Recently, sports news has been filled with division. Rather than the latest controversy over the NFL rule book or the furthest home run of the week, an American past time has become divided over whether or not to stand for the national anthem of the United States of America. Where the beginning of a sports game has been revered as one of the most patriotic experiences an American can have, it is now a time to debate. And the lack of an authoritative voice on either side of the aisle has allowed that debate to run more than its course, to spiral out of control.
We as Americans must make a decision. This issue concerns more than a flag. It concerns the well-being of an entire nation. This nation has been able to unite behind that flag, but now even the message of the star spangled banner is marred by the sour taste of racism and the meaningless act of violent protest. The problem is that America is more concerned with who is right than what is right. We are ignoring the fact that while many support abortion they also support the idea of one life mattering over the other. Life is sacred, no matter what you look like or where you are from.
The flag is more than a symbol. It is a message. Thousands of men and women have died on behalf of the people that that flag represents, and continue to do so every day. It is the same flag that is attached to the shoulder sleeves of our military as they march into war torn areas to assist people who cannot assist themselves. Making a statement should not have a negative impact on the idea of freedom that the flag of the United States represents.
Division creates weakness. It was Abraham Lincoln who, in quoting the Bible, once said that “house divided against itself cannot stand.” I am reminded by another verse in the Bible that was so often thrown out there during the election, but applies even more so now:
“…and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14