Why Christian Parents Should Celebrate The Biblical Example of Colin Kaepernick

Why Christian Parents Should Celebrate The Biblical Example of Colin Kaepernick September 2, 2016
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Brook Ward, Flikr Creative Commons

Perhaps one of the most discussed stories of the current news cycle is the controversy surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and his refusal to stand during the National Anthem. I’m certainly not surprised at the outrage across the internet– in fact, if it were legal to fire him, strip his citizenship, and deport him from the country, I’m sure that would have already happened.

There are multiple angles of this story that concern me, but none concern me as much as watching so many self-professed Christians condemning his choice of sitting during the anthem. I’ve seen all the typical condemnations– from accusations of being disrespectful, to demanding that he leave the country if he’s not willing to stand. It should certainly be clear to us that refusing to pay homage to the flag, or the nation, is socially unacceptable and comes with a high cost.

There’s actually a story like this in the Bible. In Daniel 3 we find King Nebuchadnezzar making a statue of gold and commanding everyone pay homage to it when they hear the music start playing– not unlike what we do with our flag and anthem. As most of us will recall, there were three folks who refused to participate in this: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

I’m sure they faced a lot of peer pressure. I’m betting people told them, “Stop being so ungrateful, we live in a great place” and “Don’t be so disrespectful, don’t you know what the king has done for you?”

Yet, they did not cave to the pressure. When the music began to play, they refused to bow like everyone else did– even though the penalty was death.

Those of us who grow up in Christian circles are taught this story– and we’re taught to have the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

It’s funny how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are somehow heroes of the story on Sunday morning, but when we turn on a football game later in the day, the villain is the one person refusing to jump up when the music starts, and who refuses to show reverence and adoration for the national symbol paraded before them.

I mean, if our national symbol were a calf made out of gold instead of stars and stripes, wouldn’t you feel differently about putting your hand over your heart and standing with everyone else when the music plays?

While Kaepernick doesn’t face a death sentence, refusing to bow down during the music has come at a cost. He’s clearly been ostracized from many of his peers who have spoken out against him. Several NFL owners have said that he will never play for their teams, showing that he has already sacrificed some of his future career options. Beyond the NFL, he’s being criticized and mocked across the country– I even saw one conservative news commentator going after the fact he is adopted, including in their commentary that his parents “didn’t want to raise him.” I’ve gotta say, as an adoptive parent I found that one vile and unconscionable.

But here’s the deal: Christian parents should be celebrating Kaepernick, not condemning him. Even if one disagrees with his beliefs on the anthem and nationalism, the example Kaepernick is setting is a beautiful real-life example of what we want our kids to be like.

At least, this is how I thought we wanted our kids to be like.

Is it not true, that we long to raise children who don’t do something just because “everyone is doing it”?

Are we not trying to raise children who have the strength of conscience and conviction to do what they believe is right, even if they do it alone?

Are we not trying to raise children who dare to do things differently than the way the world does them?

Don’t we want them to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego instead of the people who fearfully bowed down?

Maybe I missed the memo. Maybe this goal changed somewhere over time. But the last time I checked, we wanted to teach our kids to do what they believe is right, and to not cave into peer pressure.

Maybe my Sunday school teacher got it mixed up, but I kinda thought that was actually a moral in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

I don’t know about you, but I still want to raise my kids to be the kind of people who follow an alternate way of living than what the world offers. I want to raise kids who are not afraid to follow their convictions. I want to raise kids who will ignore the voices shouting in their ear, “You’re supposed to be doing this just like the rest of us.”

I want to raise kids who are not afraid to sit, even if no one else joins them. I want them to do it, even if the crowd wags their finger in disapproval.

I mean, isn’t this part of what it means to be Christian? Or, maybe I missed that memo too? Because last I knew, we were supposed to be people who were citizens of a different place– a different kingdom, and a different way of living than what the world offers. That means that we’ll probably be sitting alone quite often, if we actually have the courage to live out what we believe.

We need to make up our minds. Do we want our kids to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or do we want them to be like everyone else who so quickly bowed down once the music started?

Because, I’ll be honest: if you’re telling your kids that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did the right thing, but Kaepernick did the wrong thing, you’re sending them mixed messages.

Christian parents should look at Colin Kaepernick and realize what a beautiful example he has set. We should celebrate this opportunity to show our children someone who is doing the very thing we want them to do– and who is doing it even if half the country hates him for it.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • otrotierra

    I don’t know, Dr. Corey. I think Kaepernick should have stood for the National Anthem, just like Jesus did! Oh wait…

  • JD

    We do not stand for the state’s praise hymn…I mean anthem. It is amazing how many nasty looks we get when at sporting events.

    I saw that one NFL exec said that he hasn’t seen this type of hate among NFL GM’s for one player since Rae Carruth. Carruth is in prison after having his pregnant girlfriend murdered for not having an abortion. The baby survived but with severe brain damage. Since Carruth, the NFL has had players beat women, rape women, serve time in federal prison for running a dog fighting ring, and players kill or injure others from drunk driving. But it takes not standing for the anthem to garner the level of hate directed at Carruth.

    That right there tells you the god that most Americans worship. The god of nationalism.

  • Matthew

    I just knew you were going to write about this :-).

    I really can´t say anything more than many Americans (even Christians) do really worship at the altar of nationalism and patriotism. I thought the kingdom was not of this world?

    I do have a question though:

    Can someone explain to me how and why the national anthem in America is a praise song to soldiers? It thought it was a song specifically dedicated to the flag itself, not necessarily to men and women in the armed forces. If I´m right, then why are so many people saying this guy insulted soldiers by not standing and singing the anthem???

  • JD

    Get ready for the “but render unto Caesar” defense. ;-)

  • Timothy Weston

    You have been on a streak with this story. A lot of Christians will not see the parallel or say “It had to do with worship of another god.” You have been emphasizing the point that nationalism is a religion. Keep it up!

  • otrotierra

    Yes, the willful misinterpretation of scripture passages taken out of context is quite popular among evangelicals aiming to justify their frothing condemnation.

  • American Christianity is its own religion that is a creative reconstruction that borrows some elements from the Bible and reorganizes them around an infrastructure that promotes a certain version of the American Way of Life. There are members of that religion who are genuine Christ-followers, but it tends to be in spite of their religion, not because of it.

    I mean, can you imagine the early church in this scenario? “How dare you not put your hand over your heart when the Roman Eagle is held aloft over your synagogue! How dare you not burn incense before the statue of Caesar! God wants us to be patriotic Romans. He is on Rome’s side. Look at how history has favored us and how prosperous we are!”

  • JD

    As Christians, should we really assume the worst about people? You feel he’s doing this for attention, but you really have no way of knowing. Neither do I know if his intent is pure. What we do know is that there is validity to his complaints and his means of protest is not something that we as Christians should have a problem with.

  • JD

    It’s amazing how people can read your 2nd paragraph and think “this is totally different”, but they clearly do. We applaud people around the world for not bowing before their respective states, yet we condemn those who refuse to do so in America. The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

  • The inspiration behind the American national anthem is the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British in the War of 1812. Despite the bombardment, the American flag continued to fly through the battle in which the Americans were eventually victorious. This so inspired Francis Scott Key that he wrote a poem about it which became the national anthem.

    That’s why, even though technically the flag is the central feature of the song, the lyrics are about being victorious in battle.

    “The rockets’ red glare,
    The bombs bursting in air
    Gave proof, through the night,
    That our flag was still there.

    “Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

    It is basically about America’s fighting spirit in battle.

  • otrotierra

    Where did you learn your magical mind-reading capabilities? Not from Jesus, that’s for sure.

    No thanks, I’ll pass on Sherlang’s Condemnation by Telepathy service.

  • I think it’s because we tend to make EVERYTHING about the soldiers. It’s how Memorial Day became just another Veterans Day. I can’t count how often people wish me a Happy Memorial Day, and I have to remind them that I’m not dead.

  • To judge his motive one would need absolute knowledge of his heart, and only God has that. We don’t know if he doesn’t really care about the issue at all, or if he’s selfish, etc. Those are all judgements only God can make.

  • I’d simply respect his protest and his grievances against America as his 1st Amendment right of free speech if he hadn’t attended a press confernce to justify his “sit-in” wearing a pro-Fidel Castro shirt. Kaepernick calls America “oppressive” while wearing a shirt glorifying a dictator who has killed thousands of Cubans for minor political stances. He’s a hypocrite at best.
    He also wore a pair socks that have pig faces in police hats to a recent practice. Disgusting.
    He can wrap himself in the 1st Amendment all he wants but that same 1st Amendment grants me the right to say that his “sit in” is more about seeking attention for himself than fighting against a political or criminal system he doesn’t believe is fair to his fellow Americans.

  • otrotierra

    Off to Guantanamo Bay for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! Lock them up!

  • Herm

    “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.

    Luke 14:26

    While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
    Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:46-50

    Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
    “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
    Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

    John 18:36-37

    And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:27

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

  • Sherlang

    Earlier I made a comment that once more reminded me of my own flaws. It is not my business to cast judgement on what Colin Kapernick was thinking, and I apologize. Too often I am too quick to throw out instant judgments when I have no right to claim to know what is in someone’s heart. So thanks for everyone calling me out, and reminding me that it’s not my job to judge or to condemn

  • Sherlang

    You’re totally right. Too often I am way too quick to pass judgement and to condemn even though i have no knowledge of a person’s heart. Thanks for the conviction and for calling me out

  • David Jenkins

    I don’t think the analogy in the article is very strong. There is a difference between worshiping an image of gold and standing as a sign of respect during the national anthem. Standing up for the anthem is not worshiping America! I affirm Kaepernick’s pursuit for justice only wishing he could go about it in a different way. Not standing for the anthem is hurtful and disrespectful to me along with so many others. I will not be teaching my children what this article espouses. Why would I teach my children to disrespect so many people? There are better and more loving ways to make a difference in the world.

  • Sherlang

    Too often I find myself playing God in a situation and thinking I have the right to pass judgement, even when i have no idea what a person’s heart is. Thanks for the conviction! You’re right, I have no right to instantly jump to judgments and condemnation

  • Herm

    Would it be more acceptable to wear a pro-Cheney/Bush shirt who took responsibility for initiating “Shock and Awe” which killed 100,000 Iraqis?

    Not one of the “police hats” that have acknowledged killing defenseless blacks have paid the equivalent price in a country where all men are recognized as having been created equal.

    Do you find this justice for all? If you don’t how do you “sit in”? If you do does that reflect how you understand doing to all others in the image of God as you would have them do for you? How do you reflect your grief for the loss of those like you?

  • otrotierra

    While your initial comment opened you up to some fairly easy criticism, I’d like to point out that this is not an individual matter, but a large-scale structural problem that we can all collectively learn from. For example, Kaepernick is swiftly attacked for criticizing the U.S., but Trump criticizes the U.S. and is not only defended, he’s the evangelical pick running for President. Much here for all of us to think about and learn from. It’s a collective effort.

  • Your snark about whether he should wear a pro-Cheney shirt instead rings hollow at best. Trying to deflect and shape-shift the conversation isn’t working. His so called protest against American police brutality rings hollow while wearing a pro-Fidel Castro t-shirt and you know it.
    If he really thinks Cuba is a better country than the USA he can move there at any time and thanks to our renewed relations with Cuba, it should be easy for him to book a flight.
    If he really wants to put his money where his mouth is, he could talk about the money he has donated or the time he has volunterred to organizations working to improve the lives of the communities he feels are unfairly targeted by police and encourage others to do the same. But I suspect that his “sit-in” is about as much work as he is willing to put into the cause.
    He claims this is all about police brutality and other’s suffering but he is only drawing attention to himself, not to others.

  • Herm

    What defines in your heart and mind that which is “to disrespect so many people”?

    O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    When that was written were women, slaves (black, yellow, brown, red and white respected, LBGTQ and all of God’s (in whom is our trust) children within justly (as in justice for all) respected?

    Christ teaches today that the most “loving” way to “make a difference in the world” is to pick up a cross to peaceably walk the walk and talk the talk for all others of mankind as we would have all others of mankind do for us. Colin Kaepernick is no less being castigated than Jesus was nearly 2,000 years ago. Have we learned nothing of who and how we bow down to in reverence?

    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.

    Luke 14:26-27

    Is, perhaps, “Not standing for the anthem is hurtful and disrespectful to me along with so many others” because of the traditional and patriotic lessons taught by your family and nation in their defense and not the lessons taught by Christ Jesus today who teaches to die in love for our enemies who knows not what they do?

  • Comparing the backlash that Kaepernick has received in the media (both traditional and social media) to being burned alive or imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay is a several steps so far into hyperbole that it makes you sound and look ridiculous.
    Life in prison for unappreciated political speech is a far more common outcome in Cuba, which is a country that Kaepernick appears to respect more than the USA. He disrespects the country that has given him so much opportunity to get paid millions of dollars to be a lackluster QB throwing a ball around.

  • Herm

    So you find this hard to track down indicated by your use of the word “snark”. How much money donated or organizations volunteered to did Christ give us as an example of created equal and justice for all? Is this why you are on the side of crucify Mr. Kaepernick because he speaks out against actual injustice in the love of all mankind created in the image of God? What example did Jesus leave us with in how to overcome the fragmenting us against them mentality? I would guess “sit-in” while not blindly saluting Caesar’s injustices is much closer to Jesus’ way of love and respect than those who call for his crucifixion.

    A certain few police are so egotistically fearful for their way of life that they shoot or strangle those “uppity” unarmed blacks in the victim’s own neighborhood, not the police officer’s neighborhood. Those few police officers are not held to the same consequence in error as are those they are sworn to protect and serve. Mankind is simply not us against them for we (each one different) are all one mankind.

    I am irritable and cranky, one definition of “snarky”, because I love with empathy and compassion those Colin has drawn attention to through his very civil disobedience to patriotic blind traditional allegiance to our nation’s flag and for which it stands.

  • JD

    Look at the reaction to his refusal to stand and tell me it’s not idolatry? If you want to say standing there during the state’s praise hymn is not “worship”, fine. But the reaction to those who don’t show that the flag and nation are idols.

    Not standing is not hurtful to anyone. It’s not disrespectful to anyone. It does you no harm at all actually. What Kaepernick did do was start a dialogue on the subject, and I’m happy to see more players following his lead on this. It’s not about teaching your children to disrespect others. It’s about teaching them to actually consider what their actions entail. What their blind regurgitation of the anthem or pledge of allegiance really means. And if you teach them to thoughtfully consider these things and they still choose to participate in these rituals, then fine.

    My family and I do not participate in nationalist rituals. We receive dirty looks for it, which is odd considering they are supposed to be looking at their idol..I mean flag during the whole spectacle. We don’t make a big deal about it. We aren’t seeking to hurt feelings. But our loyalty and allegiance lies ONLY with God’s Kingdom. My citizenship lies, not with America, but with a Kingdom not of this world.

  • JD

    I agree that his credibility on the issue of standing against oppression is diminished by wearing a shirt with a brutal dictator on it.

    That said, you have the right to make assumptions about his intentions, but your assumptions are coming from a position of ignorance since you do not know his heart. He simply may be ignorant of history involving Castro. He may have no clue what Castro has done. But it’s wrong to make assumptions about the motives within someone’s heart when you have zero evidence to support it.

  • otrotierra

    It’s best to keep the hurtful and disrespectful Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego away from your children. And then there’s Jesus who never–not once–stood up for the National Anthem. Outrageous! Disrespectful!

  • We make everything about the soldiers other than coverage of treatment for PTSD, fixing the GI bill and proper funding for veteran’s benefits. Those things are always about being responsible fiscal conservatives. Odd, that.

  • JD

    otrotierra’s comment made me think of a question. I’d love if you answered this question:

    Do you think Jesus would have stood or placed His hand over His heart (depending on what cultural customs of the time were) if the Roman standard were passing by? If the emperor himself came by in a procession w/ Roman flags flying and anthems being played, do you honestly believe Christ would have stood there and shown His allegiance to that standard?

  • Jordan M.

    Stanley Hauerwas would be proud of this article.

  • David Jenkins

    Hi Herm,

    Thank you for the reply. First, Kaepernick pursuit of justice is a good thing – I already said that. What bothers me is how he goes about it. Why offend many (not all) service members and the people that love them? He’s being ‘castigated’ because he’s hurting and disrespecting people by his actions. Isn’t it obvious that many people identify the national anthem with service member? – whether its right or wrong. In addition by sitting during the national anthem he’s not helping his cause for justice. His actions are polarizing; that’s why I wish he would promote justice in another way. I t would be more effective. His castigation is well deserved because he’s provoking people! He’s bringing this on himself. To say he’s like Jesus being ‘castigated’ is not even close!

    Lastly, I find his actions hurtful and disrespectful not because of my ‘traditional and patriotic lessons taught by my family and nation in defense’ but because I love people! I don’t know about you but I don’t want to see people I love disrespected. This is very close to my heart because I am military chaplain. I love my people and I do not want to see them disrespected after how they love and sacrifice for others.

    By loving my service members I am following Christ. What I am doing is right. I simply disagree and wanted to voice that opinion.

  • JD

    Christ was polarizing. Christ was provoking. Those can be done with love. Had Kaepernick defecated on the flag, you’d have a point. He simply chose to engage in silent, peaceful protest by not standing. To say he’s wrong because that may offend others ignores that demanding those of us who don’t participate in these rituals stand during them is, at the very least, just as disrespectful as you’re claiming Kaepernick was.

    He sought to make a statement and start a dialogue. He didn’t violate anyone. He didn’t shove anything in people’s faces. He didn’t bully anyone to not participate, which is much different than how those that do participate like to bully and threaten those who don’t.

    We have zero obligation as Christians to pledge our loyalty to man’s kingdoms.

  • Matthew

    O.K. Phil … maybe it’s highlighting fighting spirit, but I still fail to see how it qualifies as an armed services praise song directly focusing on soldiers.

  • Kim

    Wow, Mr. Corey!! you really need to go back and reread the story in Daniel. The story isn’t about 3 guys who refused to bow down to a statue, it’s about 3 guys who decided NOT to give up the God of Israel. and turn to another god So you’re comparing 3 guys honoring God to a guy who’s gf is the leader of BLM and this guy suddenly is a BLM supporter and I should do the same? B/c 3 men worshiped Jehovah and refused the king’s orders?? BLM has done a lot of harm in destroying cities, businesses, encouraging the death of white people and cops and you’re comparing that to the God of Israel? I don’t think God said yes, threaten people’s lives, destroy their property, threaten them, etc. I think you might want to go back and reread that amazing story and see what it’s REALLY about: Not turning from Jehovah to other gods. SMH. I wish he’d put his money where his mouth is and actually GIVE money to groups that help the inner city kids, be a mentor to some kids, help out the opposed to just not standing for the anthem. It’s about as useful as a hashtag.

  • otrotierra

    Don’t forget to leave some condemnation for Jesus as well, who failed to stand for the National Anthem. Imprison him, crucify him, or burn him alive, whichever makes you feel better!

  • David Jenkins

    I think within the reaction here there is some idolatry but I don’t think that is the defining element. For most I think there is a genuine hurt at the lack of respect. Perhaps its hard for you and many that reading this blog to understand because many seem to come from a different theological perspective;however, many Americans have a deep emotion connection with the well being of service members; it’s not idolatry but love and concern. I think that’s a good thing in fact a godly thing.

    So yes even though he was just standing there many people were hurt. Certainly the anthem is a reminder of the sacrifices of many. So yes not standing is hurtful and disrespectful. You may not think so but many do.I do. I also view my citizenship as being in God’s Kingdom but I don’t feel idolatrous standing for the anthem.

  • Kim

    Well, Jesus was a Jew, not a Roman, so no He wouldn’t have stood and gave honor to Rome. BUT Paul did say to pray for our leaders. and Romans 13 says

    Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

    And please don’t drag my savior into your arguments.

  • Kim

    That’s not what he means and you know it. David is so right. The story in Daniel is about 3 guys not wanting to worship another god and refusing to give up Jehovah. Not about 3 guys who didn’t give into peer pressure.

  • Kim

    So that’s what you’ll tell the soldiers who DIED for you to be free? Right? It doesn’t matter that we’re free, it doesn’t matter that we have freedom of religion, it doesn’t matter how hard you worked. Great thing to teach your kids.

  • JD

    He was a Jew that lived under Roman rule. Just like my citizenship lies w/ God’s Kingdom, but I live under American rule. But, I figured someone would take the Romans 13 out of context to present as a counterpoint. First, Romans 13:1-7 doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It must be read in context with Romans 12 and 14. Second, nowhere does it say we are to pledge our allegiance to the state. Third, we can pray for our leaders without pledging our loyalty to them.

    And He’s my Savior too and I think it’s important to look to Him when discussing how Christians are to act. We are to be imitators of the nonviolent Christ, and Christ never once pledged His loyalty to any kingdom other than God’s.

  • JD

    And many of us do not want to worship the false god of nationalism that we’ve painted red, white and blue.

  • otrotierra

    Lovely frothing condemnation and slander. Just like Jesus!

    Keep up the good work.

  • JD

    Kim, only one person died for my freedom, and that’s Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ that I’m free. I don’t need political freedom to be free. I need Christ to be free. Stop looking to man for your freedom and start looking to Christ.

    And yes, it is a great thing to teach my children. We teach them the nonviolent ways of Christ, not the violent murderous ways of this world. And before you hyperventilate, I was part of that murderous machine. I know what it’s like and I want my children nowhere near it.

  • JD

    Well, for many of us, we are choosing God over the false god of American nationalism. That’s why my family and I don’t participate in your nationalistic rituals and idolatry of pieces of fabric.

  • David Jenkins

    In my discussion thus far I have tried to be respectful even though my views are different than many here. If you can share your perspective in a polite fashion I would appreciate it. Please forgive me if I came across as rude or insensitive in my early comments.

  • otrotierra

    Can you believe Jesus never stood for the National Anthem? Crucify him!

  • otrotierra

    Yes, please do go out of your way to defend hypocrisy and double standards. Just like Jesus did!

  • JD

    Don’t you get it? It’s different because we’re America and it’s okay to worship the state.

  • JD

    Heck, when the Israelites demanded a king of their own to be like the other nations of the world, God explicitly stated that it was a rejection of His kingship. When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness with the “kingdoms of the world”, Christ didn’t challenge his claim of ownership, but rejected the offer. The kingdoms of this world, including America, are Satan’s. But we get castigated by nationalist Christians for making the same choice as Christ….to pledge our loyalty to God’s Kingdom.

  • JD

    I was a servicemember and still have friends in the military. But no, not standing is not “hurtful”. It’s not more “disrespectful” than you demanding that people who have a moral opposition to standing stand.

    You want to stand for the state’s praise hymn, fine. It doesn’t hurt me that you choose to do so. Just as it doesn’t hurt you if I choose to sit. Just ignore it and continue singing praise to the state.

  • David Jenkins

    I don’t know what he would have done concerning the Romans, but I do know that he respected the conventions of his own nation concerning the Torah. He seemed to be loving and respectful to everyone he encountered unless they were a prideful religious leaders. The situation we live in now is totally different. To me, I think he would stand for the national anthem. By standing I don’t think one is professing allegiance to another kingdom and I don’t see it as idolatry. It’s simply showing respect to others who value it.

  • Kim

    Wow!! So now you’re twisting my words. You sure know how to do that well, don’t you? And you sure do know my heart too, huh? So now I’m into idolatry b/c I don’t think that comparing 3 men who decided not to turn from God and follow another to a guy who supports BLM? Boy, you sure know how to twist things. I do stand up for the anthem. Why? B/c I’m grateful to God that He gave me what He gave me. That’s I”m grateful to the men and women who died for to keep me free. See? you were wrong!! Sorry you didn’t see that. have a great day.

  • JD

    You keep regurgitating this “respect” angle, but don’t see how disrespectful it is for you to demand others participate in a practice they have moral opposition to. Nobody is demanding you change your behavior, but you are demanding that others change, then have the audacity to accuse those refusing to change of being disrespectful.

    And no, I think you are kidding yourself if you think Jesus would stand there and pay homage to the state. He’d be too busy tending to the outcast that the state has ignored.

  • Kim

    So what do you say about Romans 13:1 where Paul says

    Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

    6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

    You’re so quick to state how you follow after God yet you don’t know what His word says. We are to be submissive to the gov that God puts over us. So is God now wrong?

  • JD

    You are grateful to God, so you stand during nationalistic rituals? Soldiers don’t give me freedom. Christ does. For all the “freedom” you claim soldiers bring, there is corresponding death and destruction for those they kill in other nations.

    Also, I’m not twisting your words. I’m saying what you are truly saying.

  • JD

    Once again, Romans 13 entirely out of context. It’s funny, because I’m sure you probably praise our founding fathers, yet they blatantly and violently violated Romans 13.

  • Kim

    Like you did to me? You honestly think it’s ok to compare the 3 guys worshiping God to a guy who follows after BLM ok to do ?? I don’t.

  • Kim

    Ok, how have I taken it out of context? And didn’t you also do that to me? Or is ok for you to do it, but not others??

  • Kim

    Show me where I said I worship the state. That’s your words, not mine. Show me.

  • JD

    What verses did I take out of context? And it’s out of context because those 7 verses don’t exist in a vacuum. You have to read them in light of Romans 12 and 14.

  • JD

    You sing praise hymns (national anthem) to the state and pledge your loyalty (pledge of allegiance) to it, right?

  • Matthew

    I’m wondering if sometimes we who criticize conservative evangelicals need to repent of our frothing condemnation as well? I think many of us need a lesson in civil dialogue rather than the sarcasm and vitriol that is often birthed out of dualistic thinking and unloving polarization.

  • Kim

    No, I asked you first. I simply said it’s not right to compare worshiping God to BLM and now you’re accusing me of worshiping the state. I have a feeling you’re a troll, so I’ll just let you be someone else’s problem since you can’t tell me how I took God’s word out of context. have a great day.

  • JD
  • Kim

    Ok, I’ll play. Romans 12 is about how christians are to act with others, and Romans 14 is about how we are not to condemn others. So how is 13 not about be submissive to the gov?

  • Kim

    I said above that Rom 12 is about how Christians are to treat each other. Rom 14 is about not condemning others. So how is 13 not about being submissive to others? And can you please use God’s word as opposed to articles? Thanks.

  • JD

    Those articles are using God’s word. Thanks.

    Considering I got off work 15 minutes ago, I have to leave. I highly recommend reading the articles that delve into the common misinterpretation of Romans 13 (which strangely never gets applied to our founding or to other countries, just America).

  • David Jenkins

    I am not forcing anyone to do pay homage to the flag or anthem. Keapernick doesn’t have to stand for the anthem. All I saying form the very beginning is that I do not like his actions and in my opinion it is disrespectful. This by the way was a small part of my original argument. To begin with I had more emphasis on the illustration from Daniel that I thought was weak. I am trying to argue that it is more prudent based on respect for other. If you disagree fair enough.

  • Herm

    Thanks for your respect David. Okay, I’ll pull the honorable Vietnam vet card that I have every right to say you are wrong. I nearly walked out of Vietnam when the Stars and Stripes wrote that congress was going to pass a bill that made dissent in the United States of America illegal. Fortunately that did not happen.

    How many called for Jesus to be crucified? I would venture to bet it isn’t nearly as many as are disrespecting Colin’s constitutional and God given responsibility, in the example of Christ on this earth, to dissent for what stands behind the flag of the USA.

    Perhaps, you don’t know how each one us, just before entering Vietnam, were forced to watch a propaganda film that portrayed every North Vietnam patriotic soldier, fighting in their own country against us outsiders, as despicable “gooks” with no regard for humanity. I owe it to 50,000+ of my comrades in arms who lost their chance in country to discern the truth.

    Christ in no way expresses anymore empathetic and compassionate love for me, you, our military members, all our families, or our flag signifying the separateness of our nation from mankind than He does for the presumed “gooks” of this world.

    I love my people and foremost that people is mankind created spiritually in the image of God. You are not following Jesus Christ’s lessons or examples by loving your service people more than or separately from our species of mankind.

    I have been a chaplain, elder and ministered in prisons. Other than you saying so what makes what you are doing or saying that is any better than what Colin Kaepernick is doing or saying in love for his people that are being disrespected?

    You miss the whole point in what Jesus was quoted to have very clearly said about only by sole/soul allegiance to what He is willing to teach us today will we learn the Truth as God knows it from the beginning. Your allegiance to your people is not allowing the Advocate, the Spirit of truth, to work in your heart and mind. If you purely had the love of Jesus in your heart and mind you would recognize what Mr. Kaepernick is bravely doing is picking up his cross in love for his people, us all of mankind.

    I am telling you today that Jesus is real and the Holy Spirit can fill (baptize) your heart and mind so that you are in Christ with the Father and Christ with the Father is in you. Any other “truth” regarding the bond of love is propaganda serving only a nation, religion and/or family separate and at war with the rest of the body of Man and the body of God. In medical parlance we would refer to such as a cancer. In Christ’s student body’s parlance the only surgical way to cure the cancer is the cross and in no way can be the sword (gun).

    You are young. I wish you well. I truly am sorry that you can’t yet understand to respect what first seems like the enemy of hurt and disrespect because it is not of your people. Jesus’ people is all people. Mankind as one is in the image of God as one which includes the only begotten Son of Man, the Father and all children of God.

    Love you!

  • Herm

    Done that already, thank you!

  • Herm

    Kim, what you don’t see is that God gave all of mankind what we all have. You are freely standing up for the “national” anthem for what freedom exactly, to do what exactly, that men and women died to keep for you? Sorry, but JD is much closer to the Truth than you regarding what God wants for and from you. You seem to know of God but by your words, and actions, you do not know God personally filling your heart and mind. Who told you to be grateful by standing up for the national anthem, God or your nation?

    Colin is only exercising his nation’s constitutional and God given freedom to allow you to twist his allegiances. You choose allegiance to your nation’s flag over God’s creation. Many of us know we can only serve one master and choose our creator God who loves Their entire creation, not any one exclusive self serving nation.

    I hope you can come to know the Dove in your heart and mind to truly love all of Man and God. Then you will realize that love is a bonded relationship and never a ritual of outside expectation. You are loved!

  • For the most part, it isn’t. Later verses do get more soldier specific:

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave![19]

  • MadGastronomer

    Note that this includes celebration of the deaths of slaves:

    “No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:”

  • Ivan T. Errible

    The people demanding veneration and the people who refuse to stand for the flag/anthem are both engaging in theater.
    Ignore both of them.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I do you one better; I don’t do any rituals at all-religious or secular.
    No flags, no genuflections, no crossing myself, no celebrating “heroes” of any kind.
    It’s a complete waste of time.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Who cares about Stanley Hauerwas?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    And my family and I ignore religious rituals!
    Waste of time.

  • MadGastronomer

    Protesting injustice is always offensive to the unjust.

  • MadGastronomer

    “many Americans have a deep emotion connection with the well being of service members”

    Not, however, enough of one to actually require the government to properly care for them, either while they’re in the service or after they get out. Few people who claim to care about service members actually follow through on this. Instead, they idolize some abstract notion of “service members” without paying any attention to the lived realities of the actual people who make up the armed services.

  • Backamae

    Amen!

  • MadGastronomer

    Then why don’t you ignore the entire topic? Why are you engaging with it at all?

  • MadGastronomer

    What is that, the third time this thread you’ve announced this? Say something interesting. No one religious, of any religion, is going to care about your opinion on our worship. It’s not going to change our minds about doing it. It’s just tedious. Boring.

    If you don’t think this thread is interesting or productive, if you’re not going to contribute, why are you bothering to be here?

  • MadGastronomer

    You quite literally sing the flag’s praises and make regular oaths to it.

    I’m a pagan. I worship a lot of gods. Other than making actual offerings to it, which Christians mostly don’t do for their god anyway, I really don’t see the practical difference between the two. The parallels to the state religions of Rome and the Greek city-states are enormous, when you start doing the research.

    You justification seems to amount to:

    *It’s not worship because it’s not an idol.

    *Some people will be offended if I don’t perform these acts that would amount to worship if it were an idol.

    *It’s just not the same.

    Claiming the way Americans treat our flag isn’t worship because it’s just not the same sounds like special pleading to me.

    But go ahead, try to convince me otherwise. Here’s the thing, though: Unless you are a Classics or History of Religions (plural, not just Christianity) scholar, chances are pretty good I know more about the various forms worship takes than you do.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Phil.

    Do most of the people saying he is insulting soldiers even know these verses exist? I didn’t.

    A far stretch I think.

  • Laura Bayird

    Except that he refused to stand to a make a political statement, not to stay righteous or for “Biblical” reasons. If it wasn’t for the ideals of the fathers of this nation, he never would have been able to take a stand… or not stand. Irony. Gotta love it. Nice try though. ANYTHING can be idolatrous. Condemning those who display national pride during this time where political leaders would “divide and conquer” and calling them idolatrous for standing up for the nation they love is hypocritical because it sounds to me like you’re worshiping this football IDOL.

  • Laura Bayird

    Wow. What a load of pride. You’re just as guilty.

  • Laura Bayird

    But Kim is still right. Kaepernick’s motives were not to adhere to his religious beliefs but to make a political statement. He was not standing for God by not standing for the flag. He was standing for his idolatrous worship of skin color and a movement that divides people, loots, burns, and destroys. This nation was intended to be a haven for people to worship freely without hindrance by the government. It was a beautiful vision that has been utterly corrupted. For many the flag still stands for that vision. It’s not “religious” to honor the flag. People aren’t bowing down to worship it. You people ARE twisting her words, and twisting what the national anthem and flag mean. You are also twisting what nationalism is and are just as guilty of pride in your refusal to take part. Maybe you should take the plank out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of hers!

  • Laura Bayird

    Wow. More pride and arrogance. “For your education.” What makes you think she needs that education and you’ve been called to teach her? Your knowledge sure has puffed you up.

  • MadGastronomer

    “Judge not…” How does that go?

  • MadGastronomer

    She literally asked JD for the information.

  • Laura Bayird

    First of all, the national anthem is not a “praise hymn” as you called it. Not in the way you mean. Not of the flag. Francis Scott Key wrote it after catching a glimpse of the war tattered flag still waving after the battle outside Fort McHenry. We actually only sing the first verse. The last reads:

    “O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
    Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
    Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

    The only One being praised in our national anthem is God!!

    Furthermore, being loyal to the nation is not the same thing as being loyal to a government. Nor is pledging allegiance to a nation NOT being loyal to God. You think you are being holier by not doing these things, but you’re actually just being religious.

  • MadGastronomer

    Belief in Justice is at least as spiritual as it is political, and indeed I understand it to be a prime tenet of Christianity.

    And you are telling lies about BLM. Perhaps you believe them and are only repeating the lie you were told, but they are lies nonetheless.

    And calling an attempt to stand up in the face of his people being murdered, “idolatrous worship of skin color” is simply racist.

    I don’t expect to convince you of anything at all. You are too deeply sunk in your own self-justifications. But I will keep calling out lies and racism.

  • MadGastronomer

    “Actually you’re just being religious”? Well, yes, isn’t that the point?

    How is it different from a hymn of praise? In other cultures, multiple gods can be praised in a single hymn, and often have been. Praising your god doesn’t mean it isn’t also praising the flag.

  • Laura Bayird

    The final verse of the Star Spangled Banner:

    “O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
    Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
    Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

    Unless you are a true, born again again Christian, I doubt you understand that worship has more to do with how you live than what you do with your lips. The problem with Religions scholars is that most study them without ever practicing them or knowing them in truth.

    Christianity is not about what you do and how you act. It’s about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with your neighbor, and relationship with your enemy.

  • Laura Bayird

    P.s. Christianity is not about what you do and how you act. It’s about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with your neighbor, and relationship with your enemy.

  • Laura Bayird

    P.s. Also, Christianity is not about what you do and how you act. It’s about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with your neighbor, and relationship with your enemy.

  • Laura Bayird

    P.s. Christianity is not about what you do and how you act. It’s about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with your neighbor, and relationship with your enemy.

  • MadGastronomer

    I am a true polytheist, and I worship my gods as sincerely as you worship yours. You know nothing of other religions. You know nothing of my relationships with my gods or with anyone else. You simply assert nonsense.

    But your behavior still has meaning, even according to the Bible. Does your god stand for you going through the motions of worshiping another god?

  • MadGastronomer

    As far as I have ever been able to tell, this is a very modern assertion. Can you back it up?

    And how is it right relationship to one’s neighbor to allow murder and injustice to continue unremarked?

  • MadGastronomer

    “Condemning those who display national pride”

    Weren’t you just condemning pride upthread? Isn’t pride a sin?

    And how, if literally singing the praises of an object and swearing oaths to it is not idolatry, is simply approving of the actions of someone actually idolatry? I thought it was all about relationships? You seem to be contradicting yourself quite a few times.

  • MadGastronomer

    Also, how are relationship separate from how you treat the people you have relationships with? How you treat people is action.

  • Oh, I completely agree with you. But there is some soldier-ish stuff in there that could possibly provoke someone to say that. I seriously doubt that’s behind any of the backlash you described.

  • Your analysis is off the mark. The three biblical figures refused to disobey the First Commandment. The football player misused his privilege to be on national TV by disrespecting our country’s national anthem. But it goes deeper. He wears socks showing the police as pigs; a clear reference to the despicable black lives matter movement who chants, “Pigs in the Blanket, Fry “Em like Bacon.” I have stood for our National Anthem many times out of respect and never thought of it as “reverence and adoration.” Disrespecting our country’s institutions, especially our police and military, is really civil disobedience. What you advocate for Christian Parents is sending the wrong message to our children. While our government is horribly corrupted by money and power and on display for the whole world to see at the moment, advocating parent’s to raise another generation of disrespectful children under the guise of Christianity is just another indication that you have lost all perspective of what it means to be a Christian.

  • steve

    OK, I know that bloggers have to write a bunch of crap to get everyone’s attention, and contrarianism seems to get them the most peeks, but I have to say that you are dead wrong with your book of Daniel parallels; and it’s more than condescending of you to refer to people as “supposed” Christians; the same could be said about the blogger if someone failed to read Matthew 7. first of all, standing for the flag or national anthem is not the same as being forced to deny your God or worship a false idol; refusing to cater a wedding that violates God’s word is much closer to it then that is. Colin was refusing to stand up for evil, self-serving reasons not about any deep belief. his attitude has him also wearing Castro t-shits and socks that are insulting to police. if anything he is closer to Satan’s rebellion than any virtue of those in Daniel. Colin is not being punished, there are no fines or danger of imprisonment. the true examples are where people pay the price for against the system, by he system. the true examples are the bakers, photographers, and county clerks who have suffered for their right stances; those who after being told not to pray or talk about the Lord at graduations, and yet do it anyway….I can go on and on, there are several examples for our children, but this act of disrespect, and their is no denying that it intentional was, is not one of them.

  • Matthew

    Thanks again Phil.

  • Linda Lee Davidson

    Having read all the comments which made for an interesting exchange of views, the one thing that generally jumps out at me is the assumption that as a star athlete – I think Americans possibly venerate football as much as the anthem – is that he really crossed the line. That his circumstances of fame opportunity and wealth do not justify making a statement. I am guessing that his understanding of what it is like to be a black American is totally different than for most of the posters in this discussion. His character was questioned based on wearing a pair of socks and T-shirt with no mention of the fact that his tattoos include Bible verses.

    What I find most troubling is the number of years that has passed since the 1968 Olympics where the raising of the American flag got a somewhat similar response by Smith and Carlos. (Jackie Robinson also refused to stand for the anthem) Perhaps some folks might want to read Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail for some perspective as well.

  • John Pabst

    Jesus wouldn’t buy in to the lies of Satan and the untruths of BLM, Hands Up, and the Liberals of today. Before you try putting a Biblical story into today’s problems, understand the setting and context of the story! Your comparison hold ZERO WATER to what Kap is doing!! You really need to take down the scenario and try again!.

  • wolfeevolution

    Really clearly stated! Thanks, Phil.

  • I know this isn’t why you did this, but this was pretty inspiring, honestly. I thought maybe you got jumped on a little too much, actually, but you took something constructive out of it, apologized, and used it to become better. If I see a million more things like this, it might almost restore my faith in the Internet.

  • David Hill

    I am not going to be like Colin Kaepernick, siding with the untruths of BLM and Hands Up and the Liberals of today. Interesting coming from a website that so calls claims to be non-partisan. The article sounds kind of bias. Whatever happened to people teaching the younger generation the value and importance of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance? Didn’t Jesus Christ speak on respecting one’s country and something about give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s? I agree with what John Pabst and Linda said earlier. Please try again in your next article. I wonder what young Colin would think of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

  • otrotierra

    How tragic that Jesus never stood for the National Anthem–not even once! Outrageous! How terribly biased and liberal of Jesus and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

  • MadGastronomer

    Exercising one’s freedoms is somehow not appreciating them?

    And what about the freedom, the right to live, the abridgement of which by government agents he was protesting?

    It seems to me that you are the one who wants to stomp on our freedoms and rights.

  • MadGastronomer

    He exercised his right to free expression. Exercising one’s rights is not disrespect of the country, it is part of our country’s great history.

    And how is it NOT worship of the flag and the republic? In what way does it differ from the state religions of Rome and the Greek city-states, other than being enforced only by the criticism of the small-minded rather than the force of the state? (Although some of the forces of the state are trying hard to enforce this worship.)

  • MadGastronomer

    “Colin was refusing to stand up for evil, self-serving reasons not about any deep belief.”

    Protesting injustice is evil, and justice somehow cannot be a deeply-held belief?

    How is singing songs of praise and swearing oaths to the flag different from the state religions of Rome and the Greek city-states?

  • MadGastronomer

    Your racist accusations against BLM and other Black organizations that stand against injustice and the slaying of Black people are far more biased than this article.

    I assume that you meant you wonder what Dr. King would have thought of Mr. Kaepernick, but of course peaceful protest was exactly what Dr. King stood for. Yes, even when it gave offense. Especially when it gave offense. Everything that Dr. King did gave offense. Go reread the Letter from Birmingham Jail.

  • MadGastronomer

    So not only should Kaepernick not exercise his freedom of expression, neither should Corey. Good to know that you are against our rights if you disagree with what we say.

  • He is at work. His right to free expression is abridged by his employer. If he was being interviewed as part of the after game analysis and said something that would be different.

    Worship is best defined by Christ’s encounter with Satan. This is not worship. When you rise as some dignitary comes into the room that is hardly worship. It is simply a sign of respect.

  • MadGastronomer

    And his employer does not require him to stand. Nor would his employer be legally allowed to do so, in fact. There are several Supreme Court cases to this effect.

    That is not a definition of worship. The actions taken are ones commonly associated with worship. How is it not worship.

  • That’s been something that I’m glad I finally found the words to explain, recently: my frustration at people who don’t bother with the differences between Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. The first two are very much meant to be solemn and reflective days (and should themselves be very distinct in focus), but instead they’ve become just two more celebrations of the Empire.

  • MadGastronomer

    Definitions of worship from dictionary.com:

    1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

    2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage:
    They attended worship this morning.

    3. adoring reverence or regard:
    excessive worship of business success.

    4.the object of adoring reverence or regard.

    Re: definition 1, dictionary.com definition of sacred:

    1. devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.

    2. entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.

    3. pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane):
    sacred music; sacred books.

    4. reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object:
    a morning hour sacred to study.

    5. regarded with reverence:
    the sacred memory of a dead hero.

    6. secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right:
    sacred oaths; sacred rights.

    7. properly immune from violence, interference, etc., as a person or office.

    The flag is regarded with reverence by the people who say the Pledge and who stand for the anthem. Therefore it is sacred. It is paid reverent honor and homage by these people. It is also paid adoring reverence and regard by these people. It fits the definition of worship. It fits the forms of worship, too; the things that are done to honor it are things that are done in worship. So again I ask, how does this differ from worship, and especially from state religions of the ancient world? You have not answered this question at all

  • David,

    Herm has “pulled the Vietnam Vet card.” Ben is also a veteran, and clearly supports Kaepernick. And there was recently a Twitter tag trending, #VeteransForKapernick. Tons of veterans coming together to support Kaepernick and make it abundantly clear that they did not feel disrespected by his protest. Based on everything I’ve seen, there are more people who are offended on behalf of veterans than actual offended veterans. And many of these not offended veterans have since been castigated as well, for nothing more than not being offended.

  • MadGastronomer

    By the way, we stand to do honor to a respected person or object because the Romans did so, as did the Greeks, and they did so because they stood to pray rather than kneeling or bowing down. Standing for the flag or anthem replicates Roman and Greek state religions.

  • ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’

    Yes, our religion is about relationships. But as Jesus himself said many times in many ways, a tree is known by its fruit. Your actions show what your relationships truly are. Or, to put it in the words of James the Epistle writer: “faith without works is dead.”

  • David Hill

    I just disagree with him disrespecting the American national anthem which therefore disrespects all those who have fought and died for the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Yes, Dr King did it in a passive and peaceful protest but MLK Jr did not disrespect any national patriotic symbols.

    You are saying that my accusations are racist? Actually on the contrary, Black Lives Matters is a racist hate group movement that thinks that blacks are the more superior group. I will read the Letter from the Birmingham Jail.

    ALL people are created equal in God’s eyes. Different message than what BLM speaks.

  • David Hill

    I sense sarcasm. Jesus Christ did respect Roman authority and spoke about giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. I am so glad that Rack, Shach and Benny did what they did. They stood up against idol worship and against the dynasty powers of Babylon. God blessed them and it drew to the attention of King Nebuchadnezzar.

  • MadGastronomer

    Wasn’t Jesus specifically speaking about taxes, not worship?

  • Biblical worship is not just standing like a Roman or a Greek to pray. We do not stand to pray to the National Anthem.

  • MadGastronomer

    You can “disagree” all you want, but it’s his right, under the Constitution. He is showing more respect for the Constitution than you are by opposing him exercising his right.

    Your accusations are both racist and false, yes. Black Lives Matter, if you actually look at the facts, is simply standing up for Black people, who are unfairly treated in our society, to the extent that people are allowed to kill children who have done nothing wrong and get away with it. They stand up for Black people because Black people are the ones most damaged by racism. They are called Black Lives Matter because racists treat Black lives as if they do not matter. When you oppose BLM, the message you send is that this is ok with you, that racism and murder of Black people are ok with you.

    The accusations of BLM being a violent and racist hate group are based solely on stereotypes of Black people as violent and criminal, and on the assertions of racists.

  • MadGastronomer

    How is the anthem different from a hymn of praise? And why is it that you think that only Christian worship is worship? Once again, how is this different from the state religions of Rome and Greece?

  • MadGastronomer

    The details of Roman and Greek prayer matter specifically because this is the worship of something that is not the Christian god, and so Christian methods of worship are beside the point. If you are behaving in a manner that would be worship from a Pagan towards something that is not your god, how does that not qualify as pagan worship?

  • MadGastronomer

    Hang on a minute, don’t you stand to sing hymns that praise your god? Again, how is that different from standing to sing songs that praise something else?

  • MadGastronomer

    An excellent post I just saw on this very topic, which demonstrates just how racist your objections actually are:

    Protesters riot:These people need to learn how to protest peacefully! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters sit out during playing of national anthem:This is outrageous! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters sit in at whites only restaurant:I’m outraged that they could be so inconsiderate of people on their lunch hour! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters raise a black-fisted glove on medal podium at Olympics:The games are about unity, stop trying to divide us! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters march during rush hour stopping traffic:Gah! Why do they have to do it this way? I’m on my way to work!! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters put hands up in solidarity before St. Louis Rams game:Ugh! Inappropriate! Shut up and play the game! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters wear t-shirts that read “I can’t breathe,” before a sporting event:This isn’t the platform for that, respect the game. There has to be a better way!
    Protesters make passionate speech on BET:That’s reverse racism. All lives matter! There has to be a better way!
    Protesters disrupt political rally:Ugh! We’re not here to see you speak!
    Look here Folks:”At
    a certain point, people are going to need to admit to themselves that
    they’re not upset about how black people are protesting, they are upset
    that black people are protesting.” – Jim Patnoudes

    Truly, what is it you object to: How black people protest, or that they dare to protest their mistreatment at all? Because you are doing exactly what those who attacked Dr. King did.

  • The three biblical figures refused to disobey the First Commandment of God. These Commandments are in the Bible: Old Testament and New Testament. It is a very serious sin to disobey the First Commandment as seen by the punishment proscribed for those who break it. In fact even the Israelites broke that commandment and it was why they were in captivity in Babylon in the first place. Worship is worship. I agree. i just don’t agree that standing for the National Anthem of a Counrty amounts to worship and neither do most people. And also that is not why Kapernick refused to stand.

  • The national Anthem of this country is not a song of praise. it is a song of hope in the freedom that produced the democracy that has produced the greatest nation on God’s green earth and a nation that has never and will never be equaled in history. Because this nation is blessed by the God that is God and that should be patently obvious. It certainly is to the other countries of the world.

  • MadGastronomer

    Again, how is it different? You insist that it is, but can give no good reasons WHY it is. It sounds very much as if it’s something you’ve never given real thought to, and are refusing to give it thought now.

    Kaepernick refused to stand in order to protest injustice. To afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. To support the oppressed. How is this not in accordance with biblical principles? How is it a bad thing to protest injustice?

  • MadGastronomer

    How is it not a song of praise?

    And what makes you think other countries think ours is blessed by god? Do you have any idea how ignorant and laughable that sounds? I mean really, it’s hilarious.

    This country is vastly unjust. Why would your god bless that?

  • MadGastronomer

    Just so you know, simply asserting that it’s different doesn’t actually make it different. If you mean to answer my question, you have to actually give reasons. If all you want to do is bluster, go ahead, but I’m going to keep asking.

  • David Jenkins

    Hello, thank you for the response. What you say is true. There are some veterans and service members that are supportive of Kaepernick’s actions but the majority I have met face to face where I am stationed are not happy with it. In addition many retirees I have spoken to are even more vocal about their displeasure. Aside from people I have spoken to did you see the Chargers/49ers preseason game? It was military appreciation night so tons of military were in attendance and throughout the whole game they were chanting U-S-A. They were booing Kaepernick. Needless to say many feel disrespected an angry by his actions whether one agree with it or not.

  • MadGastronomer

    Why do the ones who are unhappy outweigh the ones who support Kaepernick? And why should some people being upset outweigh his right to free speech?

  • David Jenkins

    Sarcasm just like Jesus.

  • MadGastronomer

    Because sarcasm is worse than slander! As long as someone else is doing it!

  • MadGastronomer

    It is the nature of the color caste system in America that
    black people with close ties to whiteness are often those with the
    resources, education, and means to make vocal challenges to racism. It
    is not coincidence, it is not irony, it is the result of a racist
    history in which black people with lighter skin were more likely to be
    given privileges and opportunities than their darker brethren. And it is
    precisely because of those privileges and opportunities that they have
    the voice and platform to say what others are unable to. Growing up
    black in proximity to whiteness is more likely to open one’s eyes to
    America’s racial divides than to render them invisible.

    Kaepernick’s
    true sin is his rejection of the faustian bargain offered to black
    people who reach elite status in America––that their success comes at
    the price of ceasing to criticize the racism in the system that allowed
    them to thrive as exceptions. Many Americans would prefer that black
    elites not remind them of America’s unfulfilled promise that all are
    created equal, but rather pretend it has already been realized, or be
    silent about the ways in which it has not. The only thing that would
    satisfy Kaepernick’s critics is apathy.

    Colin Kaepernick’s True Sin

  • So we can agree at least that veterans are not in agreement as to whether it’s disrespectful. The majority you’ve spoken with felt disrespected, the majority I’ve spoken with didn’t.

    I don’t know why retirees are relevant to the discussion of whether veterans were disrespected. But in fact, that is the exact group that I was thinking of when I was talking about veterans who weren’t offended being told that they should be.

    And on a different note, if I may go back to something you said originally: you support Kaepernick’s pursuit for justice, but wish that he would have gone about it in a different way. May I ask, do you actually have any thoughts for a way that you would have preferred? Because I cannot think of a single way to protest injustice that would not be considered “offensive” and “disrespectful” to one group or another. (Edited to add: this particular protest is actually, in my mind, incredibly respectful. He didn’t say anything until he was asked post-game, he just sat quietly. Didn’t disrupt the anthem, didn’t make a scene. Just sat.)

  • Ben compared Kapernick’s protest to the three biblical heros and failed. Ask him about that.

    It is a bad thing to wear socks that depict police as killers who hunt down black men in this country to kill them. It is a bad thing whenthe Black Lives Matter movement incites followers to kill police in response.

  • Hilarious to some but not many. Vastly unjust sounds like a progressive talking point and nothing more. What exactly is “vastly unjust” in this country at this point in time. Do we have people lock up in camps for their beliefs; do we kill protesters in the streets. No but we allow women to kill their unborn children; we allow mass murders in our cities and refuse to stop it. That is what is unjust. Kapernick’s protest is what i said it was – wrong.

  • Worship in the biblical sense is directed at a supposed God not a governmental entity or a song or money or an inanimate object.

  • Marie de la Torre

    Some of this is relative. Yes, “… all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority
    have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority
    is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” What about when the anti-Christ appears? Are we to bow to him because he’s in a place of authority? What about people who live under dictatorships and refuse to bow to that? It’s all relative.

  • Herm

    O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    Does it? Has it ever perfectly waved o’er the land of the equally free and home of the brave? Why is it you choose, in your most disagreeable superior manner, not to strive for a more perfect union as is Colin Kaepernick by pointing out, in a clear peaceful protest, that not all lives matter equally in the USA for which that flag stands according to the results of actions taken by enforcers sworn to protect and serve those lives equally? You have a long Hill to climb David before you understand empathetically and compassionately that BLM doesn’t think they are superior but by all results Black lives are clearly considered inferior, contrary to all the constitution and flag of the USA stands for. Black lives today are obviously not allowed the equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as are Caucasian lives in the same circumstances within the responsibility of the United State of America.

    Black lives today are not treated equally of value within the legal system of the United States of America. That is the message of what the BLM movement speaks.

    The flag for which it stands was meant to stand “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”. A land today proudly touting that all people are created equal within because that is how we supposedly believe God created each and every one of mankind. A lie by our results!

    You, sir, disrespect the American national anthem in your continued racist arguments. You, sir, are not nearly as brave as Colin Kaepernick!

    Jesus spoke of uplifting all of mankind even if it means to be crucified for doing so in peaceful civil disobedience. You are in the lynch mob today yelling to crucify Colin Kaepernick for his peaceful civil disobedience, in the example of Christ Jesus. Your and the local police union’s feelings were hurt for such an uppity act of disrespect and Colin must pay. How does your feelings rank up with the defenseless Black citizens whose mortal lives were irrecoverably disrespected with a gun or strangulation? No one paid for that injustice to what we agree our flag and national anthem stands for. You want Colin to pay what no bad cop has.

    Suck it up, both you and the police union, to bravely protect and serve what our anthem and flag stand for so that our fallen in war are truly honored with an equally loving pursuit for a more perfect union by all survivors. Too many of our brave fallen were Black and died with no chance that their families, all in their family’s life time, would ever have an equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as did their White comrades’ families in the USA.

    I honor over 50,000 of my personal comrades who died in country (Black, White, Yellow, Red and Brown) by seeking a more perfect union within the nation we served abroad carrying our flag. You do a disservice to each and every one and I plead with you to reevaluate your exclusive “patriotic” stand. Your influence from your life really does matter; constructively toward a more perfect union of equally valued lives or destructively toward the segregationist influence of us versus them that you share today.

    I truly hope this does some good for you and what you stand for. Our nation under God needs you. Love you!

  • MadGastronomer

    But this wouldn’t be biblical worship, anyway, BY DEFINITION. You can’t use that solipsism to get out of it. Besides, isn’t the worship of an inanimate object exactly what idolatry is, according to Christianity?

  • MadGastronomer

    Black people, including children, are being murdered by police who are then not punished for it. Black people are punished severely for crimes white people gets slaps on the wrist for. White men are raping women and then not being punished for it. So many injustices are perpetuated by our legal system that you cannot call our nation just and be speaking the truth.

    Peacefully protesting injustice cannot be wrong.

  • MadGastronomer

    How is it a failure to compare them? You have yet to actually justify this. Your entire case rests on it supposedly not being worship, but not only have you been utterly unable to demonstrate that it’s actually not worship, that wasn’t even Ben’s point. His point was that Christian parents should want their children to stand up against injustice, that they should want them not to do something just because everyone else does, that they should want them to follow their consciences and their god above all. Go back and read it again.

  • Chowchilla Gal

    So now that he’s converting to Islam – how do feel about his setting an example to our children?

  • I did. If Ben wanted to say what you said then he should not have used the biblical example because it was not on point.

  • I respect your right to call him hypocritical. I have less respect for (for example) Tomi Lahren saying that citizenship is conditional, thereby implying that a natural-born citizen should have his citizenship revoked for exercising his Constitutional rights.

  • Please state the names of the black people who are being murdered by the police. I have heard it all and and have a very different opinion. But if you have names and dates I’ll research them. I do know that black people are killing other black people and children by the thousands and for no reason. Chicago is the poster child for this.

  • otrotierra

    Ah, desperately bringing more slander and deception into the comment section.

  • What I find fascinating about your response (and this is simply an observation, with no judgment in favor or opposed intended) is that it could easily be read one of two ways, depending on whether or not one agrees with Stanley’s stances.

  • “The story isn’t about 3 guys who refused to bow down to a statue, it’s about 3 guys who decided NOT to give up the God of Israel.”

    And there are many people who, unknowingly*, idolize this nation. Many of them call themselves Christians. I will not go so far as to say that all patriots idolize the nation, but I will not deny idolatry that I have seen with my own two eyes.

    “I wish he’d put his money where his mouth is and actually GIVE money to groups that help the inner city kids, be a mentor to some kids, help out the opposed to just not standing for the anthem.”

    Then you’ll be thrilled to know he’s doing exactly that. The news broke on the same day that you made this comment, but you might not have seen it before commenting.

    *Edit: I used the word “unknowingly” because I couldn’t think of a better word at the time, but it didn’t sit right with me. Perhaps a better word would be “unthinkingly.” As in, they do so because they aren’t bothering to think about what they’re doing, not because they’re unaware.

  • Specifically talking about taxes, and specifically responding to an attempted trap. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” as David renders it; according to every passage in the Bible that deals with it, worship is due to God and to God alone.

  • http://www.snopes.com/colin-kaepernick-converts-to-islam/

    Is Colin Kaepernick converting to Islam? Verdict: FALSE

  • “Because this nation is blessed by the God that is God and that should be patently obvious. It certainly is to the other countries of the world.”

    Which countries are you thinking of, exactly? Because I have friends in something like seventy different countries, and I don’t think any of them hold that attitude personally, or would recognize that as an attitude their nation as a whole holds.

  • Herm

    Chowchilla, the real question is how do you feel if he was, which he isn’t, converting to Islam as an example to our children?

    Before you ask, I am proud of Muhammad Ali’s conduct as a true fellow United States of America citizen after he converted to Islam. I’m not so sure of his wife’s comment saying Colin Kaepernick should “get off his high horse” and apologize. Strange that she doesn’t really understand what her husband went through to peacefully resist pseudo patriotism that came down on him because he took a stand well within the tenets of the United States of America.

    Your false statement and bigoted question are evil. It is legal to convert to Islam in our nation and very often more Christ like than born and raised “christians” in the good ole’ US of A. Perhaps, you’re just caught up in the pride that Chowchilla High is still holding on to the Redskin name???

  • Chowchilla Gal
  • Herm
  • Ok. Let’s play that game. You give me the names of 5-people from 5- different countries who believe that the USA is not blessed by God and I’ll reply with 5- that do and so on.

  • Chowchilla Gal
  • Herm

    Is it really your wish to be so destructive by planting seeds of derision and outright hate? What did we or Colin Kaepernick do to earn your spite?

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus is not calling you to hide behind shameless slander, deception, and childish name-calling.

  • Herm

    http://theundefeated.com/features/colin-kaepernick-mix-of-racism-anti-islam-rhetoric-are-increasingly-toxic/

    What the hell is your point? What does it matter if he chose to become Muslim? If you are a card carrying christian you only encourage others, by your antichrist attitude, to become Muslim to get away from the likes of you.

  • …or you could have simply named some countries, as I invited you to do. There’s no reason to make it more complicated than that. Though if you insist, I can start naming names (though for the sake of their privacy, I will only name first names) – there’s Efe from Turkey, Dee from Germany, Beatrice from South Africa, Khevana from India, and Alex from Sweden, to start with. I’ll also give you Simy from Croatia, Dany from Indonesia, Ceci from Austria, Eysha from Pakistan, and Elizabeth from Malta. I don’t know why you want to make it so complicated, but there you go. Ten people, ten different countries.

  • So a conservative web page has, in a rather sensationalist manner, noted that a fact-checker for Snopes is liberal. So what? The Snopes article calling the rumor that Kaepernick converted false has actual proof attached, which is still true regardless of the political leanings of the person providing it. Meanwhile, your sources provide no evidence, and even note that it’s unconfirmed gossip.

  • First, you said what countries because you have friends in something like seventy countries. So I ask you to name five. You reply that if I insist. I did not insist anything. First names for Privacy on a Progressive Christian website? What are you afraid of? Then you ask why I want to make it so complicated. You mentioned seventy countries:
    Kella Sponholz – David, Panama.
    Abelardo Duenas – Cusco, Peru
    Richard Waite – Toronto, Canada
    Robert Tanghal – Manila, Philippines
    Michael Obasanjo – Lagos, Nigeria
    My friends know the USA well and our history. They also know their country and its history. The two are hardly comparable.

  • otrotierra

    Your slander, lies and childish name-calling might entertain you, but they are not sufficient replacements for Jesus who is consistently missing in your comments.

  • I respect my friends’ privacy because they are my friends, and you are a stranger on the internet. Try to shame me for that all you want, but I’m not going to disrespect them for the sake of your silly game.

    Funny enough, I also have friends in three of those five countries: there’s Lara from Canada, Rese from the Phillipines, and Gerard from Nigeria. Also Innocent from Rwanda and Husna from Malaysia. All five of them, and also the ten named earlier, are aware of both their own national history and ours, same as your friends (I find it odd that you would imply otherwise when you know nothing about them). And while Gerard and Innocent, in particular, would say that life in America is preferable to life back home, none of the fifteen would make the claim that you said earlier, that America “is blessed by God and it is patently obvious.” And especially when it comes to the overlap, that should be more than enough evidence that it’s not a national attitude, which is what’s implied when you say that “it certainly is [obvious] to the other countries of the world.”

    And yes, I did indeed ask “because I have friends in something like seventy countries….” I figured it was appropriate to give a reason for asking, since in the past I have been accused of arguing for argument’s sake when I pose an innocent question.

  • And the thing is, though I’ve entertained your game, it doesn’t actually prove your point, because the implication of your point was that it’s a national acknowledgement. If you were to name one single person in South Korea who believes that America is uniquely blessed by God, that doesn’t mean that the whole nation believes so. You really need to show support at a higher level. Which is what I invited you to do when I first asked you to name some countries.

  • I am most definitely not trying to prove anything to you. I was trying to respond to MadGastronomer regarding Ben’s claim that Kapernick somehow emulates the courage of the three biblical heros who stood up to Nebuchadnezzar. We are discussing why standing for the National Anthem is not worship per se. Whether or not you understand the position of the USA re the other countries in history and how we got there is off point to begin with.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why do yo ask rhetorical questions?

  • Then I’m confused as to why you suggested your game at all; wouldn’t it have been both simpler and a more effective use of time to simply inform me straight away that that topic was tangential to the point you were making?

    Edited to add: please don’t think that I didn’t notice your cheap little rhetorical trick, either, of reasserting your unsourced claim as fact (in a very incendiary way!) while also declaring it off topic. If I contest the point, I’m just being argumentative, but if I don’t, then it’s taken as proof that your contested claim is correct. Very cheap. Not the kind of tactic used by someone actually interested in ascertaining the truth.

  • Herm

    So Joseph and Mary raised at least two really civil disobedient children. Both even went so far as to mock the authorities of the religion they were born into. Your authority to throw out falsehoods is equally suspect.

    One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

    Luke 11:45-46

    You have no perspective of what it means to be a student of Christ.

  • Herm

    Woe is a heartfelt grief for those dead.

  • Herm

    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

    Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

    Daniel 3:13-18

    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.

    Luke 14:25-27

    You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Matthew 22:37-40

    Bob, I don’t know who your teacher is, that you so blindly disciple under, but (s)he certainly is not Christ Jesus. Dr. Corey’s point is right on target if we consider in everything in doing to and for all others as we would have all others do to and for us. You are not in the Spirit to recognize the point at all. We all ask our Father to forgive you and your teacher for you know not what you do.

  • Jordan M.

    It was simply an observation on my part that the piece sounded very Hauerwasian. I meant no judgement either way. Though in general I do agree with Hauerwas’s theological perspective.

  • You are wrong. Jesus was not civilly disobedient. He obeyed Roman law. He healed on the Sabbath and that was considered breaking the Sabbath by the Jewish religious authorities. As to my perspective how would you know?

  • Herm, my eyes are wide open. Ben is wrong on this point as he is on so many. Telling our children to advocate killing policemen because they are hunting black males to kill them is quite remarkable and a bit insane.

  • Yeah, that’s kind of what I figured. Just consider it my observation of your observation :-P

  • David Jenkins

    When I say retirees I am talking about veterans. People who have retired from their military careers with 20 plus years of service. Where I am stationed we have a large amount of retirees that come to base to do all kinds of things. They are relevant to the conversation because many (not all) feel disrespected. Sorry if there was a miscommunication on that one.

    To answer some of your later questions, I have no problem with people assembling in public places to peacefully protest especially if an injustice has occurred. I am not offend by that in the least. I don’t know if anyone is offended or disrespected by such protests? In addition people protest all the time without offending others. Some protest by not buying products that are developed unjustly. Some take it to social media to promote awareness of what’s going on with a particular injustice. When we educate others and call for change concerning injustice people may disagree with us but they are not offended.

    In my discussion I have tried to affirm Keapernick’s heart for justice while disapproving of his methods. I and many others think its disrespectful. It would do more to help his cause by standing for the anthem. He wouldn’t be alienating himself from many in the population that weren’t really against him or his cause in the first place.

    I care for the black community and I hope and pray that they would be treated more justly. In fact I am presently working with my church (composed of many black people) to work in our surrounding community to work towards peace and the betterment of our area. My hope is to serve and make difference in the local elementary school.

  • Thank you for your response. Yes, we did have a miscommunication re: retirees, which is at least in part because of my assumption that the people you’re calling retirees already fit under the umbrella of veteran, therefore you must have meant a different group. Mea culpa.

    I think there as also perhaps another miscommunication that I must take the blame for; I was hoping that you would specifically name some ways that Kaepernick might have protested instead, rather than general protests you approve of; given the nature of his complaint, I don’t know that boycotting a product would be terribly effective.

    EDIT: Sorry, gravitated to boycott, didn’t even register at first that some of your other “vague” examples are indeed things he could do.

  • Jordan M.

    Haha! Glad we’re now clear on that ;)

  • Dennis Brady

    So you want your kids to show open hatred and contempt for law enforcement by wearing socks depicting cops as pigs? Yeah that sounds real Christian

  • MadGastronomer

    Much as you do, and you exercise your right all the time. You don’t care if it offends people, why should he?

  • MadGastronomer

    You won’t listen now if you haven’t before. But if you think that literal children who have done nothing but played in public being killed by cops isn’t murder, if you think that people who have committed no crimes should be killed by police and that’s ok, then you’re simply a racist. There’s nothing else to be said about it.

  • Herm

    Bob, you are the one who is extremely foolish and irrational. Nothing Benjamin advocated in his example of Colin Kaepernick’s protest suggested killing policemen, nothing. No one but you is suggesting in any way that “policemen are hunting black males to kill them”. NO, you’re the definition of insane especially leading off this thread with your first three sentences:

    “Your analysis is off the mark. The three biblical figures refused to disobey the First Commandment. The football player misused his privilege to be on national TV by disrespecting our country’s national anthem.”

    The three biblical characters, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were privileged to be in the employ of the king’s court. It was even worse in their case as the king was the law. In Colin’s case there is intentionally no law governing whether he sits, stands or lays down during the singing of the national anthem … only tradition and ritual. People like you have tried to make it a law but the constitution of the USA forbids it.

    Your eyes maybe wide open but your mind and heart is extremely closed to the plight of others unlike yourself. You can’t seem to love with empathy and compassion beyond your familial learn traditions and rituals. You are not alone but that does not make you right in the eyes of God nor our constitution.

  • MadGastronomer

    So I ask you again, how is it a failure? You have yet to demonstrate that the way we treat the flag and the country in the US is not idolatry, is not the same as the state religions of Greece and Rome, and therefore you have yet to demonstrate that it is not on point. That’s what you’re arguing against, so prove your point.

  • Herm

    Colin obeyed the laws of the United States of America in his dress and in his actions in this instance. He only offended your sense of respect for our “country’s institutions”. Jesus did much more to offend His country’s institutions.

    As to your perspective do you truly believe your words here reflect the teaching of Christ today?

    I can honestly witness in my own heart and mind this is fully tested to be true and is available to you, also:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    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.

    Luke 14:26-27

    By your attitude and words Jesus is not in you and you aren’t in Jesus. Jesus isn’t your only one Teacher.

    Verse 26 of Luke 14 is speaking to hating the traditions and rituals placed on you as a child to hold your allegiance that are contrary to Christ’s teaching. That is how I can certainly say you have no perspective of what it means to be a student of Christ. You do not know what you do not know. Go to Him so you no longer hate others founded only on the traditions and rituals of your family; blood, church or nation.

    I don’t hate you because I know you know not what you do. I love Mr. Kaepernick for publicly standing up for others of our mankind inclusively not in the exclusive nature you exhibit here.

    This is the definition of civil disobedience:

    Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is a symbolic or ritualistic violation of the law, rather than a rejection of the system as a whole.

    Jesus was subject to the laws, demands and commands of the Jewish authorities. Jesus was crucified by the authority of Roman rule for the crime of not saying that He was not the King of the Jews.

    You are trying to crucify Colin Kaepernick and belittle his Christ like example for much, much less and is no crime at all. You are no less ignorant about what you are doing than the mob yelling to Pilate crucify Jesus.

    You don’t know Jesus but there is hope you will soon choose to go to Him directly one in One, please.

  • Bones

    Meh, this clown defends Kim Davis and people who don’t serve people because they are gay yet has an issue with this guy all of a sudden.

    Maybe he doesn’t like the 69ers….

    I find it difficult to believe that a country talks about the religion of its sports people like the US does.

  • Bones

    I wouldn’t swap my country for the US for quids.

    For starters your education system is complete and utter shite.

    Health isn’t much better.

  • Bones

    Did God bless the Native Americans with genocide???????

  • Bones

    I wonder if the Native Americans count themselves as blessed?

    Did the the US think it was blessed when it was buying and selling black people and shooting injuns or is this a new thing?

  • Black people are killing other innocent black women and children everyday in Chicago. Keep your filthy Racist titles off my posts.

  • Herm, you don’t seem to understand that it is not Christian to advocate killing the Police. Ben’s use of Kapernick makes this man his and all his – socks and all. People like you that cannot understand the difference between a peaceful protest and a call for murder are the problem. there is no empathy for advocating murder – none. Ben oafall people should understand that.

  • I have given you many times the complete explanation. Biblical First Commandment explanation. It is not my fault that you do not understand the Commandments. Blame your teachers if you like. Whatever the Romans and Greek did is irrelevant to the Commandments.

  • Kapernick wore socks depicting Pigs in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement. Those pictures are all over the TV. He offended every law abiding man and women left in this country. My words do reflect the words of Christ who would not stand for this type of behavior. He told the crowd that was going to stone the woman something that you and Kapernick have forgotten,

    Jesus was crucified by the Roman authorities at the insistence of the Jewish religious leaders for blasphemy by claiming He was God. Your comment is again not biblical. It’s what you think is in the bible. Who is your Teacher?

    Mark 9:42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. This is what Jesus would say about your comments and anyone who teaches evil.

  • No more than when their ancestors pulled out the fingernails of their “enemies” and threw them off the parapets. As they say today Karma is a bitch. God said it first in the First Commandment. Actions have consequences with God and He doesn’t forget.

  • RonnyTX

    David Hill:
    Didn’t Jesus Christ speak on respecting one’s country and something about give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s? I agree with what John Pabst and Linda said earlier. Please try again in your next article. I wonder what young Colin would think of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

    Ronny to David:
    David, as I’ve said before, I’m glad God chose for me to be born in the United States and in my little part of NE Texas; but it was God who saved me, by way of bringing me to repentance and Jesus Christ and the cross. So, my allegiance is to God/Jesus Christ and not to any country or state. You see, first and foremost, I’m a citizen and member of the kingdom of God and the one I look up too and follow, imperfectly, is God/Jesus Christ.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Verse 26 of Luke 14 is speaking to hating the traditions and rituals placed on you as a child to hold your allegiance that are contrary to Christ’s teaching.”

    Best explanation of this verse I’ve ever read.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Health isn’t much better.”

    You’re probably being too nice. It’s actually disaster from a cost perspective. I’ll never forget visiting a kind elderly man getting ready for his wife’s funeral. In the midst of it all his insurance company was causing issues about what they wouldn’t pay for. The poor gentleman, in a very sincere tone uttered something like “wonder why they (the country) dont want to help me with this but spends so much on the military? Couldn’t they use some of that money to help?” It crushed me and woke me up to the mess we have made here in the good ole USA

  • John A. C. Kelley

    How is it self-serving to put your career on the line and subject yourself to abuse from ignorant people in order to stand up for people who are treated unjustly? That seems like the epitome of selflessness.

  • Deb Steiner

    Pretty sure the rule is there is only ONE worthy of worship. And, it would be quite easy for our nation or our flag to become on idol! Based on the reactions here, I suspect it is already!!! Agreeing, MadGastronomer….

  • Deb Steiner

    Again, you get to decide that someone’s protest is “wrong?” That doesn’t sound at all like the America I love. And if you truly believe in your heart that there is no mistreatment of black people in this country I’d ask you to consider how you might feel if you were raising a black son. Just realllllyyy think that through. And if you raise them identical to a white son? You’re entirely missing the point. On purpose.

  • Deb Steiner

    I’ve never once heard a legitimate Black Lives Matter protest call for police murder. That’s inherently against what they stand for.

  • Deb Steiner

    It’s so true. We should celebrate we have the right of peaceful protest, EVEN IF we disagree with the protest!!

  • I got curious, so I decided to count them all up, and my international friends are natural-born citizens of 73 different countries (even excluding countries whose status as a nation is contested). My earlier estimate of 70 was really more of a wild guess; I’m surprised how close I got.

  • Education could be worse, as evidenced by the fact that it is currently getting worse.

    And I’d disagree that “health isn’t much better.” Because I’d say our healthcare system is in worse shape than our education system.

  • James Quinn

    Whenever someone takes a stand on an issue, they’re immediately accused of “bias.” Conservative Christians love for people to take a bold moral stand that is against the grain of culture, right up until they disagree with your stand. Then, you’re apparently wrong and “biased” for having an opinion.

  • James Quinn

    The idea that you’re concerned with someone “disrespecting a symbol” should really be a red flag that this is idolatry. If it wasn’t idolatry, you wouldn’t care so much.

  • There’s a story I share from time to time, that was shared with me by a doctoral student when I was in seminary. He was on an education Sabbatical from his ministry career, and had all sorts of fun stories about the churches he’d served.

    In one particular church, on one Sunday, someone had moved the American flag. Not removed, mind you, just moved. It was in a less-than-prominent place in the sanctuary, as opposed to where it had been before. And the very vocal “respect our nation” crowd raised hell over it. Which my friend their pastor accepted with grace and kindness. And then, knowing that he was going to be leaving in a few months to continue his education, he went into the sanctuary when nobody else was in the church. And he hid the Bible.

    He didn’t feel comfortable actually removing it entirely, but he very reverently took it off the altar table and tucked it away in a closet. And told himself that the moment someone said something to him about it, he’d return it.

    On his last Sunday at this church, as he was standing in the pulpit, he mentioned this to the congregation. He watched as all of their eyes moved to the altar. The Bible still wasn’t there. Nobody had said anything.

    Draw from that whatever conclusions you will.

  • scott

    Thank you. As someone who lived in another country for most of my childhood, coming back to America and seeing what passes for Christianity here has been the biggest stumbling block to me, and remains to be to this day.

    I’m tired of people who call themselves Christians but are so wedded to their country’s flag, their guns, and their innate, desperate, spiteful conservatism that they are completely on the side of the Pharisees while professing to love Jesus. The expression “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” comes to mind, and it’s a direct cause of America’s rejection of Christianity. I reject much of what passes for Christianity in America too, the kind that thinks America is God’s chosen country, the kind that thinks winning arguments on Facebook is more important than love, compassion, and accepting people while sharing the gospel with them, the kind that thinks the NRA is somehow part of the church and that the Republican Party is full of God-fearing men and women.

    Christianity has a long history that doesn’t include the United States of America, and I have to say that the part of history that does include it will probably show that we’ve weakened and tainted it with how we’ve practiced it in this country. The religion of convenience, the religion of signing Jesus up to our national values – we’ve driven away multitudes, and no wonder. They’re right to reject those things.

  • Herm

    Bob, you are placing the millstone around the little ones, as a man of an age to speak as a man but choosing to speak still as a child subject to the will of your parents, community and police.

    Kaepernick wore socks in sympathy for the many innocent defenseless black lives that were shot or strangled by professionals sworn to protect and serve them in their neighborhoods. Our nation has a government of the people, by the people and for the people made up of children like you who blindly love more the flag and the destructive police than grieve for the lives negligently lost to the potential of mankind. The legal penalty, to highlight only a couple, for selling cigarettes on a sidewalk or childishly wielding a toy gun all alone in a his local community park is not death in the USA. Our courts representing you and them today decided that the offending police officers acted out of due diligence with no other alternatives, case dismissed.

    What of the word “all” in the following don’t you understand?

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:26-28

    Love as answered by the expert in the law means heart and mind felt allegiance to. Is the lord your god your flag, your national anthem, your football, and/or your police? Do you really have more compassion and empathy for those than the many Black lives taken needlessly with no penalty to the executioners?

    Your heart, soul, strength and mind are the only responsibility you have in your control that is the image of God. Your neighbor is the Muslim or Black in a different neighborhood than you who would do to you as you would have all others do to you; as exampled by the story of the Good Samaritan.

    My allegiance, my love, for Man is for all of mankind as one entity in the image of God as one entity (Father, Mother, and children all) and not just one select grouping of my graced (without merit) physical species on this earth. I carry my cross for all of mankind because we love all of mankind as our own. We don’t love any symbol, ritual, pledge or game more than our own wholly as one.

    The Bible is not the living Word of God, Jesus Christ is today. He is my only Teacher with my full allegiance/love. Jesus doesn’t let me down as does the flag, football and the police. Jesus is in me and I am in Him. Our Father is in me and I am in Him. Our hearts and minds are one filled (baptized) by the Holy Spirit. You can crucify me comfortable with the very same biblical justice for all that the fearful patriotic Jewish religious leaders justified the killing of Christ, the Son of Man/God. I am being taught right now, as I write to you, by my big Brother the Rabbi, Lord, Christ, Messiah and High Priest as we both right now and eternally are of God. I was first cognizant as a son begotten of Man by Man and subject to the will of Man. I remain a man of Man speaking as a responsible Man as did Jesus chronicled in the Christian Bible. I slowly died to an unquestioning allegiance to Man when I left my parents of Man to be solely responsible to my own actions. I came, after decades, to give myself entirely (heart, soul, strength and mind) in love with full allegiance to my heavenly Father’s will. I am an infant son of God and remain an adult son of Man as Jesus does remain so today. We are bound by a love for all of Man and all of God.

    This is what it means to love the Lord your God, when that allegiance is all to our creator God.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    You cannot accept him because you neither see him nor know him. You cannot keep Christ’s commands because you do not know Him to be subject to Him and His love for you. You are ignorant so we continue to pray that our Father forgives you for you know not what you do. Our police unions defending bad cops know not what they do. All who yell crucify Kaepernick today know not what they do.

    You are loved! We pray for you all!

  • Herm

    Thank you scott! Now that you’re back, maybe, we all together can lead the ignorantly blind and the flailing lost in the USA to actually see and find the Teacher. God blesses us with your influence as Their child!

  • Herm

    When the cop wears lipstick apparently she doesn’t deserve the image of a pig. Do you know of any questionably bad shoots or strangulations at the hands of a female police officer sworn to protect and serve the neighborhood they are employed in?

    What is Christ like to you?

  • Not just me. Almost everyone on both sides have said it was wrong. Why would that be? Because he wore socks that advocate killing police. That is never right. It is always wrong. Without the socks we would not be having this discussion. Refusing to stand for the National Anthem is nothing new.

    I did not say there is no mistreatment of black people in this country.I said this country is not vastly unjust. I said that police are not hunting black males to kill them. I said that black people in the big cities are slaughtering each other over money and drugs and it should be stopped.

    My point is that worship in the biblical sense of the First Commandment is not remotely similar to Kapernick’s protest and to compare the two as Ben did is Wrong! Period.

    I raised two children and never once thought about raising them as white children vs brown, yellow or black children. They attended schools in California and were subjected to the same barrage of liberal thinking that produces thought like BLM. Fortunately only one one was infected; the other survived. Exactly how is one to raise a black child differently than a white child? Do they not both need education, values, Christian instruction and a code of conduct that is instilled in them.

  • Herm

    Bob, you’re frustrated and flailing. The socks did in no way call for the “killing of the Police”. How do you deal with a police force empowered to shoot a child playing with a toy gun all alone in a park across the street from his home? How do you deal with a strangle hold by a police officer to control a large man selling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk kills him especially when a citation would have sufficed? The penalty for each potential crime that ended in death was executed by a community professional who was paid to protect that community not execute that community.

    How would you deal if you could have the empathy and compassion to see yourself in the same situation as those now dead? You know what depicting a police officer as a pig means and it does not stand as a call for killing the officer. It is you that seems to think that killing what destroys those you love is the solution. I don’t and Colin Kaepernick doesn’t either or he is brave enough to have risked saying so. Those bad cops along with the unionized brotherhood of police officers who are actively protecting and condoning the permanent destruction of defenseless members of mankind do not deserve any respect or the allegiance you blindly obey.

    It is Christ like (Christian) to pick up your cross to die if necessary to save mankind as has Colin Kaepernick.

  • So now there are legitimate and illegitimate BLM movements? Police are being assassinated by people who are not able to see the difference.

  • The police aren’t happy about with Colin Kaepernick’s choice of socks. by John Breech@johnbreech Sep 02, 2016.

    Colin Kaepernick’s decision to wear a pair of “pig cop” socks earlier this month isn’t sitting well with the executive director of one of the largest police unions in the country.
    After seeing a picture of Keapernick’s socks on Thursday, Bill Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, blasted the 49ers quarterback for wearing them.

    “It’s just ridiculous that the same league that prohibits the Dallas (Cowboys) football club from honoring the slain officers in their community with their uniforms stands silent when Kaepernick is dishonoring police officers with what he’s wearing on the field,” Johnson told USA Today.
    In July, the Cowboys had asked the NFL if they could wear a decal on their helmet to honor the Dallas police officers who were killed in June, but the league said no.

    Not me saying it. The world is saying it…

  • Herm

    Your world is taught by John Breech supporting the largest police union?

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

    Matthew 23:8

    Oh, how it hurts for you not to understand the truth in what I have shared with you. Please, pray for guidance directly from the Advocate as you reread everything I have shared with you personally. Only then might this be the opportunity you have been looking for to trust in the only Authority of love Who actually can provide you with joy and peace (John Breech and the largest police union cannot). Only then can you get a glimpse of what it is truly like to be a little Christ (Christian). Only then can you really look forward to living in Their company without end.

    The following is chronicling one who knows from the highest office our nation has to offer:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2016/09/05/obama-defends-kaepernicks-national-anthem-protest/89879478/

  • First of all the comment about “the many innocent defenseless black lives that were shot or strangled by professionals sworn to protect and serve them in their neighborhoods” is a bald faced lie. There is no truth to that assertion beyond the fact that you want to believe it. But you go further and say ” Do you really have more compassion and empathy for those than the many Black lives taken needlessly with no penalty to the executioners?” What utter nonsense. Do you not follow the Federal Grand Jury ruling that Michael Brown attacked the police officer and the black Baltimore judge that ruled against the black district attorney and found the black and white officers innocent. You are now the judge and jury against the facts because you want to believe the worst.

    I am a Christian and a citizen. I follow the law of God and the laws of this country. You who spout off at length about gibberish at times, do you keep the Commandments? Do not Kill is written in stone. Jesus amplified that command by stating that if we harbor hatred in our hearts we have already broken that command. You support the group that is responsible for the assassination of policemen around this country because you feel it is justified?

    I am not killing Christ as in your scriptural reference. You however do not even know why Christ was killed or by whom and for what crime as you have stated in your previous posts. Civil disobedience – ludicrous. “Jesus was crucified by the authority of Roman rule for the crime of not saying that He was not the King of the Jews.” – equally ludicrous. And yet you quote scripture as if you understand it?

    The point is that our children should not be subjected to this utter nonsense by their parents and it is not biblical at all. Go read about MLK, Rosa Parks, and others who brought change you who spout self-righteous scriptures that are out of context.

  • Herm

    You know of Christ but you do not know Christ. By whose authority do you claim to be a little Christ? By whose choice were you born into privilege, surely not your own.

    You are not killing Christ but you are trying to silence the threat you feel from the Spirit of Christ in obedience to and authority of your national patriotism above all else. You have no more than a swayed Grand Jury to defend your cause when you have no idea the power of the district attorney to present a case that was most convenient. You do not understand that the DA requires the allegiance of his police officers more than the pursuit of justice he/she has to administer justice to his/her constituents. Do you believe there are sides of convenience to be taken more important than the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for all our citizens?

    You explain the “self-righteous scriptures that are out of context” in context and maybe then we can have a reciprocal conversation. You have ignored every lesson I shared that Jesus has not been able to teach you because you won’t listen except to your influential peer group of a very immature mankind. Your instructors are the child bullies on the playground not the adult Teacher available in the classroom of your heart and mind.

    The only Bible reference (a witnessed chronicle of Jesus Christ and not Jesus Christ) you used was refuted and all you can do is use a Grand Jury’s determination as a come back and an assertion that you are a “Christian and a citizen”. By whose authority do you trump Christ Jesus’ authority, whose?

  • Herm, I think you are frustrated.
    Three replies without benefit of a response from me.
    Better slow down or you will exhaust your fountain of biblical knowledge.

  • Herm

    Thank you Bob, for your concern. I believe that if you took notice of the order you would see that I only replied to your replies.

    I am really sad, possibly frustrated because I care for you, that you don’t understand the very real possibility that what little knowledge I have, compared to infinitely more knowledge yet to come is from the Teacher. His knowledge is eternally inexhaustible.

    Should we children of God eventually learn all there is to know today we will adventure to learn together bound in a reciprocal relationship of divine kindred love joined equally with the Teacher in heart and mind. Certainly the next species we share our love and image with will share with us a new and different perspective. All propagating families learn from their beloved progeny.

  • Then stick to the point. Either we encourage our children to emulate the example of Kapernick or we explain the part that is misguided.

    Even Freedom of Speech has limits. Calling attention to police behavior is one thing; sending signal that it is ok to assassinate police in revenge for those behaviors is another.

    Let’s agree to disagree on this one.

  • Sherlang

    Is there anything necessarily wrong with standing up during the national anthem? I have and will continue to do so out of respect, not worship. But I feel like some of the commentators view it as only idolatry no matter what. I’m not trying to put words in anyone’s mouth; I just want to have an honest discussion. I clearly agree that too often Christians in America worship the flag and the country too much, and the Pledge of Allegiance often makes me super uncomfortable. However, I have never really seen a problem with standing during the national anthem to convey respect, not worship

  • otrotierra

    Given the hate-filled hysteria in response to Colin Kaepernick’s honorable gesture, standing for the National Anthem must be the only correct theological option. Odd, since Jesus himself never did, and never instructed his followers to do so. Jesus is more interesting than patriotic imperialism, every time.

    And now it is easy to see why Jesus was so offensive to the state and the religious elite alike, yesterday and today.

  • Sherlang

    I’m not talking about Kapernick at all. I believe he had the freedom to do what he did, and that anyone who makes a stand for justice deserves to be looked at with admiration. I was only trying to start a discussion about whether or not standing for the national anthem is wrong, because it seemed like a lot of people thought it was idolatry no matter what. I only trying to start a conversation on whether or not standing for the national anthem is always wrong. Nowhere in my post did I say that you must always stand for the national anthem or you are a horrible person. Please don’t take what I say out of context. I’m not trying to talk about Kapernick. He has the full right to do what he did, and it was a stand for justice. That’s not the issue I am trying to raise

  • otrotierra

    I never claimed you wrote one must always stand for the National Anthem, and therefore I certainly did not take what you wrote out of context. Spend a moment to reread my reply slowly, word for word, and you will see that such accusations simply aren’t in the actual content above.

  • Herm

    To the point you began:

    Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

    Daniel 1:6-10

    You said, “Whatever happened to people teaching the younger generation the value and importance of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance?”

    Who taught you to value the national anthem and pledge of allegiance to mankind’s chosen more than eternal life in God as Their chosen, God or mankind? We can only serve one master. Which one do you choose to serve?

    You said, “I just disagree with him disrespecting the American national anthem which therefore disrespects all those who have fought and died for the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

    Just how free is Tamir Rice to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I fought and lived to honor 50,000 of my comrades who did die because their brave nation convinced them it was to allow freedom of speech that Ho Chi Minh would not allowed to squash at the end of the “Domino Theory”. It was a lie. My nation was free to lie while saluting the flag you worship more than Black lives or our soldier’s lives. I honor my brethren who fought and died by seeking the truth our land cannot share with “the younger generation” because they don’t know Him. I now do know Him and all you know is what they, the proud citizens and police occupying “the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” tell you. Good luck with that.

    You said, “I am so glad that Rack, Shach and Benny did what they did. They stood up against idol worship and against the dynasty powers of Babylon. God blessed them and it drew to the attention of King Nebuchadnezzar.”

    God bless Colin Kaepernick for he has drawn attention the evil of police states like King Nebuchadnezzar ruled. This nation will not have equal justice (which is not in any way synonymous with “law and order”) for all unless more like Colin risk to pick up their cross.

    You said, “The three biblical figures refused to disobey the First Commandment. The football player misused his privilege to be on national TV by disrespecting our country’s national anthem.”

    Please read the OT scripture above and note that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah all misused, by your definition, their privileged status to be in the king’s court. What in the hell does football have to do with respecting the American (which American; North, South or Central America?) national anthem anyway? Because they play at war? I love football as an entertainment and a relationship with the players/staff but I don’t honor the sport as I do the Supreme Court or more than each of my fellows of Man. For that matter I don’t love my nation, of which I am responsible to as a government of the people, by the people and for the people, more than I do all the people of mankind in the image of God. Anything less for my love would be fragmenting by pitting us against them, those others not like us. So it is with the Son of Man.

  • Sherlang

    Misrepresentation clearly went both ways, and I apologize for that. I would love to get to hear what your opinion is on the question I raised

  • Herm

    PS:

    I am explaining to you how misguided you truly are.

    Colin Kaepernick never signaled “that it is ok to assassinate police”. There is no “wink and a nod” to any mentally ill member of our society that you see. Colin very clearly signaled Black lives matter to any who actually love all people of our nation more than our beloved football. You and purveyors of segregating hate (us against them) seem to all agree that:

    “Even Freedom of Speech has limits. Calling attention to police behavior is one thing; sending signal that it is ok to assassinate police in revenge for those behaviors is another.”

    NO, Bob, I don’t and won’t agree to disagree on this one. You are deadly wrong and misled.

  • MadGastronomer

    It’s always you who blame others for your failures. I’ve seen you do it many times.

  • MadGastronomer

    You keep trying to get out of it, but the truth is that idolatry is not defined by Biblical worship, because it is literally that which is not Biblical worship. You can’t worship an idol as you do the Christian god. It doesn’t work the same way. By your argument, idolatry doesn’t exist at all.

  • Herm

    Does it help at all to say that I stand in respect, also, when respect is due. I stand in respect for other nation’s national anthems, also, as well as worship my Lord God, now Christ with all authority over heaven and earth, in any church, synagogue, temple, or mosque that I am welcomed within still in respect for those who built and maintain each. My High Priest is present and my spiritual guide within all.

    Love of our Lord God, self, neighbor and enemy requires empathy, tolerance, and compassion for all of Man and God. Love is most powerful when shared in respect of another’s customs, values and rituals.

    Does this make sense for it seems like I’m not addressing your question fully but I can’t see why. Don’t hesitate to show me where I’m remiss, please.

    It is most respectful that you would raise this concern, thank you.

  • MadGastronomer

    Again with the racist arguments. Black people go to jail for murder. Cops, especially white cops, don’t. Shouldn’t police be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

    And if you can’t stand being called a racist, don’t be one. But as for me, I will speak the truth.

  • MadGastronomer

    It’s pretty absurd.

  • Get out of what? Last time – National Anthems, rising before an important person, money and similar things are not the same as worshiping a god. If you will look in Ecclesiastes you can find that Solomon was led astray and built temples to the gods of his wives. In those temples they placed objects representing the god of whatever and they worshiped it. That is idolatry.

  • You should consider why you need to call someone names because they don’t agree with your position. I could care less what you call me. I just think it is quite a statement of who you are to call someone Racist because they don’t agree with your conjecture. If you persist I can start calling you names you will have to look up to understand. Do not write back to me. You are not arguing in good faith.

  • Sherlang

    Yes, that helped a lot, thank you! I also agree with standing in respect for other countries national anthem as well

  • Some perspective on BLM:

    Not too long ago a Black Lives Matter crowd chanted, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon. Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.” (all over Youtube)

    In New York City, protesters once shouted, “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.”

    At least 11 police officers have been shot dead and several shot and injured by Black Lives Matter activists since the movement began in August 2014.

    Not a group you should associate with. They have blood on their hands.

    As to Kapernick:

    He has risked nothing. He is wealthy and privileged. As a quarterback he will always have a job if he wants one. He is simply trying to assuage his guilt for being raised in a wealthy household rather than the slums of a major city like Chicago. If he wanted to help he could.He wants the notoriety and he has received it. But he is hardly a role model for children.

  • Many feel that our President has contributed to the current racial unrest because he speaks before the facts are known:

    No, if he had a son he would not be like Trevon Martin. Trevon was a thug killed by an hispanic in a brutal fight for his life.

    No, the Cambridge police did not act “stupidly” in questioning the professor.

    The President is all talk and no action on race. Even his hometown of Chicago, the embarrassment of the Nation, has received no help from him.

    He was elected by a majority who felt he would follow through on his promise of “hope and change.” Unfortunately after 8-years the hope has vanished for so many.

  • In Baltimore the Black female District Attorney brought to trial six police officers, black and white, male and female, for the death of another drug dealer in the back of the van. The Black judge acquitted the first four because she could not prove her case. That is how the law works in this country.

    If you have shared any lessons with me they have not been well received. That is correct. When you share something of substance and not rhetoric it may be different.

  • MadGastronomer

    You are racist because you say and believe racist things. You show a strong bias against Black people. It’s not a name, it’s a fact. Systemic oppression of Black people is a fact, and you are participating in that oppression. That’s what racism is.

    And you still can’t prove that flag worship isn’t worship.

  • Thanks for your concern. Duly noted. But you are still wrong on this one. Now you are saying that only the mentally ill get the wrong idea from BLM and kill police. What an excuse to proffer.

  • MadGastronomer

    Idolatry, according to biblical definitions, is the worship of an idol, an inanimate object or concept (such as sloth). The flag is an inanimate object and the nation is an abstract concept, and you are participating in acts that are commonly associated with worship directed at both of them. It’s idolatry.

    Now, if only it actually were the last time you made this false claim.

  • MadGastronomer

    By the way, cops are lying about being attacked by BLM protestors. And these are just the ones we can prove.

  • MadGastronomer

    If you call Treyvon Martin a thug for walking down the street with skittles and an iced tea, you are a racist. If you find his death acceptable, then you are in support of lynchings.

  • MadGastronomer

    His socks “advocated killing police”? How? Why do you keep telling racist lies?

  • MadGastronomer

    As if Christians have never tortured people.

  • MadGastronomer

    I am a law-abiding woman in this country. I approve of what he did. You are disproven.

  • MadGastronomer

    Hey, please don’t equate violent people with mentally ill people. The vast majority of mentally ill people are far, far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. The mentally ill are disabled and oppressed, and deserve to be treated with respect simply for being people.

  • Herm

    Some perspective on your present condition:

    Yes, there were a few, very few, caught up in vigilante lynch mob riot fever of the moment in close proximity to the Black Lives Matter movement chanting “fry ’em like bacon”. There are ignorant within all crowds who feel the pain of helpless grief for those they already lost. The district attorneys and police unions had already circled their wagons to protect themselves from the savages whose neighbors, fathers, brothers and friends were being murdered by them with no recompense or support by the police officers, legal system and community who knew better.

    I know of many more Caucasian ministers and vigilante lynch mobs yelling for all n*****s to be hung, burned and banished from this God given pure “White” nation of only ours today. Not a group you would want to associate with. They have blood on their hands even worse than the few bad cops and much worse than the group and the individual you can’t seem to empathize with.

    Colin Kaepernick risked everything for the love of mankind and his nation. He took his stand before the final cuts as a weaker quarterback than ever before and the 49ers are now high on my book of respect for keeping him through that cut.

    The only perfect role model for children that will serve them for an eternity is Christ Jesus. Colin Kaepernick is a good example of Jesus’ little brother. Much better an example than your example of malicious hate based ignorance, really. He has invested and is investing to uplift the slums of Chicago. An embarrassment to our nation now even more so ravaged by an elite privileged congress that obstructs any effort to overcome the great recession brought on by the tightwad conservative effort in the prior eight years before the last 7 1/2 years. Not to forget the Tea Party influence that has clearly not read the constitution from which they still think their free rights are being deprived by “commy socialists”, especially by the Kenyon now occupying the office of our white only presidency. Oh, you have hooked your horse to powder keg of self centered elitism asking for much more than a heartsick few just wanting to remove all cops because the “system” can’t remove the bad cops. You wouldn’t recognize a good and sustainable role model for children if He shook your hand and said bless you my brother!

    You have been repeating yourself for awhile now with the same unsubstantiated dogma. You make statements of judgment that reflect how you think to have been taught by a select few of mankind that has no basis in truth.

    I am tired of your misinformed repetitive insistence. If you deem Colin Kaepernick is a poor example of a USA citizen for your children so be it. He is a divine example for mine. I shake the dust from my sandals and leave you to your teachers of patriotic hate.

    My Teacher, who died in all misery for you and yours, remains available to you if only that you might just open up to Him as He is open to you. Challenge Him to protect you from evil and teach you truth that opens your heart to love all efforts of empathy, tolerance and compassion from others for others. Your eyes are open in only the direction you choose to look. Your heart and mind are closed to the only eternal Spirit of truth.

    Bye!

  • Herm

    Bye!

  • Herm

    … and they are in my heart and mind. It would have been better if I had used the words “few socially” rather than “all mentally”. What you don’t know of me is that I believe we all are handicapped socially, mentally, physically and spiritually. That is why I am so insistent of having a divine advocate with the unlimited perspective to lead us all out of our challenges. It is, also, important to say that the vast majority of relatively mentally healthy are far, far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

    We all deserve to be treated with respect simply for being people. I find it much easier to treat with respect people who have empathy, compassion and tolerance for all other people than I do for those who are more socially challenged.

    Love you! Thank you!

  • That was incredibly well stated. May I quote you, if/when it feels appropriate?

  • I would consider it akin to what Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans and 1 Corinthians about eating meat sacrificed to idols. To some, it is not considered worshipful in any way, and for them to perform the action is no great thing, either way. To others, it is an action intrinsically tied to worship, and for them doing it would be a great wrong. And if I recall correctly, Paul says that, though the action may be no thing, doing so in the presence of a “weaker brother” would be a great sin, because it would be encouraging them to do something that drives a wedge between them and God.

  • G. David Daley

    Dear Benjamin Corey:

    Your analogy between Nebz’s image and our patriotic fervor is entirely appropriate.

    Closure of career opportunities recalls John’s words that no one could buy or sell who did not receive the mark of the beast and worship its image.

    Told to burn a pinch of incense and swear fealty to Caesar, Polycarp refused.

    Curious how these things tend to converge on a point. Meaning, anyone?

    Blessings!

    PS: Christian refusal to vote might also relate to this discussion…

  • Herm

    Does capitalism have to mean that the CEO of an insurance company or a pharmaceutical company pockets hundreds of millions of dollars annually to be a balance of somewhat viable to the insured while remaining invitingly profitable to their stock holders? Seems from my bottom end perspective as though the premiums go more to insure a great life for a few rather than what I thought was the original intent of a better life for many (maybe once, even meant to facilitate a better life for all???).

  • Herm

    “Maybe he doesn’t like the 69ers….”

    I think you might have actually meant the 69ers and not Colin Kaepernick’s team the 49ers. Possibly sly, maybe a bit crude by conservative standards, humor there and I like it even if it was an Aussie Freudian slip.

  • Bones

    Oh so you’re an apologist for genocide, surprise, surprise.

    Even over here we bought the US propaganda that Custer was an all American hero and Sitting Bull a native Hitler whose people deserved to be massacred.

  • Bones

    No Christian should have a problem with people protesting against injustice.

    I’ve known native Americans and Aboriginal Australians who have refused to acknowledge their respective anthems.

  • Matthew

    Where in the Bible does it say that America is a nation set apart by God?

  • Havalynii

    I don’t remember MLK, Jr. resorting to having socks featuring pigs with police uniforms on them to make a point. #class

  • Havalynii

    No.

  • MadGastronomer

    Well, all of the credible sources I’ve seen say he was, so if you want me to believe differently, you’ll have to provide me with some sources or reasoning of you own.

  • Havalynii

    He was speaking specifically about *any* (sorry, not clever enough to figure out italics on Disqus) duty that is owed to the government that does not violate the duty owed to God. He simply used the example of taxes to illustrate a greater principle. One duty that believers throughout history have traditionally held inviolate is that of respect in their disagreement, even in the face of legitimate, widespread, state-sanctioned persecution. Wearing socks that depict the lawful government officials as swine is scarcely following in the example of Jesus, the apostles, the three Hebrews mentioned in this article, etc.

  • Bones

    I remember another country had on their soldiers belt buckles “God with us” (Gott mit uns).

    Just because you claim something does ‘t make it so.

    The history of the US with its own indigenous and others such as black and Irish as well as other countries has been pretty poor.

  • Ron McPherson

    Exactly!

  • Very good question really. Why isn’t the USA mentioned by name? The explanation starts with the birthright promises to Joseph and goes from there. You can find everything you need to get started online.

  • Not too hard to determine where countries belong and put them in a list. The USA is clearly and without question at the top of that list. You seem to prefer a list of the countries with the most atrocities. I would argue that the USA is not at the top of that list and not even close.

  • Bones

    Actually Jesus/Mark compares the Romans X Legion as swine in Mark 5. And no Mark 5 isn’t about exorcising demons. It”s a politically subversive text squarely aimed at the Roman military and those who aided them.

    In the Jewish War at Gerasene, many Jewish rebels were driven into the sea and slaughtered by the Roman X Legion whose emblem was a pig.

    There were many rich locals who welcomed the Romans.

    All this can be found in Josephus’s writings.

  • Bones

    WWWWWhhhaaaaatttttt?

    So in other words any country can apply Joseph’s promises to themselves.

  • Bones

    Really????

    The USA has had more than its share of its atrocities against its own – see the wars against the Native Americans…..

    That’s without going into its disgraceful support for dictators and genocide in Latin America.

    Your rose-coloured glasses just show you for the fool you are.

  • Havalynii

    An interesting thought, but I don’t buy it. The principal of exegesis is “if the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.” I’ve seen so much bad doctrine that is inconsistent with the totality of Scripture come from crying “Allegory!” where the literal meaning was self-evident. Particularly since the narrative is framed in three completely different Gospels as happening within a time and a place. The exorcism of the Gerasene is presented in the Gospels as a historical fact about a historical former demoniac.

  • JD

    Kim, I was a soldier. My friends that died didn’t die for freedom. They died for political agendas. Oh, and we teach our children to realize that political freedom is fleeting, and the only freedom that matters comes through Jesus Christ. We don’t need nationalistic rituals for our children to appreciate the true freedom of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • So I am a fool? What does that make you? Hardly words from a Christian. More like words from an uneducated, insecure and angry person. Do you not understand civil discourse? What is your problem?

    1 Peter 3:8
    (8) Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

  • JD

    As I’ve said before, if you feel led to stand during the anthem, go ahead. I’ve never seen anyone attacked because they chose to stand during it. The same can’t be said about those who choose not to stand though. That reaction is what leads to the charge of idolatry.

    When my wife, kids and I don’t stand during things like the pledge or the anthem, we don’t do so to garner attention. We aren’t seeking to offend others. We aren’t trying to disrespect anyone and I’m unsure why choosing to sit is so offensive to others. But, that, again, is where the charge of idolatry comes in to play. It’s the reaction that shines a light on the idolatry.

  • JD

    Do you want to immediately dismiss Kaepernick’s position simply because you don’t approve of his delivery? Are you open to the possibility that, while his delivery in that regard may be undesirable, he and the black community have valid concerns related to systemic racism and law enforcement?

  • Bones

    Of course you don’t buy it ecause that’s what you’ve always been told. This is about an exorcism and how Jesus made a man whole but the people didn’t like it yada yada yada

    Nope.

    That is not how the original readers heard this story (let the reader understand )

    It”s not allegory.

    It is deliberate political subversion and is far more important than casting demons out of people.

    The whole context of Mark is the First Jewish-Roman War.

  • JD

    “Whatever happened to people teaching the younger generation the value
    and importance of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance? Didn’t Jesus Christ speak on respecting one’s country and something
    about give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s?”

    Christ wasn’t talking about pledging allegiance to Caesar. Our allegiance belongs only to God and His Kingdom. We can’t have split loyalties.

  • Havalynii

    While it’s certainly what I’ve always been told (because it fits the facts better than your explanation), it’s also what I independently believe based on the text. You have an unusual position that is not widely or well-supported by evangelical scholars and exegetes, so I will way what you, a stranger of unknown qualifications and background, say versus what the overwhelming majority says, which, it so happens, seem to simply and succinctly fit with what the Scriptures say.

  • Bones

    Not only are you a fool but you support and justify genocide.

    Stick that up your Peter quote.

  • JD

    Odd how those that cite Romans 13 and “render unto Caesar” as support for pledging one’s allegiance to America and participating in nationalistic rituals, yet it often is a case made by those who loudly praise America’s “founding fathers”. Apparently Romans 13 and “render unto Caesar” do not apply to America’s violent and bloody revolution against “Caesar”.

  • Bones

    Uhuh.

    Well no the facts fit a political reading perfectly.

    I can understaND why Christians would rather read it as an irrelevant individual spiritual event rather than a political statement against a brutal military.

    Deviled Ham – Mocking the Roman Empire in Mark 5:1-20

    http://www.academia.edu/4161415/Deviled_Ham_-_Mocking_the_Roman_Empire_in_Mark_5_1

  • JD

    Watch people’s reaction when some choose not to pay homage to the state through the national anthem and tell me it’s not “worship”.

  • JD

    “it is a song of hope in the freedom that produced the democracy that has
    produced the greatest nation on God’s green earth and a nation that has
    never and will never be equaled in history.”

    Hmmm, the Scriptures say a lot about pride.

  • JD

    Many Americans have turned their government, song, money and/or piece of fabric into a god.

  • Fascinating. Please explain a bit. Biblical worship is defined as worship of a false god. The statue or inanimate object worshiped is simply thought of as the image of this god. The God of the bible wants to be worshiped and does not abide any object in that connection. The second commandment explicitly forbids statues and the like. It is interesting that even though the vast majority of Christian religions do not follow that command the savages from ISIS get it.

    My question is how does one worship a country? If they do how is it biblical worship that is demanded in the First Commandment?

  • JD

    The false god doesn’t have to take physical form. It can be an idea. Many worship the false god of security. Many worship the false god of “rights”. Many worship the false god of a flag or a constitution. A false god is anything that we devote our loyalty to other than God.

    One worships a country by placing it above others, especially above other individuals that bears God’s image. One worships a country by rationalizing the killing of those that bear God’s image for that country. One worships a country by placing one’s hope and faith in that country instead of Christ. It is something that has horribly corrupted the church in America.

  • “Almost everyone on both sides have said it was wrong.”

    This is an absolutely fascinating assertion; by virtue of the fact that the debate in question is the right-ness of Kaepernick’s protest, one would think that everyone who thinks it’s wrong would, in fact, be on the same side. What would the other side even be, then?

  • The thing is, pre-Enlightenment, it would’ve been both, no problem. It would have been read as a real, physical exorcism, but there would be no reason to stop there and say “well that’s that, then.”

  • Note also that, generally speaking, these same voices who cite Romans 13 in situations like this are up in arms in protest when the law of the land is, say, allowing same-sex marriage, or allowing non-Christians to practice their religions peacefully.

  • JD

    And they’re typically the first to talk of violent resistance to the state when the subject of guns comes up.

  • Matthew

    The U.S. is not mentioned by name because America is not a “chosen” nation. It is rather a young nation state that one might argue has been at times blessed by God, but that certainly doesn’t mean America is in the class you describe.

    The mix of excess nationalism and patriotism with Christianity is not only troubling but also puzzling when one considers Jesus’ life and words as well as the entire biblical witness.

    That said, please understand that while I’m thankful for the good America has done for the world over the years, I’m also keenly aware of the mistakes the U.S. has made over those same years.

  • Ron McPherson

    …but, but …. but ….

  • And of standing up to the evil oppression of raised taxes for socialized healthcare and welfare. Because “render unto Caesar” was definitely not in response to a question about taxes.

  • scott

    Certainly, although I’m pretty sure I’m far from the only person who has lived abroad and returned to the US to feel this way!

  • MadGastronomer

    So he was saying it was ok to worship Caesar, because that was what Romans believed was due to him. Gotcha.

  • Ron McPherson

    Wait, what?

  • Havalynii

    No, obviously that’s not what he was saying, because he didn’t say “render to Caesar whatever Caesar or the Romans thinks is due to Caesar”, but instead spoke from an objective viewpoint, “render to Caesar the things that ARE Caesar’s.”

  • Ron McPherson

    So if Jesus’ statement was not about taxes specifically but a larger principle as you say, then how was one to know where to draw the line? The people were to honor Caesar as god, no?

  • Genesis 48 mentions two nations. If not the USA and Great Britain then who?

  • MadGastronomer

    But worship WAS Caesar’s. At least the formal burning of incense. Just like you claim that the honor “due” the flag is.

  • MadGastronomer

    And, again, what’s the difference between burning incense and praising Caesar and praising the flag?

  • Bones

    Australia and Sweden….

    Or New Zealand and France …

    Or Germany and Japan…..

    Heck just make up any two countries and insert into a verse that has nothing to do with anything.

  • Snooterpoot

    Are we not trying to raise children who have the strength of conscience and conviction to do what they believe is right, even if they do it alone?

    This is how I was raised. I can remember my mother telling me, “stand up for what you believe, even if the rest of the world is against you.” Is it any surprise, then that she raised an independent, strong woman who questions authority?

    I will always be grateful for my parents’ encouragement to be who I am.

  • Snooterpoot

    There are members of that religion who are genuine Christ-followers, but it tends to be in spite of their religion, not because of it.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    I watch people who claim to follow Christ try to find explanations about why this doesn’t apply in this or that situation and it makes me ill.

    The most frequent comment I get is that Jesus didn’t say the government should be helping people. My reply is that he didn’t say the government should not be helping people, either.

    I think that for many evangelical/fundamentalist Christians sin is about sex, sex and more sex. I find that deeply disturbing.

  • Snooterpoot

    I admire you for saying that, Sherlang.

  • Snooterpoot

    Well said, Herm.

  • “The most frequent comment I get is that Jesus didn’t say the government should be helping people. My reply is that he didn’t say the government should not be helping people, either.”

    And if you want a Christian nation, as is so often claimed by this particular group of people, then you’re saying that you want a government that acts on Christian principles, even if Jesus wasn’t explicitly speaking about the government in that instance.

  • Ron McPherson

    please tell me you’re not serious

  • MadGastronomer

    BTW, there’s no difference between Caesar deserving worship because Romans say so and the flag deserving worship or respect because Americans say so. If you take the word of one group, you must take the word of the other. There’s no objective difference between them. Both are judged by the majority, not by any objective outsider.

  • MadGastronomer

    And attacking a man for standing up for the oppressed is hardly following the example of Jesus and the apostles, either.

  • Questioning

    BAM! Game, Set, Match….

  • My interest in this site is from the biblical side. False gods such as an idea or a country comes from the imagination of men who preach as they see fit. Many follow their ideas but I do not. I do agree that the churches are corrupted all around the world. It is something to consider before joining one.

  • it has become politicized. I was referring to the American political Left and Right.

  • Why are you keenly aware of the mistakes the US has made? What are some of these mistakes?

  • Snooterpoot

    …many Americans have a deep emotion connection with the well being of service members;…

    Yes, we do, but that does not mean that those supporters must participate in rituals they object to.

    This brings back memories of protests against the war in Viet Nam. Those of us who participated did not hate America, and we did not hate our service members as claimed at that time. What we hated was spilling blood of innocents, including our military, for no definable reason.

    This was my war. I lost friends. One of my dearest friends came back addicted to heroin. He was drafted to fight in a war when he was a kid who just didn’t have any fight in him. The war broke him, and I don’t think he was ever fully repaired.

    I know that some service members were treated horribly when they returned, and I think that was terribly wrong. I also think it was a reflection of the frustration that many people were feeling because of inaction on the part of our elected officials to do anything to end this travesty.

    I was thrown in jail for participating in one protest. Of course, I was released the next day because they didn’t have any basis for arresting me in the first place, and that is one of the reasons why I support Kaepernick’s protest.

  • The prophecy is there. Who would you say those two countries are?

  • Snooterpoot

    You do know what “freemen” means, don’t you?

  • Snooterpoot

    Do you really believe that our government is ordained by God, when those in power ridicule the poor and refuse to help them? When they believe that healthcare is a privilege that only people who have sufficient money are entitled to? When they, themselves, worship their big money donors by crafting legislations to assist them at the cost of low and middle income people?

    Do you believe that our government, which ignores the danger to our planet caused by our lust for fossil fuels, is ordained by God? Aren’t we supposed to be stewards of our planet?

    Do you really believe that?

    Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    And before you say that Jesus wasn’t saying that the government should be helping people, let me say that he also didn’t say that the government should not be helping people either.

  • Snooterpoot

    If it wasn’t for the ideals of the fathers of this nation, he never would have been able to take a stand… or not stand.

    Are you serious? The “ideals of the fathers of this nation” would have this man “owned” by other human beings because of the color of his skin.

    You really should think about it instead of regurgitating patriotic platitudes that you’ve been taught.

  • Snooterpoot

    Hi, Frank. And so do you, my friend.

  • Snooterpoot

    Police are being assassinated by people who are not able to see the difference.

    Citation, please. And don’t tell me to look it up myself. You made an assertion as fact; the burden of proof is on you.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Who would you say those two countries are?”

    The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh

  • Snooterpoot

    You use the word liberal as if it were a slur. I wear it as a badge of honor.

  • Not just a slur, a fatal disease; note “only one was infected, the other survived.” In reference to his own children, no less. I suppose the one that was “infected” by liberalism is now spiritually dead to Bob — hopefully not actually dead.

  • The #BlackLivesMatter Kill List: At Least 11 Cops Shot Dead – 9 More Wounded By #BLM Supporters

    Jim Hoft Jul 17th, 2016 7:02 pm 130 Comments

    The Black Lives Matter Kill List—
    At least 11 police officers have been shot dead and several shot and injured by Black Lives Matter activists since the movement began in August 2014.

    And don’t ask me to verify it. I didn’t post it.

  • Ephraim and Manasseh are not countries they are the tribes to whom the prophecy was given. If the prophecy was fulfilled – and I believe it was – then the countries can be discovered from the other clues. There is really no doubt who those countries are.

  • So you really just want to argue? I find Liberalism and especially progressive liberalism nauseating.

    Liberals are associated with and the chief sponsor of abortion. This is baby killing. Today Liberals want third trimester abortion and this is a chief aim of the democrat party. This sin is recorded in the OT when the firstborn was sacrificed in the fire to the god Chemosh. But you say we don’t do this we are civilized we just decapitate the fetus in the womb and then sell its body parts to the highest bidder.

    But Liberals say babies in the womb are not babies just protoplasm. What did God say?

    Psalm 139:13-14
    (13) For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.

    Think on that scripture for a while.

    Abortion has claimed 30 million black children and is responsible for the lack of population growth of the black community. As a sin it also carries physical punishment which is now strikingly evident in the black communities of our major cities where the family structure is fractured. Liberals support Planned Parenthood as a bastion of health care for the poor. In fact Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood with the express goal of eliminating the Black population. You could argue it has succeeded. This information has been widely disseminated but without receptio by those most affected.

    I could go on but I’ll wait for the barrage of comments first. Most likely MadGastronomer, the Racist Sniffer, will interpret my comments as racist.

  • Snooterpoot

    You said that police are being assassinated. I challenged you to prove it. You didn’t, just like you haven’t proved any of your racist accusations in your comments.

    So, Bob, you did post it, and now you’re trying to run away from it.

  • Snooterpoot

    No, Frank. That’s not what it says. Nice try though, my friend.

  • Snooterpoot

    Today Liberals want third trimester abortion and this is a chief aim of the democrat party.

    That is pure bullshit.

  • Snooterpoot

    The death of a drug dealer? He was a human being, created in the image of God, and you refuse to acknowledge this.

    Herm is spot on. You don’t know Jesus at all.

  • Snooterpoot

    You are using Daily Caller as a legitimate source? Really? It is an admitted right wing publication, and every article is actually an editorial. They wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and gave them a hug.

  • Bones

    Actually in Jewish Law a fetus is not considered a person until born.

    Were ancient Jews liberals?

  • Bones

    Just wondering why police in Australia and the UK don’t get shot nor fear every b lack person they pull over.

    Easy access of guns doesn’t have anything to do with it.

  • Bones

    It’s not a prophecy. …

  • Matthew

    Vietnam, Iraq, Libya … just to name a few.

    Are you not able to even be somewhat critical of your country? No nation state is perfect … not one. Like I said — America has been a force of good at times in history, but let´s not forget the game of empire that all world powers play. It´s a game Jesus wanted no part of.

    The book of Revelation doesn´t even speak of the U.S. (even symbolically), so I don´t know how dispensationalists can even begin to make end time predictions that involve America.

  • Havalynii

    Sure, but attacking and disagreeing with someone are not synonymous concepts.

  • Havalynii

    Did I mention that the Bible says that we have to worship the flag? In any case, the pledge of allegiance is to the republic for which the flag stands. That republic, as envisioned originally, was the most republic most compatible with the Bible that humans have ever created, with the possible exception of the Dutch Republic before the fall to Napoleon. Does that mean that I owe that republic worship, etc.? No, and I would say that saying the pledge is a matter of conscience. For me, and for many, when we say the pledge, salute the flag, or sing the national anthem, what we are doing is inviting God’s blessing on the Republic for which those things stand, a republic that is a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are CREATED equal (ie by their CREATOR, God). We are affirming that we hold dear the very biblical concepts that we can only logically affirm the universal human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if we believe that a revealed God has given those rights to us when He made us in His image. Like the cross, the icthus, the trinity symbol, etc., these are symbols of a deeper allegiance, a deeper allegiance that allows us other, subsumed, allegiances.

  • Matthew

    To be fair …

    I think although public education at all levels is not very good in America, many higher education institutions in the U.S. are still classed as among the best in the world … if not the best. The problem is affordability in many cases.

    In terms of healthcare, I think the U.S. has extremely good healthcare. The real problem is access and again affordability. What insurance companies cover is nothing compared to what is covered, for example, here in Western Europe.

    That said, although I´ve never been there, I think Australia is a very attractive place to settle for many people. It´s cities are consistently rated as among the best in the world in terms of liveability.

  • Havalynii

    Because the burning of incense was a dedication to the genius (familiar spirit) of the Emperor, in the hopes that he would one day be granted apotheosis and be worshiped in the Roman pantheon, this would have violated the call to worship the God of the Bible (Old Testament, in the case of this passage). Praising the flag does not necessitate worshiping another god.

  • Havalynii

    Again, anything Caesar claimed was his, but which would require believers to violate the Law (and for Christians, the entirety of Scripture), was NOT Caesar’s due.

  • Bones

    So in other words, the best that money can buy…..

    The US is well down when compared with other countries in education.

    http://fairreporters.net/world/the-best-education-systems-in-the-world-in-2015/

  • Matthew

    See ranking list a little ways down in the body of the article:

    http://studyindenmark.dk/news/denmark-has-the-third-best-higher-education-system-in-the-world

    I will agree, however, that non university or college public education is not very good in the U.S. Also …yes … America is a nation where money is necessary to access a lot of what will in the long run improve society.

    A sad reality really. I think America is a land for the wealthy, not simply a land that offers many people the chance to create wealth.

  • Ron McPherson

    Why can’t you just accept the passages as written? There is literally nothing in that text to suggest such a fanciful interpretation.

  • Matthew

    This is a bit off topic, but can you also explain what is going on in Isaiah 19 and this highway from Egypt to Assyria and this idea that Egypt, Assyria, and Israel will all be friends?

    Some see this as an end time prophecy as well.

  • MadGastronomer

    Then by the same token, neither flag nor nation now police deserve such reverence, for it is surely idolatry to treat them the same way the Romans treated Caesar and the Eagles.

  • MadGastronomer

    And yet attacking is what’s been happening in this thread.

  • Havalynii

    You’re absolutely right, we shouldn’t burn incense and pray for the flag or nation or police to reach apotheosis and join the pantheon of pagan gods. I’m glad to see that we’ve found common ground.

  • Havalynii

    I see, I thought you were suggesting that I was attacking him. I can’t speak for what others are doing, but I’d agree with you that it would be wrong to attack him personally. However, if someone can show that his character is at issue, there might be grounds for that, but even then there’s a big difference between reproof and correction and bitter diatribes.

  • And we care why Jews think what about a fetus?

  • Bones

    Jesus was a Jew not a US evangelical and there”s something called the Old Testament.

  • Of course I can be critical of my country. We have allowed abortion on demand and now “proudly support it.” This is one of the major reasons for our decline. We ask our soldiers to fight for us and then deny them proper treatment refusing to correct the problems in the VA. We have allowed small anti-God groups to force God out of our schools and our institutions under the perverted interpretation of “separation of church and state.” We allow drugs into our country that have poisoned families and are destroying wide swaths of our citizens because of greed and power. Notice this week the president of the Philippines is being criticized by our President because he is executing drug dealers to stop the crisis like China did tears ago.This is while we do nothing about stopping drugs from coming in. We will not even try to stop the flow.

    As to the game of empire that is exactly what the prophecy in Genesis predicted and it came to pass. If you are interested as to how this all fits together you can find out. “The Plan of God for Man” exists and it is fascinating.

  • The bible is loaded with prophecy. Do you accept any of the prophetic statements? I am not sure what exactly you mean by accepting the passage as written.

  • Bones

    23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

    24 In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

    That actually happened when Assyria invaded Egypt in 671 BCE and Israel, Egypt and Assyria were part of the one Empire.

    Once again the book is detailing and interpreting contemporary events, not futuristic ones.

  • Bones

    well education standards are based on secondary level not on tertiary levels which is more subjected to how rich daddy is.

  • Ron McPherson

    I think it’s reckless exegesis to read the Scriptures with an exaggerated prophetic lens. Yes, I do believe in certain biblical prophecy but to read a Hebrew text from Genesis thru a contemporary lens such that Jacob, an OT patriarch, would be uttering prophecy about European-American nations (specifically Great Britain and the good ole USA as you assert) is fantastical to me. Why would you assume Jacob’s prophecy applied to more than what the biblical text suggests? He foretold events to come with respect to the tribes deriving from the seed of his two grandsons. This was from an Israelite to his Israelite descendants. Why would you assume more than that? The Bible does not revolve around America. Our nation is a mere blip on the screen of God’s wondrous universe. There is utterly nothing in the bible to suggest that the USA somehow replaced Israel as God’s covenanted people. Not saying you are suggesting that but to read America onto any biblical text is wildly speculative to me.

  • G. David Daley

    Dear Matthew:

    Methinks it’s about the nationalist/imperialist narrative that continually becomes the backdrop for EVERY day.

  • Yes it may seem speculative. But the Israelites are not just the Jews. The tribes migrated to Europe and from there to other parts of the world. This is not hard to find. The USA is believed to be Manasseh by certain biblical authors for the last hundred years. See Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright by J. H. Allen was originally published in 1902.

    While you may not agree with Allen and others I do. I assume you have never looked carefully at the first verses of James and 1st Peter. This is the beginning of understanding the prophecies.

  • Matthew

    Executing drug dealers is SO the wrong way to handle the drug problem.

    Frankly … I´m well aware of the plan of God for man and it has to do with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ much more than it does with supposed biblical prophecies about worldly nation states.

    Finally … our job is not to figure out where the U.S. and Great Britain are in the Bible, not to create a Christian nation, not to worry about the ugly onslaught of liberalism and secularism, but rather to believe in and follow Jesus Christ.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Bones.

  • “If it wasn’t for the ideals of the fathers of this nation, he never would have been able to take a stand… or not stand. Irony.”

    The irony that I see, personally, is in those who think that, because the founders of this nation gave him the right to take a stand (in a grossly simplified understanding), he should therefore not be allowed to exercise that exact same right.

  • Ron McPherson

    “I assume you have never looked carefully at the first verses of James and 1st Peter.”

    Uh, yes I understand the Jewish people were scattered. But those verses do not even hint that Joseph’s seed ultimately morphed over the years into white Anglo Saxons. I dont view the bible as a book with secret codes

  • Saying he’s executing drug dealers is really a glossing over of what’s happening: the PI president basically promised amnesty to anyone who murders a dealer or drug user. Now people are just shooting each other even over rumors that they use or sell drugs. Some people struggling with addiction have surrendered themselves to jail because they’re worried someone who knows they use is going to shoot them. It’s horrific, and should be condemned by the international community.

  • It’s (a) bullshit and (b) indicative of a distressing lack of empathy; nobody ever seems to pause to consider why a person may seek out a late-term abortion. It’s illogical to assume that someone would carry out a pregnancy for that long and then just say “oops, changed my mind.” These are wanted pregnancies, that are being terminated for heartbreaking reasons (such as the fetus already being dead and now being a risk to the mother’s life).

  • No. I actually stand so as to not be a distraction unless I’m able to leave the room. But I look away, I do not say the pledge or sing the anthem, and I make sure my hands are behind my back so that it’s clear I am not participating and that I am different, but I try to do it in a way that’s not too dramatic.

  • JD

    Genocide. Experiments on human beings. War, although this is hardly unique to America. Oppression of minorities and women. Torture. Do I need to keep going?

  • JD

    What kind of hubris does it require to believe that anyone can “force” God out of anywhere? The Scriptures say that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, then He is there. If God isn’t “in” a school, it’s the fault of Christians in that school. There’s absolutely no way they can prevent one from praying in a school. I think what you are talking about is the prohibition of using state-funded resources for showy, public prayers. That doesn’t keep God out of schools though.

    As for drugs, it’s the prohibition that has caused far more damage than the drugs themselves. And a policy of murdering drug dealers, especially without any semblance of due process, is hardly the example Christians should call for us to follow. You say we’ve done nothing to slow the flow of drugs into America, but that is simply asinine. We’ve waged a century long war on the drug trade and have lost. It is an utterly unwinnable “war” and has only lead to destruction of families and communities. We have military working around the world on drug interdiction. It seems like we aren’t doing anything only because prohibition is a failed course. As long as there is demand, there will be supply. It’s basic economics.

  • JD

    “The USA is believed to be Manasseh by certain biblical authors for the last hundred years.”

    Oh brother. Let me guess….most of these “biblical” authors were from America or Britain, right? J.H. Allen is tied deeply to British Israelism. For those that don’t know, they believe that Europeans (specifically the British) are direct descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, and the British Royal Family are direct descendants of King David.

    Per “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People”, the central tenets of British Israelism have been refuted by evidence from modern genetic, linguistic, archaeological, and philological research.

  • JD

    My vote is on Sri Lanka and Eritrea.

  • JD

    Neither the American political left or right are “pro-life”. The biggest difference is that the political right seems to prefer waiting until they are born before rejecting a pro-life position.

  • JD

    Pride? What pride are you talking about? It’s not prideful to reject the false god of nationalism. That false god is no more palatable just because we dress him up in red, white and blue.

  • Ron McPherson

    250 years of Institutionalized slavery

  • JD

    No, I’m not holy. Only God is holy. I am just choosing to pledge my allegiance solely to my Lord. I am not going to place my hand over my heart and sing a praise hymn to the state. I’m not going to pledge my allegiance to the state. Only God is worthy to be praised.

  • MadGastronomer

    And yet we still sing praise songs to flag and country, also religious acts, and swear oaths to them — something forbidden by Jesus.

  • MadGastronomer

    I admit, I lost track of who was who in the thread, since I’m reading my from Disqus page. But there have been plenty of bitter diatribes here. Have you reproved any of the people who have made those?

  • JD

    It’s amazing to see how we will celebrate those that stand against their nation….only as long as their nation isn’t America. Americans celebrate a group of men who led an murderous revolt against their government, yet we turn around and regurgitate Romans 13 any time someone doesn’t bow to our state.

    It’s the blinders of tribalism at play.

  • Havalynii

    Well, if you see the National Anthem as a WORSHIP song, then you’ve definitely got a wrong concept of what the author intended it to be. I see nothing unbiblical in making a verbal commitment to support a nation to the degree that it follows Jesus.

  • JD

    America has NEVER followed Christ. NEVER. Hence my “commitment” to this nation. I don’t believe we can serve two masters, so my commitment is solely to my Savior.

  • G. David Daley

    Dear Phil Ledgerwood:

    I could be convinced that the United States ITSELF is its OWN religion…

  • Havalynii

    I guess I’ll wait to hear Jesus’ opinion on your judgment. I don’t think that I am qualified to speak for the entire nation. I’m not talking about serving two masters; I’m talking about following a set of principles to the degree that they follow in the teachings of Christ (Paul himself invokes this approach to the church of Corinth). There are definitely principles and individuals that are Christlike in American history, and those are well-summarized in the Declaration of Independence, in the Constitution, in the current Pledge of Allegiance, and in other writings like the Gettysburg address. I don’t limit myself to those writings, and I don’t substitute them for the Bible, but if they don’t contradict the Bible, I can show allegiance to them with the understanding that they are subsumed under the Gospel.

  • Snooterpoot

    Oh, Frank. I think we’ve had this discussion before, but your interpretation is not the only interpretation, and there is no reason to think that yours is correct and the millions of other people’s interpretations are wrong.

    We each interpret the Bible with a proclivity to validate our own biases. That’s just human nature.

    I know you’re going to respond with some kind of attack that doesn’t address this point. We’ve had sufficient dialog to anticipate your response. I truly, and probably disappointingly, wish that you would think about what other people say before you respond, but, as I said my friend, that wish is most likely in vain.

    May you be richly blessed.

  • Havalynii

    To be honest, I’ve mostly just been responding to your comments and a couple others on this thread. :) I haven’t reproved anyone else on this thread, but (believe it or not), I have on my Facebook page. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I just spent (wasted?) a good 15 minutes scanning through comments on this article. I can’t say that very many people on either side are being loving. I admit that I have to read my posts and edit them many times before submitting, I’m the first part of Psalm 12.18, trying to become the second part. With that said, I appreciate the discussion. I’m sure that I haven’t swayed anyone’s opinion, but I do appreciate being able to bring my perspective to the discussion. Despite how disappointing a lot of the back-and-forth has been here, I hope that we all can unite around the fact that regardless of actions, creeds, ethnicity, etc. Jesus Christ came to save sinners, of which I am the worst. God bless you all and good night.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bob, your comments ooze hatred, and that’s not what Jesus instructed.

    It’s useless and a waste of time to try to have a civil discussion with you, so I will not respond to your comments from this point forward.

    I will, however, pray for you to find the glorious light of God’s love.

  • JD

    At no time has America looked like the Sermon on the Mount. We were founded in murderous war. We enslaved millions. We denied equal treatment to any non-white landowning male. America, as a nation, has never looked like Christ. Sure, there have been great people from here that have served Christ faithfully, but the nation as a whole has not and it’s not even close. For every law we pass, there’s a gun used to enforce it. That is not remotely compatible w/ Christ’s teachings. It’s been that way from day 1. As the nation grew, we only grew greedier and more bloodthirsty, and the worst part is we did it trying to claim the name of Christ in the process. Heck, we tried to eradicate the entire buffalo population so we could starve out the native population and take their land.

    Also, the pledge of allegiance is nothing more than an oath. Christ specifically instructed us not to make oaths. Loyalty oaths are not compatible w/ Christ’s teachings.

  • Snooterpoot

    Spot on, Ron. I have to chuckle at people who, with great anger, accuse people who disagree with their theology of twisting the Bible to say what we want it to say.

    I’m not saying that Bob has said that, but he seems to ascribe to the theological position that would encompass that.

  • Snooterpoot

    Well said, Matthew. I think that too many fundamentalists and people who embrace a conservative political ideology think that Christianity belongs to them and the rest of us are doomed to hell.

    I think it’s sad to live with so much hatred.

  • Snooterpoot

    You nailed it, Snommelp!

  • Snooterpoot

    I recently had a discussion with a man who said that it’s better for a baby to be born and suffer than for the parents to decide that aborting is the most humane and loving thing to do.

    I don’t think that is a pro-life position. I think it’s sadistic.

  • This is totally unrelated, but I need to vent: Beethoven is a jerk. No, Mr. Beethoven, this is an alto trombone, not a viola. I play it with my lips, not a bow, and hitting those weird super high notes completely out of nowhere is not easy. I don’t even know right now what position a high E natural is supposed to be in; E flat would be first position, I guess that E natural would probably be in 2 or 4… it’s not nice Mr. Beethoven! Give that note to a cello or something!

  • It’s obscene. And also part of the reason I went with a different example, one which logically even the staunchest pro-life advocates shouldn’t be able to argue against.

  • MadGastronomer

    It’s definitely a song of praise. How is it different from a worship song, in the way it’s used?

    Jesus spoken specifically against oath-taking.

  • MadGastronomer

    You know who led a murderous rebellion against our state? The Confederacy. You know who have done no such thing? BLM. BLM practices peaceful protest.

    If you want to live in a country that requires people to stand for the anthem, why don’t you move to North Korea.

  • Snooterpoot

    I was impregnated by a rapist more than 40 years ago, shortly after the Roe vs Wade decision. After the rape I was suicidal for a couple of months, and that was partly because of the agonizing decision I had to make about continuing the pregnancy.

    I won’t disclose my decision; it’s no one’s business but my own. I will say, however, that if I had been forced to continue the pregnancy I might very well have taken my life.

    Even though people do not know what decision I made, I have been called a murderer!

    I’ve had people tell me that it wasn’t the baby’s fault that it was conceived by a rape and it should have been born. Talk about a lack of empathy! My life is worth nothing to people who think that way.

    My experience is the reason why I am adamantly pro-choice. I understand why women make the agonizing decision to end their pregnancies, and I don’t think their reasons and decisions are anyone’s business but their own.

  • JD

    Not sure if this was directed at me:

    “If you want to live in a country that requires people to stand for the anthem, why don’t you move to North Korea.”

    Just to clarify, I absolutely do not believe people should be required to stand for the anthem. I do not. My wife and kids do not. I would prefer to see all Christians respectfully stay seated when the state plays their worship hymn.

  • James Quinn

    Are you really saying that Christian principles are reflected in the declaration of independence (a document that says native Americans are savages), the Constitution (a document that says a black person isn’t a full human being), and the Pledge, which one professes their loyalty to a piece of fabric?

    What Christianity are you talking about?? None of those things reflect Christian principles unless you’re talking about some weird false religion that happens to go by the name of Christianity also.

  • San Marino and Monaco. Definitely.

  • Let’s just take oppression of minorities and women. I would say that criticism belongs to the countires in the Middle East who practice Sharia Law wouldn’t you?

    The Genocide comment is more interesting to me as a quick review shows it is controversial and divided along political lines. Pretty sure this one comes from academia. I will research some more and reply if I have time.

    Torture as in water boarding?

  • The ACLU has done a very good job of forcing God out of schools and public institutions. We used to be proud of our Christian heritage and now we act embarrassed about it.

    We do not wage war on drugs. The money has corrupted everyone involved. We still allow the Afgan warloards to grow and produce the world’s poppy plants. Your argument is false. If we wanted to interdict drugs form the southern boarder we could have done it long ago. We don’t and we won’t until law and order is restored in the USA.

  • Per “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People”, the central tenets of British Israelism have been refuted by evidence from modern genetic, linguistic, archaeological, and philological research.

    Quite a statement. You made it. Let’s see you back this up. What is the genetic evidence?

  • The left is pro-choice. The right is pro-life. I don’t understand your comment. Please clarify.

  • No my comments are factual. Liberal thought does not consider a child in the womb as a human being with any rights. That is plainly evident.

    You ask for the argument and i gave it. Leave the rhetoric and try to quote form the bible if you have any scriptures that support liberal thought.

    I notice you have no answer to Psalm 139:13-14. That is because you can’t.

  • JD

    Pro-life doesn’t end once the baby comes out the womb. You can’t be pro-war, pro-death penalty or pro-torture and be “pro-life”. I’ll give you that the right tends to be pro-unborn life, but “pro-life”? No.

  • JD

    I didn’t make the statement. The person who researched the question made that assertion. Prove their claim wrong.

  • JD

    We’ve tried interdicting drugs on the border. We’ve sent DEA and federal troops to other nations. To say we’ve done nothing is to ignore reality. Drug prohibition, just like alcohol prohibition, is doomed for failure.

    And no, the ACLU is incapable of forcing God out of schools. Why do you act as though God is so weak and can be forced from anywhere simply by legislative or judicial fiat? There’s absolutely nothing prohibiting prayer in schools. Just because you can’t use taxpayer-funded resources for your showy, public prayer doesn’t mean you can’t pray.

  • JD

    Just because other nations oppress women and minorities doesn’t diminish America’s disturbing history of oppression. That’s a weak deflection.

    And the genocide of native populations is not divided along political lines. It’s widely condemned by all, and not the work of academia. Goodness.

    Yes, waterboarding is torture, but that’s not even th worst that we’ve done. Not to mention human experimentation. And the brutality of slavery.

  • Snooterpoot

    The accepted interpretation supported by speech text is that it’s talking to believers about other believers.

    Frank, that is just nebulous enough to invoke the logical fallacy called argumentum ad populum.

    Who accepts the interpretation you espouse? And what in the world is speech text?

    Frank, my friend, your mind seems to be closed, which is really sad.

  • MadGastronomer

    Sorry, must have confused you with someone else. Too many people in this discussion.

  • JD, with all respect pro-life and pro-choice are well defined and well established position descriptions on the abortion debate. Pro-life has nothing to do with war or death penalty and you cannot change that.

  • “Per “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People”, the central tenets of British Israelism have been refuted by evidence from modern genetic, linguistic, archaeological, and philological research.”

    If you feel that you can use the above source as proof that British Israelism is not correct then you should provide the complete citation and be willing to stand behind it. It is not my job to prove anything. I read the book I cited and I agree with it. “See Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright by J. H. Allen was originally published in 1902.”

  • You are giving me talking points from the University of Liberalism. I listened to this dribble from my daughter who attended San Diego Sate. What exactly is America’s disturbing history of oppression? Let use slavery so the others on this site can accuse me of racism. Slavery has existed from the beginning of recorded history. America purchased slaves sold to them by British traders and others who purchased them from other Africans. It was wrong to be sure. But it was stopped by the blood of many, many white Americans and others who died for that cause. America self-corrected that terrible injustice. We who are alive today bear no responsibility; owe nothing to anyone for what was done then.

  • Havalynii
  • Ron McPherson

    Bob,

    To be fair, you asked what mistakes the U.S. has been guilty of, so JD provided obvious examples of our nation’s disturbing history. So I’m not understanding why you then push back on it by saying he is using “talking points from the University of Liberalism” (like who cares so long as it’s the truth) or try to somehow lessen our guilt by the implication other countries are guilty as well, or that our nation corrected it’s mistakes so all is now well, etc.

  • Sharir7209

    Because not supporting “soldiers” makes it easier to conjure up images of someone who is indifferent to the idea of another individual who made the sacrifice of having to leave his or her family to serve three tours in the Middle East; or ignoring the fact that many of them returned from the Middle East with devastating injuries – in other words, someone that everyone can love to hate. If you use the correct term for what Mr. Kaepernick doesn’t support, which is nationalism/militarism, then he looks like a Shadrach/Meschach/Abednago Christian hero, which is not exactly the same thing as the more politically correct American Christian Patriot. It’s a misdirection. It’s part of a method used by certain political factions to indoctrinate people into thinking supporting endless war is the same thing as supporting soldiers, when actually the only thing that endless war supports is the military industrial complex’s war profiteering
    It’s similar to the faux “war on Christmas” that is actually just a method to indoctrinate people into thinking that consumerism is the best way to show you support the Christian Christmas, when actually the only thing that consumerism supports is…
    You get the idea.

    Good for Colin Kaepernick for having the courage to so publicly demonstrate a principal that all Christians should understand – Jesus in his “render unto Caesar” comments was advocating support for the laws of a secular society because he understood that humans need their societies, and some laws are necessary for any community/ society to flourish and endure; just as Christianity is a community that was designed to endure. As far as nationalism and militarism, if you have read the bible at all, you should understand that Jesus was a pacifist, and he disliked the glorification of war as much as he disliked the glorification of material wealth.

  • JD

    I don’t compartmentalize “life” the way you do. You can’t be “pro-life”, but support actions that result in death. Just because it’s typically associated with the abortion issue doesn’t change the fact that a consistent pro-life ethic does not allow for support of war, capital punishment, torture, etc.

    Call yourself what you really are. You are anti-abortion or pro-unborn life. But “pro-life” is life, and that applies to the unborn and born.

  • JD

    I provided the source. Here’s the link if you’d like to read it yourself: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Genetic-History-Jewish-People/dp/0195379616. I did exactly what you did. I provided a source to counter yours that is not accepted by reputable theologians.

    You are making the claim that Europeans/Americans are descendants of the 10 lost tribes. Prove it. I simply provided a source that debunks that theory. Do you also believe the British Royal Family are direct descendants of King David?

  • JD

    Oh brother….the “liberalism” accusation. You ask what exactly is America’s disturbing history of oppression? Do you really not know this? Jim Crow. Slavery. Internment of Japanese Americans. Genocide of native populations. Subjugation of women. Human experimentation. Disparate treatment within the judicial system for people of color.

    You seem to try to deflect by bringing up the sins of others, whether the British, Africans, Muslims, etc. We’re talking about America here. The sins of others don’t diminish the sins of America. As for your revisionist understanding of the civil war, “many, many white Americans and others” did not die for the cause of ending slavery. Many died to preserve it (South), and many died to preserve the Union (North). The Union did not fight the war to end slavery. Their motives had nothing to do with ending slavery. Was the demise of slavery quickened through the war? Of course, but that wasn’t the intent behind the war. Congrats on being one of the last civilized nations to end this barbaric practice.

  • Ron McPherson

    Exactly. Also, a huge part of the fight was not about ending slavery as it stood at the time, but whether incoming states should have the right to implement it or not. Though there were certainly many abolitionists, the nation as a whole was not fighting to end slavery as you say. Interestingly, even Lincoln’s (who I admire greatly) Emancipation Proclamation did nothing to end slavery because it applied only to the southern slaveholders (i.e. didn’t even apply to the border states). So as you suggest, America did not set out to completely right this wrong. It’s just that the wrong was somewhat righted as a consequence of the war.

  • Snooterpoot

    But we haven’t corrected all of our mistakes.

    Our invasion of Iraq caused the destabilization that resulted in the formation of ISIS. I have my doubts that we will ever correct that mistake.

  • Ron McPherson

    Agreed

  • Ron,
    I said that because I don’t agree with the premise and I don’t agree with the examples. I don’t agree at all that our nation has a “disturbing” history. It has a glorious history and represents that which has never been before and never will be again. The premise is from Liberalism that this country is somehow flawed and does not deserve its place in the world. That thinking is from the University of Liberalism. We don’t have any guilt to assuage. That guilt resides in the minds of Liberals.

  • Again, pro-life is a label on one side of the abortion issue. However, war and torture are out of the control of the average citizen. Capital punishment is another thing as it can be voted on and changed. The death penalty is all but gone in this country.

  • Yes. And I am not on this website to prove British Israelism as I am not a teacher; just a bible student. However, I will read the material cited and report back. It may be a while.

  • Ok. I just ordered the book. From the title I can already tell you that the Jews, tribe of Judah, are not the “lost ten tribes” who migrated to Euorpe. But I will read it….

  • Ron McPherson

    I guess I’m in the dark about how you “don’t agree with the examples.” Issues like treatment of Native Americans, the atrocities of slavery, etc. are factual, so what is there to disagree over? And I just cannot see how pointing out our country’s faults is indicative of a political ideology. Unless you’re saying that conservatives have the good sense to pretend these things didn’t happen lol.

  • Snooterpoot

    Off topic, but I presume you know that East Tennessee was heavily Unionist. My great-great uncle, who grew up in Roane County, fought for the General Army of the Republic. Sometime during the war he was captured and sent to a POW camp at Point Lookout, MD.

    He escaped and walked back to Roane County. My Papaw said that we are too ornery to die. Maybe this ancestor of mine rather proves the point.

  • Snooterpoot

    The cognitive dissonance is stupefying! People who share Bob’s political ideology really frighten me.

  • Ok. Let me try again. Let’s take the examples of Native Americans and slavery which certainly are facts. Who would our great country be apologizing to for this “stain.”? Why would we be apologizing in 2016? Do we somehow monetize this guilt and pay reparations?

  • Ron McPherson

    I thought the issue we were discussing was not about identifying an ‘apologist’ for such acts, but rather showing examples of past atrocities which occurred in our country. You asked for examples and they were given. No?

  • Ron McPherson

    God and country, heehee

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes it was very pro Union. Btw, I love those kinds of stories. Folks back then were a lot tougher than us tender feet today : )

  • JD

    Again, not everyone is comfortable compartmentalizing “life” the way you do. You cannot have a consistent pro-life ethic while supporting actions that bring about death at any point in life. The political right is far more likely to advocate for war, capital punishment, torture, etc. The political right does not have a consistent pro-life ethic. Not even close. Heck, they don’t even have a consistent pro-unborn life ethic, as they routinely make exceptions for rape, incest or life of mother. If abortion is murder, then it’s murder even in those cases. But the political right has no issue making exceptions for cases such as rape, incest or life of mother.

    So, even if you choose to compartmentalize views on the sanctity of life and limit the label only to abortion policy, the political right is still not pro-life.

  • Stuart

    A well reasoned article, I must confess I’d not seen it quite that way

  • Michael Pickel, Brunswick ME

    Let’s face it. The national anthem and American flag have nothing to do with Christianity, much less Christ. Too many people have gotten God confused with country. It’s the same old conservative mind set: anything that’s “different” or contrary to what most people do (often out of habit) is wrong and must be “unChristian.” To assign God/Christ to any human endeavor other than “loving thy neighbor as thyself” is a form of taking the Lord’s name in vain.

  • Yes.

  • Robert

    I so appreciated your rant against Franklin Graham as I am horrified to observe his toxic consciousness in his misrepresentation of Jesus Christ.
    However, Mr Corey, your take on this Kaepernick situation could not be more incorrect (in my opinion).
    To equate worship with respect is ridiculous.
    Standing in respect is not bowing in worship.
    Worship is based in fear. That is the reason for the plethora of religions on this planet. Man is idolatrous because he is fearful. The abysmal difference between Judaism and Christianity exists because Jesus attempted to cleanse His people from their Sinai based idolatrous perception of God and was murdered for it.
    To stand out of respect for a symbol that represents countless lives lost to protect what may be an imperfect but ever evolving nation is not fear-based worship.
    Shame on you and your ignorance!

  • I appreciated this comment and thought I would add to it: not only are you probably correct that none of your international friends would say that America “is blessed by God and it is patently obvious,” but there are a number of people who, after living in “America” for some time, decide to leave for places where they could enjoy freedoms that the U.S. does not provide. After living for 20 years in the U.S. (Illionis, Pennsylvania and Arkansas), I decided to emigrate back to Canada in order to marry my husband. The example is really apparent among Mexicans: try googling “More Mexicans Are Leaving U.S. Than Coming In”. (NY Times, Globe & Mail, USA Today, Fox News, etc.)

  • JD

    Worship is based in reverence. The way many cling to, and participate in, these nationalistic rituals is absolutely “worship”. Watch the reaction of people towards those that refuse to participate, and tell me it’s not worship. Heck, a baptist preacher, this past weekend, said anyone that refuses to stand for the state’s praise hymn should be lined up next to a fence and shot.

    Just because you want to call it something else (standing out of respect) doesn’t make it any less an act of worship. The hearts of many are exposed through their actions, and their actions testify of their worship of nationalistic idols.

    Also, how does standing show respect? I’ve seen people argue that we should stand , even if we oppose it, out of respect for those that hold it so dearly. Why should those that refuse to participate in these nationalistic liturgies have to stand? Using that logic, why not demand those that stand to sit down out of respect for those of us who find nationalistic rituals repulsive?

    But, as I said, if you want evidence that people really are engaging in idolatrous worship, just look at the reaction towards those that refuse to participate.

  • I may also find myself leaving this country before much longer, though it has less to do with being denied freedoms (I’m probably the top of the ladder as far as privilege goes) and more to do with the opportunity of a lifetime, if I can only convince myself not to be too scared to try for it. Of course, I’ve also got to consider my wife’s career here…

  • Robert

    I get that. However, your reference to a Baptist preacher proves my case. A Baptist preacher–or any true Baptist, for that matter–possesses an idolatrous consciousness.
    To call scripture “the word of God” so they can control others is idolatry to the nth degree.
    I know there are folks who are rabidly patriotic but most of those people are very uneducated. My chastisement is of a seemingly educated theologian using his pulpit (blog) to validate what has become a sports oriented culture that needs to realize that their athletically driven heroes are anything but heroes. Who cares what they do?

  • JD

    How does the reference to a Baptist preacher prove your case? It’s not just Baptists that are lashing out at those that don’t participate in nationalistic rituals. It’s not just Baptists that are worshiping the flag/nation.

    You say your “chastisement” is because Corey apparently “validated” a sports-oriented culture, but that’s nowhere to be found in your original post. You are moving the goalposts. Your original post dealt with worship vs respect, but now you’re talking about Corey apparently validating a sport-oriented culture.

  • Robert

    You’re right. My apologies. Off topic. But–I think it’s all connected because of our celebrity driven culture. I guess I’m thinking Corey is playing into that by validating the actions of an individual whose perceptions don’t really matter to me. And I’m sorry they matter to society in general. I also adhere to my original criticism of the implication that there is a connection between the Jewish tale and the Kaepernick situation.
    As I see it–totally unrelated.

  • JD

    So is it the fact that he’s a “celebrity” that makes his perception not matter to you, or are dismissive of all perceptions that you don’t share? I think, as Christians, the perceptions of others, even celebrities, is something we should at least try to understand. We are supposed to be empathetic. Whether he’s a celebrity or not is irrelevant to the point he’s brought to the forefront of the national dialogue.

    And the connection between this and the Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego story is the refusal to bow down and pay homage to a false idol, even in the face of consequences. Sure Kaepernick isn’t going to be thrown into a furnace, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some wanted him to be, but he went against the popular position and refused to worship a false idol.

  • It would be OK if his protests were not misdirected against We the People or our Republic. We do not stand for what Kaepernick is protesting.

    His angst is 180 degrees misplaced, and so equally counter-productive – besides being just plain race-driven, and highly offensive to loyal Americans who do not deserve his vile associations he draws.

  • otrotierra

    Throw Kaepernick into the pit with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! And can you believe Jesus never once stood for the National Anthem? Highly offensive! Vile!

  • A. L. Locasio

    So well said. Thank you.

  • JD

    Offensive to “loyal Americans”? I love how you subtly imply that anyone who isn’t offended is not a “loyal American”.

    I always love the tired line of the flag representing freedom while throwing a hissy fit when someone exercises their freedom to not pay homage to this piece of fabric.

  • teh

    If you are truly offended, I can understand deprived satisfaction felt from the lack of desired unity, this pains myself also. However can it be possible for one to simply imagine how certain people would feel if they discovered the last verse of the national anthem and its meaning, as I stumbled upon further in research. For it has been taken out, even every open that knowledge of its memory, it has, with much hope to be forgotten for much a reason. Though it surely was once sung in mass accord, even it surely with joy and cheer it surely was, praising the evils committed against the dark brethen who now live safely among us, albeit, the poor humans having been suffered and denied proper consideration. Those of which greed and selfish desire in men determined unequal and therefore held in bonds, and how it, the anthem of the image, celebrates the murder of those seeking freedom. Yes, indeed I speak only the truth, do I not? Though it be searing fire, yet though it is not the truth? Know this not them that love not the truth. Who worship other G.O.D.s be it Gold, Oil or Drugs. As evil deed done in dark certainly will easily reveal through the brightness of His coming, astonished are those who learn to harden their heart towards compassion for all others, a direct rejection of the greatest commandment, from those who have no room for the truth, despising it with a terribly hatred. For though my word is only my word, yet though you for yourself upon further discovery can easily ascertain this, having all doubt that can be ever possible brings absolute none, the ability to obtain realization, that therein a truth lies as a sloth, fat unto its ear lobes.
    I can tell truth that can only serve to harden realization of undesired knowledge, or desire one much possible salvation, to which is unseen by many thy veil placed to preserve judgements, that will be absent per the unrepented. Who serve the world those, with names that are not written in the lambs book of life. And restore that, the long suffering of the afflicted. Able through much errors to accept truth by removing self and emotion even sometimes completely, to suffer the truth, I have compassion for all and therefore have given forgiveness of all I have felt trespass. As I did grow up on the Pima Indian reservation along the Gila River, In Sacaton, Arizona. And I know of the Hohokam people, meaning ‘those who were’ ..but yet are no longer. Allowed full and utter of understanding I know of the desires that resisted upright thinking, and I know of a generosity and help toward the approaches of wicked men, who reviled and disgusted in the organic and simple, and that way of life. And how wicked deeds having seem to have triumphed, this too ascribe me knowledge, as even yet now, as demand has become the expectation of the self righteous man and kindle to such his fierce countanence, known to me IS truth in a decline that accepts as evolution, of a now wicked nation and generation. I will cease to pain not with accusation but deliver understanding, respecting of the delicate and tender of heart, and not visit a astonishing amount of sins committed just against them, the Akimel O’odhams, who were seen only as but fodder, for mans greatness and glory, that which IS truly translated into the images we are proud to humble ourselves to. Have you really no idea? Understanding you not, how you protect that which is absolute in disregard towards you and yours? For it has been written that man knows not the depths of Satan. For the lack of understanding you are given grace in your lack of consideration, being leaned unto, your own understandings. But fear ye, a terrible reproach upon knowledge gained fully. And devise not against the flesh who fight with principal from unselfish that the heart, warn ye of thee.
    Though as I tell truth many only confuse and say to among themselves, ‘For what man is this?’ Yet if I came to satisfy men and be popular, which thinking I had to learn to leave quick from, even my theories would likely be extolled to the clouds, being attractively constructed statements, as such reflect upon your political leaders and entertainment figures. Entertain now of me only that which one feels are my errors, I accept fully all rebuke and forgive ahead of time all wroth feeling gained to me.
    From the most unpopular among men, I tell this having not involved selfish desire or to invoke theme of mystery. With love from a simple and considerate fellow I leave these words to you, with goodwill and understanding, so to not disregard among us those, worthy a voice.
    Spoken from the heart, therefore needing no confirmation by man, or good opinion upon my use of verbage.

  • Shawn Forbes

    No, Kaepernick’s attention grab is no parallel to this story. So you’re going to glorify him to your kids… then your kids hear somewhere that Kaepernick idolized Fidel Castro, a man who more closely resembles someone from the Bible–Satan. Pretty soon your kids will be down with Marx, Lenin, and Mao–oppression and persecution for all! There’s this thing called discernment. Don’t go jamming any person in the media into some Bible story and say we should look to their example. Insanity.