Everything we do is an attempt to live with more freedom. Every thought we have, every impulse, is based on an idea that through this thought or deed we may experience more freedoms in our daily life; more opportunities to choose what we want to do with our time and money.
Whether it’s through cultural, social, and/or economical conforming or reforming, the desire for freedom is at the core of our being.
It’s the driving force of every major social and political movement.
The Revolutionary war was fought for freedom from Britain.
The North fought the Civil War to free slaves. The South fought the Civil War for their ‘freedom’ to have salves.
World War 2 started because of a perceived lack of freedoms in Germany resulting in threatening the freedom of the world.
The Civil Rights movement was a fight for equal freedoms. Those who fought against Civil Rights thought that equal rights would infringe on their freedoms.
Every position in each fight has or had moral reasons for them. Depending on your perspective you could probably make compelling arguments morally and situationally for your position on national anthem protests, #___________LivesMatter, etc.
The problem arises from our different moral and situational perspectives.
If a family member of yours served and possibly died in military service, the flag stands for their sacrifice. Therefore, these national anthem protests seem like a personal attack on your family and friends.
If you have been impacted by police brutality, racial profiling, and racial slurs, then it feels like the National Anthem stands for freedoms that you are not experiencing. Therefore, the national anthem protests become more of an expression of your individual and/or community pain.
Very few people are willing to put down their own personal perspective to see other perspectives, for fear that other people will not do the same for them.
That is the definition of selfishness. Our nation is full of people who are concerned with themselves only.
If we would put down the hurtful words and victim attitudes maybe we could become a nation that fixes injustices rather than fight for a self-serving ‘justice’ that only benefits certain people.
I’m thankful for the military and the veterans who have served to fight for our freedom. I’m also hurt by the lack of understanding for our black and brown brothers and sisters.
Jesus Christ experienced unjust treatment, racial discrimination by Romans, and the loss of relatives and neighbors to military conflict via the Roman Empire.
But he didn’t fight for His personal rights.
People slandered him, spat in His face, beat him, whipped him and hung him on the cross. He didn’t call his accusers and crucifiers bigots and label them as ignorant. What He said was, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Jesus died to save his accusers and his crucifiers. And just like the people who were accusing, beating, and murdering Jesus, we don’t know what we are doing either. We are unjustly hurting people with our words and actions.
Are we willing to lay down our own perspective of freedom and reach across the battle field to embrace and understand the other perspectives?
Not only did Jesus not fight for His personal rights, he embraced the Samaritans (John 4:7-26) who were even lower than the Jewish ethnicity, and He loved the Roman soldiers (Matthew 8:5-13). We too can embrace racial minorities and veterans.
The question is, why don’t we love and seek the wellbeing of others above ourselves?