Colin Kaeperkick–Sit or Stand?
I am not a political-driven pastor, but I am socially aware and not ignorant of the enemy’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). Many are questioning the patriotism of, professional football player, Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem during the pre-game ceremony. As a Christian and a casual football fan, I wanted to weigh in.
Let’s not conflate our Christian faith with patriotism. Neither should we fail to do what God requires of us–seeking justice, loving mercy, and living in humility (Micah 6:8), and refusing to make unrighteous judgments. Everyone under God or a citizen living in a free country should be at liberty to decide to sit or stand during the playing of a national anthem. I choose to stand when the U.S. national anthem is played but not for all the reasons that one may surmise.
Pray for Colin Kaepernick for his bravery and willingness to make a stand for what he believes. Perhaps he is aware of, not only current problems and social injustices in America, but he may also be keenly knowledgeable of the history of the national anthem. Many are not aware that when Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the song that was eventually adopted as the U.S. national anthem, the song contained four stanzas. It is the third stanza that brought insult, disrespect, and hurt feelings to the British and the descendants of African slaves. The third stanza follows:
“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 footstep’s 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.”
During World War II, when the British were America’s staunchest of allies, this third stanza was longer sung in the anthem because it offended the Brits who had offered freedom to slaves to fight in their army against America (Revolutionary War and the War of 1812). The third stanza was not unsung because it offended blacks or biracial people like Colin Kaepernick. Is it possible that for some the offense remains? We can all have different opinions, but not different facts. Feelings of patriotism cannot blot out historical facts. So you make your decisions and let others make theirs. “Judge not, that you be not judged (Matt. 7:1). Pray rather than judge!