On knee-bending and anthems


From: Bob Redig

As one sports writer said, the solution to the NFL anthem/player knee-bending dispute is “simple,” don’t play the National Anthem at games! The anthem doesn’t include everyone in this diverse country (actually insults many) and ends in a question. And the answer appears, proven by reaction of some, to be “not so much.”

While I have no problem with “patriotism,” wearing it on the sleeve, so to speak, can be suspect. Doing war-relief work in Quang Ngai, Vietnam, in the early ‘70s I remember a Vietnamese flag painted on every house or gatepost as mandated by the government, literally at gunpoint. Of course, no one would dare remove it, and if you were on the other side you would make darn sure to really wave that flag. We all know how that turned out. I do display the flag on the special days, but find it disrespectful that some fly it tattered, wet, and unlit.

Also, what is with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance before most government meetings and other organizations? Don’t we trust our citizens enough to be loyal day to day? Maybe once a year would be enough. And it does contain language inserted at the height of the Cold War that could be considered, by non-theists, to be the establishment of a religion. Especially, now that consorting with communists is in the vogue, “under God” could be removed.

Sometimes, those that are the most ostentatiously “patriotic” fail to understand and support the concepts that the Declaration of Independence, well, declared.


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