So I went off on a short Facebook rant today (don’t we just love those?) What set me off was a story from my home state of Alabama that I missed when it came out back a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE high school football (a big part of our culture down here), so I was all the more upset to read about some local yocal preacher named Allen Joyner who announced over the PA system before kickoff of a high school game that if someone did not want to stand for the National Anthem they should “line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you.” The crowd reportedly cheered loudly.
Ok, first of all, that this would come from a Christian pastor is mind boggling, given that I have never encountered a single scripture in the New Testament that would support such a violent stance. (I thought Islam was the religion that intolerantly kills those that disagree with them. Hmm). Secondly, I’m guessing the good reverend would rather live in a place like Nazi Germany, where loyalty to the state was achieved by the very means he promoted over a PA system to a cheering crowd of fanatics. “Line up against the fence! Heil Hitler!!” Lastly, the total ignorance that he displayed about exactly what that flag stands for makes me want to cry. Here’s the short rant Pastor Allen Joyner induced from me today on Facebook:
“Sometimes I think many people need a reminder that our nation was born out of a protest movement against the government. We can’t praise the ideals of our Founding Fathers and the nation they created, without also recognizing that they were extremely angry dissidents that protested against their government because they believed it treated them unjustly by taking away their individual rights. In doing so, they created a nation in which we have the right to protest, and it is those protests that have increasingly forced our government to grant more freedoms, and to more races and sexes, than even the Founders intended.”
Stand up and salute that, Pastor.
In this flag/anthem debate, I wish we would see less condemnations, and more celebration of the fact that we live in a country where we can freely protest our government without fear of being lined up against a fence. You don’t have to agree with the protestors, but isn’t it a beautiful thing that they are free to do it? If you love that flag, you have to love that fact.
Anyway, go read a history book or two, Mr. Joyner. You could start with the basics like the American Revolution, and work your way to abolitionism, the women’s suffrage movement, and the Civil Rights movement. Then turn to books on Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Mao’s China. And while you are at it, you might want to actually read that Bible you thump (starting with the words in red).
Get off my lawn, Pastor Joyner.