The following post is written by Larry Hendricks in response to my above article “Standing for the National Anthem.”
Larry calls me out a bit in his article. I can take it! And I believe that this dialogue is positive and helpful. Larry is a member of my church and a leader in our church. He is one of my closest friends and one of the godliest men that I know
This is written response to your article about the NFL protests during the national anthem. The fatal flaw with your article, is that it assumes that the players are protesting the actual Anthem itself. That is patently false. The players are actually protesting police brutality, racial Injustice, and inequality. They are using the time during the national anthem as a vehicle. They are not protesting against the Anthem, or the flag. That is a fact. To suggest otherwise, as your article does, would mean that when you protested the New York City Housing Authority’s plan to kick churches out of schools, you were actually protesting against traffic or whatever the source of the charge is for what you were arrested. Surely you can agree here.
The NFL protest has been HIJACKED to be about something other than what it is. This allows people to continue to ignore and flat out deny the police brutality issues within the black and Latino communities. It’s actually very disrespectful that people will not acknowledge what the actual protest is about. It speaks to the disrespect that some people have for people of color.
What’s even more disrespectful and sad is the fact that there are Christians participating in this disrespect by not displaying compassion, kindness, and understanding for those who have been harmed by police brutality. I see them taking a hard stance with hard hearts, sort of like the Pharisees whom Jesus condemned for their hard line stance on rules, with no heart for their fellow man or common sense. At the end of the day, Christians need to find common ground, listen to, agree with one another and show honor for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How else will the world see our light? That is far more important than any anthem, or country.
Lastly, you cannot ride the fence on this considering the neighborhood in which you are ministering: pick a position, not a side but a position. If not… Silence is the best option, as you will find yourself challenged.