A recent letter writer told us that, while in the USAF, he would have “given my life to guarantee their ability to do so,” meaning the football players disrespecting our flag and our anthem. I am a bit reluctant to invoke my time in the USAF because, in my opinion, it adds nothing to the validity of my claims. Notwithstanding that, and even though I consider the writer’s disregard for his life a bit extravagant for the defense of such a narrow and constitutionally questionable belief, I would have put my life in danger to defend our nation and our constitution, including The First Amendment. That is what we were sworn to do.
Somewhat more troubling is that the writer’s claim causes me to wonder if his memory isn’t a bit faulty about exactly what The First Amendment actually says. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….” is the part of The First Amendment that contains the freedom-of-speech clause. I would be interested to know how the writer gets from “Congress shall make no law…” to employers have no right to prescribe the behavior of their employees while they are on the job.
While I am strongly committed to freedom of speech regardless of how much I disagree with the character and content of the message, I am not prepared to defend what people want our founding documents to say rather than what they actually say. I would recommend that readers actually read The First Amendment—it’s only one short paragraph--before making claims about whom it puts constraints on and what it actually guarantees.
Respect, fairness, decency, and even honesty are out the window. The NFL and its kneelers have lured the fans into paying big-time for tickets and rearranging their schedules to watch TV with the expectation of enjoying a football game. Then they hurl insults in the faces of those fans who respect their country, its flag, and the national anthem.
Taxpayers have paid dearly for the incredibly expensive stadiums that are subsidies to the owners, partly on the assumption that football brings us together where we can forget our differences for a short while and enjoy an activity of common interest. But the NFL and the kneelers have given the finger to those fans who honor the symbols that represent their country.
I am a strong advocate of free speech, even supporting the right for protesters to parrot whatever prefabricated drivel the grievance industry has inculcated into them. But, for me, common decency rules out insults to symbols of a country that so many have given their lives to defend against Nazi tyranny and communist oppression.
In view of the hijacking of sports by the grievance industry, I propose that the flag and the national anthem no longer be a part of any sports activity, even sports for children. One of the first actions of tyrants is to manipulate and brainwash children. And the manipulators are already at work having eight graders kneel in support of the agendas of the manipulators.
I will continue to watch football because I’m not going to let a group of protestors control my life. But I will not watch the opening ceremony, and I will not watch the half-time ceremony where announcers and performers are often parroting the agendas of the NFL and the kneelers. Furthermore, the game will never again be the same for me. Except for a very few, identification with individual players will be a thing of the past for me. They’ll now be merely a group of bodies going through interestingly complex motions and often displaying remarkable skills. But in the background of my mind will be the realization that they regularly taunt me for my respect to my country and ridicule me for my patriotism. It’s likely that some even think I’m a sucker for having served my country.
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