December 16, 2018, 10:19:53 AM

Patriotism vs Idolatry

Started by Pete, July 23, 2018, 05:48:20 PM

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Pete

So in the interest of spurring on some discussion, let's dive right in head first.  ;) 

No doubt, even if you don't live in the US, you've seen in the news how the NFL is embroiled in conflict due to some of the players choosing to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. There have been those, up to and including the leader of our country, who have called for anyone who refuses to stand for the National Anthem to be suspended from the game. Some have even wondered aloud whether these folks who are kneeling should be made to leave the country.

Before I begin, I should state that I am a proud American. I love the US of A and I am very grateful for our military, their sacrifices and the freedoms those sacrifices grant to me. And it is because of that, that I 100% support the peaceful protest of kneeling during the National Anthem.

As I was pondering this issue, the stories of Daniel and the lion's den and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came to mind. Now please don't misunderstand me. I am not equating standing for the National Anthem with bowing down before other gods. But I see some similarities that are, let's say, concerning. Now granted, no one is calling for throwing these protesters into the lion's den (at least not that I've seen), but they certainly want their to be some severe repercussions for them not honoring the flag in the way they deem appropriate.

I saw a video someone posted on Facebook where a student was sitting on a stool during the Pledge of Allegiance at their school. Another student walked over and kicked the stool out from underneath him. And the Facebook crowd that was sharing this unfortunate video actually cheered this act of physical bullying, because of course that other student was being disrespectful and needed to be taught a lesson.

Forced patriotism is not patriotism at all. I would also go so far as to say that when a person reaches a point where they revere the symbol of freedom more than the people that symbol represents, they are unwittingly wading into idolatry.

Thoughts?  ;)

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

flaglady

Wow! When you say deep end, you really mean it!

It's interesting in the biblical stories you quote because I've been reading the bible through from beginning to end and recently read two stories that involved this issue too.

1. was in Genesis 77 about Joseph and how he refused to kneel before the Pharaoh when he was called to interpret the Pharaoh's dreams

2. was in Esther when Mordecai would not kneel down or pay honor to

HamanBoth stood by their commitment to God and God showed them favour as a result.


Doubt this has much to add to the discussion but somehow I thought it was appropriate.

Pete


I know this has the potential to be an emotionally charged topic, but I also know that the people here can discuss things respectfully, even if there is disagreement.


I don't find anything inherently wrong with revering and respecting the flag, so I don't want anyone to conclude that I'm equating standing for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance to idolatry. But what I do find concerning is how there are those that want to force people to do so. And even more concerning to me is when people are more concerned with a symbol of freedom than actual freedom.


I very much believe that forced patriotism is faux patriotism, and those examples you gave are similar to what I was saying with the two examples I gave. I believe that voluntary patriotism is a wonderful way to show your respect for your flag and your country, but when it's forced, it's eerily reminiscent of those examples in scripture.


O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

I don't want this thread to die before I get the chance to add my observations/feelings, but I don't have the time it deserves right now.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Bryan

I've been lurking, sorry I haven't said much lately, I haven't been well for quite some time.  I feel I can add some substance to this discussion though, well maybe.

Most know I served in the military, 15 years actually as an artilleryman in the US Army.  I served 3 combat tours in Iraq.  I feel a certain way about the anthem protests.

First it could help for some back story.  Colin Kaepernick is the player that started the protests.  He was for some time the starting QB for the 49ers.  In the summer of 2016 lost his job/role to a new comer on the team, a MIZZOU alum named Blaine Gabbert.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ninernoise.com/2016/08/26/colin-kaepernick-lost-49ers-quarterback-competition/amp/

Now what does this have to do with anthem protests?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2660085-colin-kaepernick-sits-during-national-anthem-before-packers-vs-49ers.amp.html

Now you'll notice it was before 08/26/2016 that Kapernick lost his role, but his first game was not until that day.  My opinion on the matter is this.  Kaepernick sat not for the treatment of minorities as he claims, but rather as a means to try and salvage his career.  In other words he played the race card and tried to manipulate the system.

Kaepernick would eventually return to the starting position, but not until October.  Why don't I believe the story about kneeling is a way to protest treatment of minorities?

Well first off, Kapernick had been playing in the NFL for several years and never had an issue with standing for the flag until he suddenly lost his job.

Secondly, maybe this is more open to interpretation but the man at a couple.times during the 2016 season wore some.questionable attire, i.e. a shirt of Fidel Castro, someone who mistreated millions of people and a Malcolm X shirt (actually the same shirt).  Malcolm X as some of you may know that it heavily that white people were devil's and Christianity was a white man's religion.  Hardly someone who wanted to bring people together.

Now look, I have no problem with these athletes trying g to make a point .  Honestly, I don't.  I do have a problem with their approach.  I could never protest at work and keep my job, strikes are a form of protests sure but this is no strike.  And if the players want social change then there are other ways for them to do it because the means by which they are bringing attention to the subject (ie kneeling for the anthem) is alienating most the country.

And more to the point, is there really a problem in America with injustice, or the mistreatment of minorities?  Do white people in this country have a superiority come?

I'll continue that later perhaps.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete


First of all, thank you Bryan for your service to our country. John 15:13 certainly applies to you and anyone who puts their life on the line for the benefit of others.


My thoughts on this topic are that it's unimportant why people are kneeling. For good reasons, stupid reasons or any reason at all, we are granted the rights and the freedom to sit, stand, kneel, or do anything else during the National Anthem.


I also disagree with the argument that because they are at "work", they should not be allowed to kneel. It hurts absolutely no one when someone kneels during the National Anthem. It takes no time away from their job, and it does not affect their job performance. It's just people expressing their Constitutional rights in a way some people find offensive, and your Constitutional rights cannot be superseded by your employer.


The main reason I support the rights of the protesters has nothing at all to do with the reasoning for the protests, but it is because I am against forced patriotism, which is what forcing someone who does not want to stand is doing. I believe very strongly that having true freedom means I support the rights of those I disagree with. When it comes right down to it, someone kneeling during the National Anthem doesn't harm me (or anyone else) in any way, and peaceful protest is one of the cornerstones of our country.


O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Bryan

The @work argument I brought up is weak on surface value sure, but the NFL is really no different from many other privately owned organizations/corporations.  I guess it's up to the individual to decide on that aspect.

I think the real dilemma is the athletes saying they are doing this for one reason when I don't honestly believe it started out as such (see previous post about Kaepernick) and even if it were, the message is lost by how it's brought out.  These athletes could pick many other ways to bring social injustice to light that wouldn't alienate many in the country, but they persist.

Now granted many sit during the anthem while at home or whatever, so there is some argument on that as well.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

jiminpa

On the basic subject of is patriotism idolatry, I think that it can be, just like food or anything else can be an idol. We can see in the Bible that God loves and favors the nation of Israel, but we also see that many Jews in the Bible relied on their nationalist pride in place of actually worshiping God. The Pharisees proudly proclaimed their ancestry from Abraham, and then conspired to murder God in the flesh. In contemporary terms patriotism in balance can lead to the willingness to stand between your fellow countrymen and those who would harm them, and out of balance can lead to isolationism or open hostility toward other nations, and placing one's nation above God.

As far as kneeling for the National Anthem, I don't like it, but I can't say that it should be illegal. I do agree with Bryan that the NFL has a right as an employer to set and enforce a policy about it. I also agree that Colin Kaepernick realized that his career was coming to an end, and did this as a stunt to extend his football career and create celebrity status for himself. It worked. No one would know who he was by now if not for the spectacle he made, "in protest."  This has cost the NFL fans and money and will soon cost the players money, as the trickle down effect works it's way to them.

Closer to home for us Pete, I am absolutely disgusted with what the Steelers and that weasel Tomlin did to Villanueva. You don't compel one who was special forces not to honor the flag. To him it is not only dishonoring the flag, but the constitution and those who have defended it. Then to make him feel like he owed Coach Cliche or anyone else an apology for being the only man of conscience left in the organization is without justification. When Ben Roethlisburger becomes a voice of reason and conscience for you organization you have real problems. Maybe that is just me making an idol of patriotism in this area though.

I honestly doubt the sincerity of the vast majority of the millionaire crybabies on the NFL sidelines making a gesture that has zero potential to resolve anything, but serious potential to incite tension and hatred, and I think that is the real intent in the first place.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Pete

July 31, 2018, 08:37:45 AM #8 Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 07:54:53 PM by Pete
Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
On the basic subject of is patriotism idolatry, I think that it can be, just like food or anything else can be an idol. We can see in the Bible that God loves and favors the nation of Israel, but we also see that many Jews in the Bible relied on their nationalist pride in place of actually worshiping God. The Pharisees proudly proclaimed their ancestry from Abraham, and then conspired to murder God in the flesh. In contemporary terms patriotism in balance can lead to the willingness to stand between your fellow countrymen and those who would harm them, and out of balance can lead to isolationism or open hostility toward other nations, and placing one's nation above God.


Good points, and I generally agree with the above statements.

Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
As far as kneeling for the National Anthem, I don't like it, but I can't say that it should be illegal. I do agree with Bryan that the NFL has a right as an employer to set and enforce a policy about it.


We disagree here. I believe that such a stance could lead to many issues, specifically for us as Christians. Would it be OK for an employer to prohibit an employee from reading their Bible during their break? What about the mere presence of a religious symbol at someone's desk, or someone wearing a cross necklace? Granted, some of these things are already under fire, but there's even more ammunition when we take the stance that the employer can set their own policies superseding our Constitutional rights.

Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
Closer to home for us Pete, I am absolutely disgusted with what the Steelers and that weasel Tomlin did to Villanueva. You don't compel one who was special forces not to honor the flag.


But above you said that you believe employers have the right to sent and enforce a policy about this. If the Steelers, as Mr. Villanueva's employer, decided as a team to stay off the field for the National Anthem, shouldn't he abide by that? And if he doesn't, should there be repercussions? This is why I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that the NFL should be permitted to force people to stand for the National Anthem. That sounds real swell to people who want everyone to stand because they get what they want, but what happens when the tables are turned and the organization decides to set a policy that violates your Constitutional rights? I believe very strongly that to be a true defender of freedom, one must defend everyone's freedoms, especially those that I disagree with.

Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
To him it is not only dishonoring the flag, but the constitution and those who have defended it.


I won't pretend to know what Mr. Villanueva thinks, but from his comments in his public press conference, I'd have to disagree.

While I can't read Mr. Villanueva's mind, I do have the benefit of having had a similar discussion with my brother on Facebook not too long ago. He was responding to another veteran who equated people kneeling during the National Anthem as "a kick in the balls" to those who served. Here is how my brother responded to that statement;

"Actually I served 6yrs active and did receive an honorable discharge. And I served my community another 23yrs as you know. And continue to serve in the private sector. And I didn't do it so you can stand. I did it so you can kneel. I did it to defend the rights that our forefathers intended. If you think that someone's opinion differing from yours, or someone actions that you dont like, is a kick in the balls, then maybe you didn't understand that whole defending the constitution thing."

Now this is just my brother's opinion, but I believe it carries additional significance in this context because I often hear that these protests are offensive to those who have served. But as you can see, my brother served his country, served his community for over 2 decades as a local police officer, and has absolutely no problem with the protests. It is disingenuous to suggest that all those who have served or are serving are against these protests as if it were a direct slap in the face to them. To some it may be, but to just as many, it is not.

Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
Then to make him feel like he owed Coach Cliche or anyone else an apology for being the only man of conscience left in the organization is without justification.


We disagree here also. I believe what happened is those against the protests thought they had found themselves a poster boy for their cause in Mr. Villanueva, so he clarified his actions in the press conference because he didn't like the way things appeared. To believe otherwise is to believe that Mr. Villanueva had the conscience to defy the team but was then "forced" to have a press conference against his will. I ain't buying it. Nothing in Mr. Villanueva's words or actions in his press conference indicated that he was doing anything other than clarifying an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Villanueva's press conference;

"...I take no offense. I don't think veterans at the end of the day take any offense. They actually signed up and fought so that somebody could take a knee and protest peacefully whatever it is that their hearts desire..."

"...What people don't understand is that people who are taking a knee are not saying anything negative about the military. They're not saying anything negative about the flag. They're just trying to protest the fact that there are some injustices in America. And for people to stand up for the national anthem, it doesn't mean that they don't believe in these racial injustices. They're just trying to do the right thing. So we as a team tried to figure it out, obviously butchered it. But I've learned that I don't know what it's like to be from Dade County, I don't know what it's like to be from Lakeland. I can't tell you that I know what my teammates have gone through, so I'm not going to pretend like I have the righteous sort of voice to tell you that you should stand up for the national anthem. It is protected by our constitution and by our country. It's freedom of speech. People felt that based on the comments that the president made, that they had to go out and protect and support Colin Kaepernick. And that's completely in their right, but it's not something we were trying to do with the Steelers. We were trying to be unified, and unfortunately, I made the team look sort of all over the place and not unified..."


That doesn't sound to me like someone who is offended or who wants to force everyone to stand.

For reference, here is the entire transcript of Mr. Villanueva's press conference;
http://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/25288/full-transcript-alejandro-villanueva-on-steelers-pregame-ordeal

Quote from: jiminpa on July 29, 2018, 05:31:46 PM
I honestly doubt the sincerity of the vast majority of the millionaire crybabies on the NFL sidelines making a gesture that has zero potential to resolve anything, but serious potential to incite tension and hatred, and I think that is the real intent in the first place.


So this brings us full circle back to the topic of the thread. Why does it incite such tension and hatred when someone peacefully kneels during the National Anthem? Why do people take such offense to something that doesn't hurt them one bit? Why are there those that want to force everyone to comply? And how close could we be to hearing the shouts of, "Throw them in the lion's den!"

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

Yeah, I may be a little, or a lot, inconsistent on this. I just glanced at your responses, but I'll look a little deeper when I get a chance Pete.

Way to seed a discussion, and it's good to see participating in your own board again too.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

flaglady

"What about the mere presence of a religious symbol at someone's desk"We had a big issue about this one time when I was an OR manager. It was not permitted to wear neck chains of any sort when scrubbed up because it chafed the neck and caused a shower of skin scales to be shed on to the wound. All the English staff committed to the rule but what scuppered it was a Muslim doctor who refused point blank to remove his religious necklace. Nothing I said or did changed things and pretty soon, all the staff were wearing them again too. But there was nothing I could do about it.  :shrug:

Pete

Quote from: flaglady on July 31, 2018, 07:01:31 PM
"What about the mere presence of a religious symbol at someone's desk"We had a big issue about this one time when I was an OR manager. It was not permitted to wear neck chains of any sort when scrubbed up because it chafed the neck and caused a shower of skin scales to be shed on to the wound. All the English staff committed to the rule but what scuppered it was a Muslim doctor who refused point blank to remove his religious necklace. Nothing I said or did changed things and pretty soon, all the staff were wearing them again too. But there was nothing I could do about it.  :shrug:




In that case, it sounds like there was a legitimate reason behind why you could not wear a necklace. But if the precedent is set that an employer can set a policy that would supersede one's constitutional rights for no reason, that's some dangerous ground.


You may remember a few years back when we were discussing the so-called "ground zero mosque" on CF. There were a large number of people who wanted to deny the right to these folks to build a mosque on property that they legally owned because it was too close to ground zero. There were a litany of emotionally charged reasons why many felt they should be denied the right to build, but I supported their right. People said I was being insensitive and uncaring. "What would the families of those killed on 9/11 think?" But the bottom line is we can't deny someone their rights simply because we disagree with them. In fact, I believe quite strongly that you MUST defend the rights of those you disagree with. Otherwise it's just a matter of time before that imposition is turned around on you. What happens when a Christian church wants to build on land they own but someone doesn't want them to? If we've denied the right to build a mosque on legally owned land, what's to stop that from happening to Christians? And then of course you know they'd be shouting "Persecution!", when in reality they would have enabled the whole thing by denying the rights of others.


This is why I strongly believe that the kneeling protests CANNOT be forcefully stopped. To do so is to violate the constitutional rights of those protesting, and while people may find it offensive, that's the price of freedom. I certainly don't want to set a precedent where constitutional rights can be revoked on a whim because someone is offended. I can only magine the potential consequences.


O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

flaglady

Interestingly we are having such a 'discussion' on BoneSmart because a member has an avatar using the logo from Deadpool and a NZ moderator took exception and wanted it deleted. It had also been made into a kind of advert for Glock. I'm easy but she's really in a bate about it. So I chickened out and left it to my US co-admin to deal with. (She's a gunowner!) We discussed it and have decided we can't bar it for advertising or weapons because it's not in the rules!


Pete

Quote from: flaglady on August 02, 2018, 07:10:02 PM
Interestingly we are having such a 'discussion' on BoneSmart because a member has an avatar using the logo from Deadpool and a NZ moderator took exception and wanted it deleted. It had also been made into a kind of advert for Glock. I'm easy but she's really in a bate about it. So I chickened out and left it to my US co-admin to deal with. (She's a gunowner!) We discussed it and have decided we can't bar it for advertising or weapons because it's not in the rules!



See now in a case like this, I agree that the forum can set and enforce policies on allowable content. Personally I don't see any issue with the avatar but if it were deemed inappropriate by the forum, then I would support its removal.

There's a fine line between freedom of speech and rules and regulation. I guess each person has to decide for themselves where that line is.

[emoji63]
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

You made me think Pete. Thank you, and good job.

Sometimes my emotions overload my brain, especially over the last few years.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

flaglady

The decision was that it wasn't a rules violation as gun ownership is not illegal. So his avatar was restored and the issue is now closed!

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