The Rushmore Report: Why I Would Sit for the National Anthem


Colin Kaepernick continues to sit during the National Anthem because of the way America treats minorities and to protest police treatment of young blacks. I suggest that if agreeing with everything going on in America was required for standing in honor of our flag and national song, none of us would ever stand.

If I were to follow Kaepernick’s example, there are five reasons I’d sit for the National Anthem.

1. America kills her unborn.

2. America spends the money of her next generation to explode the national debt.

3. America makes her veterans wait six months for medical care.

4. America just paid Iran $1 billion so they can carry out more terrorism.

5. Only in America can a back-up quarterback make $12 million to sit during the game and the National Anthem.

Colin Kaepernick says he will continue to sit out the National Anthem as long as America doesn’t meet his personal standards that deserve his respect. And that is his right, of course (although the NBA does not allow such action by its players). And for those of you who agree with what he is doing, just remember this: if those of us who believe the unborn baby who has a heartbeat is worthy of birth, that we should not spend the money of the next generation, that veterans should not have to wait six months for medical care, and that we should not fund Iran’s terroristic ideals – if we sat down every time our national song was sung, no one would ever stand for the National Anthem.

It’s all about one word – respect.

In the first church I pastored, we had a Buddhist man who had visited our church. The family invited me for a visit to their home. I was blessed to visit with the man and share the Gospel. When I arrived at his house, I was warmly greeted at the front door. And then I noticed no one inside was wearing shoes. That was in keeping with their religious tradition. I didn’t agree with the tenets of Buddhism, nor did I understand the meaning behind removing one’s shoes upon entering the house. But out of respect for the family and their faith, I gladly removed my shoes.

During my second pastorate, I became friends with a local cardiologist who was a committed Muslim. I invited him to my church and he invited me to his mosque. Upon entering his mosque, I removed my shoes out of respect for their traditions. I was happy to oblige.

Here’s my point. There are times when we do things out of respect for others. It doesn’t mean we agree with everything they stand for. It means we have respect for the values and traditions of others.

I would argue that there is more that is right with America than there is that is wrong. To quote former president Bill Clinton, “What is right with America can fix what is wrong with America.” And while I vehemently disagree with Kaepernick’s assessment of America, and am convinced he is largely uninformed, I respect his right to his views. Given his background, I can understand why he feels as he does.

What I can’t understand is protesting against the only country on earth that would give him the opportunities he has. Does Kaepernick have legitimate complaints? I’m sure he does. Does he have right to protest America’s values? Sure he does. But I’ll say it again. If we all chose to express our disagreements with America in this way, no one would ever stand for the National Anthem.

Are you okay with that?


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