To the Editor:
Recently, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, created controversy for his decision to sit down during the national anthem in protest over his belief that African-Americans are unjustly treated by police. There was definitely a strong backlash against his choosing to disrespect something that is symbolic of our patriotism for our flag, for our veterans, for all the soldiers who gave their lives to defend our nation, and for the freedom we enjoy and the principles of our democracy.
When I first heard that he did this, I was outraged that he would believe that he could get a nation’s respect for his cause by disrespecting the symbol of our nation and of our democracy.
I believe we all can justifiably find fault with the way many things are handled in our country. It is incumbent on us as citizens to address these injustices by subjecting them to our laws, our courts and the principles of justice.
This is where, I believe, Kaepernick made his mistake by choosing a way to address his concern that could only lead to racial alienation in our country. A solution ends up being pushed further away rather than closer.
In the Pledge of Allegiance, we proudly state: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This is what we all seek, and it is obtainable not through protest but through petition … prayer petition. I don’t believe there is anyone who has a belief in God that would deny our nation is in dire need of prayer; for healing between our ethnic groups, for seeing that all lives matter, for the homeless, disadvantaged and poor and all lives in all stages of life from their very beginning to a heartfelt compassionate caring of our elderly.
Our First Amendment gave Kaepernick his right to disrespectfully sit down during our national anthem. Would the same right be given to anyone who wanted with the utmost respect to pray for the nation during the national anthem?
When I recall the words of the patriotic song “America the Beautiful,” the lyrics say it all. “God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”