Beyond the Theatrics of the NFL
In most countries, the people are united by their particular tribe. But in America, the constituency of many varied tribes has long been incidental to something much greater... a Great Cause for all humanity: Out of many... One. So, why is national loyalty to principle important in America? Simply put, it is all we have! This is why our national creed and its symbols are absolutely essential for maintaining our truly great nation. Many have long thought that such a nation could not survive the strains of tribalism that have always persisted in this world. I believe such doubt exists only because the principles involved are not fully understood.
When Thomas Jefferson penned, "All men are Created equal," I think he really believed it. After all, he risked everything to write it down. Men of many varied tribes believed in the principles of this new nation during the Revolutionary War... they gave their lives for it. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass became united as friends in the preservation of these sacred ideals. Teenagers ran into gunfire on the beaches of Normandy because they believed in something greater than themselves. Dr. Martin Luther King brought all Americans to remembrance of these everlasting truths... so that all men of all tribes could gather together at the table of brotherhood. When an outside tribe attacked us on 9/11, Americans remembered who we were. There were no tribes here, only Americans... some willing to offer their lives to protect this blessed land and its principles. When American soldiers give their lives for this country, their loved ones are given an American flag, as a pure and tangible expression of appreciation for such precious sacrifices upon the altar of America's Great Cause.
And yet, we wake up today and we're told that our national symbols do not need to be respected... by millionaire football players, billionaire owners, and a chorus of supporting voices in the media, the greater culture, and even in the U.S. Congress. Yes, all of this is 100% legal. However, there is a difference between not being in prison and being virtuous. There is a difference between what is legal and what is respectful. No sane person ever thought America was perfect... after all, it's made up of flawed human beings. By all means, may everyone strive to make America a more perfect Union! But we must remember, it is a Union based solely upon these Founding Principles... ideas that inspire our minds and move our hearts to individual greatness as we serve these higher purposes. In the challenges that presently confront us... even vex us... let us all return to "the good fight" that leads to enduring victory. Upon these still "self-evident truths," each of us can live out the Great American Dream that waits for us.
A more perfect Union is not created by insulting, even demeaning, our fellow citizens. Tangible good will never be achieved by disrespecting centuries of sacrifice that gave us all this "land of the free and home of the brave." Likewise, merely venting anger by calling people names only fuels discord; such shortsightedness undermines all good intentions. "An enlightened citizenry" creates vibrant communities and a strong, unified nation by building our collective house upon a solid foundation. Look, we have this bedrock in hand... the original documents are in the National Archives Museum! Consider, these Founding Principles have been given to us at great price... visit Arlington National Cemetery if you have any doubts.
Today, it is time to rise... even like the brave warriors who have gone before us. We are Americans! We unite to be something most unique in the world: "One Nation... under God... Indivisible... with Liberty and Justice for All!" Rather than using our national symbols and rituals as weapons, can we instead honor what they mean... what they can accomplish in a righteous cause... what they've always done in the lives of so many? It is not an obligation to say the Pledge of Allegiance, to sing our National Anthem, and to celebrate our Founding Principles. Rather, it is a magnificent blessing to have the opportunity to participate in America's Great Cause... to be Light in a very dark world... and to start again each and every day in the building of that long-envisioned hope and promise... a shining City on a Hill!