (sarcasm).
    Question: If conservatives pulled similar stunts on what you mentioned about liberals would you be saying that there should be social repercussions? Probably not because you are agreeing about firing players who take a knee for expressing a viewpoint you disagree with.

  • Nick

    See, this is where some conservatives start to look bad. You stereotyped all people who don’t stand as being “disrespectful” without realizing that not all people who don’t stand are intending disrespect. Some people just don’t care about the troops or patriotism, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they pay their taxes and don’t bother anyone. Some people are less friendly than others, they haven’t done anything to anyone and most of them never will. Some people are simply different from you. How would you like it if a bunch of liberals told you to be just like them or you’re fired. Now you know how we feel (I’m not a liberal though). People need to stop taking other people’s behavior so personally.

  • Nick

    Not all people who stay seated are intending disrespect for America. Just making sure you knew that. Forcing people to stand is in fact forcing them to do something 100% subjective
    and that contradicts the American value of independence.

  • Nick

    Forcing someone to be patriotic against their will is hypocritically disrespectful to their rights as a human being. They are taking away the persons right to be an adult and make their own decisions. Understandably, the NFL is a business and they want to please the public to make money, but is that the real reason for this rule or are they also stereotyping people who don’t stand? If the law tells them they must stand then yeah they should stand as I wouldn’t challenge the law like an idiot. However, if my employer forces me to do something unnecessary and subjective then I will lose my respect for that employer. Anyone would. You don’t respect my freedom, I won’t respect you either.

  • Nick

    No one can say whether they should or not as it’s SUBJECTIVE. Whether you should or shouldn’t is dependent on the context. People shouldn’t assume that everyone wants to be their friend. I don’t know why the NFL says they should, but some people assume that if you don’t stand you must be intending disrespect. That is not always the case, some people don’t stand simply because they don’t want to, not everyone wants to be your friend. You can’t take other people’s behavior personally, there’s some good wisdom for ya. If they pay their taxes and don’t bother anyone, don’t bother them. Never assume things about other people, it’s never a good idea.

  • Nick

    I’m on the fence about the getting fired part. I wouldn’t want to work with someone who treats me like garbage, but at the same time I wouldn’t want to take away their right to believe whatever they want to believe. No offense brother, but I don’t think you gave your comment enough thought. Think about this, what if someone unfairly hates you but they never tell anyone they do. What if they kept their hate to themselves? If their hate is kept a secret and they don’t bother you, why exactly can’t they hate you? The whole point of fighting injustice is to avoid harm, but in this case no harm has been done except hurt feelings. I would still be upset with them and confront them about their false belief, but I wouldn’t fire them unless their belief actually causes me real harm (hurt feelings don’t count, we are adults after all). See my point? I would suggest thinking very carefully before making political statements.

  • Nick

    I just want to point out that not standing for the national anthem by itself does not mean disrespect. Just because someone doesn’t acknowledge you or want to be your friend doesn’t mean they have anything against you or don’t respect your rights. It is unwise to make assumptions about other people. Some people just don’t care for socializing as much as others, telling those people that they should stand is very disrespectful to their right to be different from you. Not everyone values friendship and patriotism, some people just want to be left alone. If they pay their taxes and they don’t bother you then please don’t bother them. If you want the American independence to be yourself, then you have to let other people be themselves as well. Also, this article is a bit one-sided, it would benefit from including some conservative perspectives as well.

  • Bones

    JWs dont stand out of religious conviction….

  • Deserttrek

    sorry , never in my comment do i use the ghetto term “disrespectful”
    the nfl can set its rules ,
    when they stop taking public money then they can do as they wish until then the boys need to stand

  • SamHamilton

    Hi Nick, thanks for the response. I’ll clarify that I wasn’t arguing that someone should be fired for their speech, only that someone could argue in favor of firing someone else for their speech without running afoul of Constitutional free speech protections.

    My point is that though we all have the right to free speech, no one is protected from social ramifications of what they say. Experiencing social ramifications is not a violation of free speech rights, and conservatives are certainly not the only ones who try to inflict social ramifications on people whose speech they don’t like.

  • Almost all employers require submission to outward forms, manner of dress and conduct. That’s just the real world. Only a very few professions do not have codes of outward conduct.