Friday, June 19, 2020

#StandAndPray - Elevate Your Concerns for Justice

If these words have wisdom and insight, I obtained them from God.  If they are the selfish ramblings of a human being, they come from me.

Let us first examine the contrasting images.  The first image.  The image of athletes of all ages and in various sports taking a knee in protest against social injustices.  Then there is the second image.  The horrific image of the Minneapolis police officer taking a knee on the neck of George Floyd resulting in Mr. Floyd’s death. 

First, what is the meaning of taking a knee?  In football it is an action taken by the quarterback to run out the clock.  Taking a knee is supposed to force the opposing team to take a timeout, if they have any left, for them to stop the clock.  Is that all we want as we react to social injustices?  Yes, taking a knee does cause a life timeout for reflection.  But then the life clock restarts and the same injustices continue.  Taking a knee is also considered to be an act of victory.  Football players also take a knee when another player is injured.  It is a respectful way to acknowledge concern for the player’s health and well-being.  Respect, humility, and allegiance have also been tied to the act of taking a knee.
Some have taken the action of taking a knee as being disrespectful to the symbol of the nation’s flag.  Or that it is disrespectful to those who have given their lives to support the symbols and idealistic meaning the flag is supposed to have.  The message and intent of taking a knee was hijacked.  The video of George Floyd being murdered by a knee to the neck was a powerful message of evil.  What evil can do was visualized via video for over 8 minutes.  It displayed how the police system allowed a policeman and his cohorts to kill a man.  It was simply evilness in action.  An unlawful action by the police where if a private citizen had intervened would have likely resulted in the prosecution of any person(s) who might have saved Mr. Floyd’s life.

Colin Kaepernick’s act of taking a knee during the national anthem was a silent protest.  It was a protest against the social conditions where black men and women were being killed by the police, or private citizens when the circumstances did not warrant deadly action.  Colin was advised to take a knee by a former veteran after first having remained seated during the playing of the national anthem.  That action of sitting was also seen as disrespectful.
If you do happen to go to a sports event at any level; grade school, high school, college, or professional level, where the national anthem is played, just join hands with your partner/family/friends and stand and pray during the national anthem.  #StandAndPray.  It’s time to elevate our concerns to a higher source rather than lowering our concerns to ground level. 

During those moments when the symbolic national anthems are played before sporting events, let’s not kneel to protest, or stand simply to support a symbol.  Let’s stand, join hands if you desire, but let’s stand and pray.  #StandAndPray.  Pray for action against the social injustices in these United States and in the world.  Pray for those who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, or other diseases.  Pray for those just grieving over the natural cause death of loved ones.  Simply just #StandAndPray for whatever is on your mind.  It is your moment of quiet and clarity before you move into a full “sports fan” mode.  It doesn’t matter what religious faith you are.  Pray in the manner that reflects your faith.  Standing and Praying is not a mandatory act.  It is voluntary.  If you just want to stand and sing the national anthem with your hand over your heart, do so.  But, also respect the person next to you who has chosen to #StandAndPray.