Sometimes things that don’t really matter are worth our attention because they affect things that do matter. The football fracas is one of them. I’m aware that multitudes might disagree with my assessment, of course, and I will defend to the death their inalienable right to be wrong. Regardless, my contention is that football really doesn’t matter. By that, I mean that the personal lives of the vast majority of people in this country remain unaffected by anything that ever happens on any football field anywhere. Thus, as it applies to almost every significant aspect of the lives of almost every American, football is categorically irrelevant.
Any Real Winners or Losers?
Outside of the relative few making a living from some aspect of the sport, no one’s life is significantly enhanced or improved by the outcome of any game. Conversely, no one’s life is wrecked or their potential for future success torpedoed because some player, coach, or team turned in a lousy performance in a football game.
I would prefer not to add to the mountainous volume of hype and hoopla being devoted to this issue of sports and the National Anthem, but it’s too pervasive an issue to just ignore. Besides, with my tag-line promoting the idea of “right side up” thinking an “upside down” world, like it or not, a couple of things compel me to weigh in. The first is a comment made by the Apostle Paul.
There’s Another Game Going On ~
Paul mentioned the importance of not being “ignorant” of Satan’s “devices” (II Cor. 2:11), and this football issue is an exhibition of one of the devil’s favorite strategies. He delights to take something we already feel strongly about and twist its meaning to alter the focus of our attention so that our natural passion about it is used to promote his agenda and support his objectives. To the degree that he can manipulate our mental and emotional reactions, he can control the behaviors that express them, and that’s the objective in this issue. As always, his primary tool is deception, and we find it all over this football fracas. For instance:
- The declared motivation for the “protests” illustrates the disingenuous quality underlying this entire melodramatic fiasco. It was scripted and choreographed by activist groups who never wore a football uniform and is as phony as the inflammatory faux outrage accompanying it.
- The “oppression” as defined and claimed by the protesters is a term largely manufactured by propagandists and weaponized to oppose and attack the traditional Judeo-Christian values foundational to this nation and that have supported its growth and defense throughout its history.
- The stated objectives are fraudulent. This effort has nothing to do with “unity”—quite the opposite. Terms like “social justice” and “equality” are thrown around at a level akin to the word “amazing” at a Hollywood film debut, and none of them really mean anything akin to their actual definition. This “movement” is nothing more than an inflammatory mechanism by which to divide people along racial and political lines and to stimulate anti-American sentiment. It is not designed to resolve any situation associated with whatever nebulous goals might be insinuated by the rhetoric.
“Oppression” in Need of Outrage ~
Since the kind of “oppression” that is really worthy of outrage is missing in the football free-for-all, let me suggest a few:
- There’s outrage-worthy oppression imposed on our kids by godless academicians and university administrators who deny them not only freedom of thought and the right to speak and be heard, but even the right to openly believe concepts and ideas that the dictatorial leftists on campus don’t approve.
- How about some outrage against the relentless and oppressive silencing of conservative thought and opinion in the major public distributors of news and information in this country?
- Maybe some outrage is warranted against the endless and oppressive promotion of every form of sexual deviance imaginable through virtually every form of entertainment and “artistic” expression known to man and the open, hateful mockery of those who choose to live by a different set of standards.
- Those examples don’t cost lives directly, but where’s the outrage against the lethal oppression suffered by thousands of innocent, defenseless babies every day whose safe haven is invaded with murderous intent by abortionist “doctors” who kill for money?
God Weighs In ~
Solomon, the wisest man God ever allowed on the earth other than Jesus Christ said this: “There is a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl. 7b). This is one of those times.
- A time to keep silence—Let’s keep our TVs silent when football games come on, and turn off our devices when the left-wing media wants to tell us that the Anthem isn’t important, that the Constitution is outdated, that God is no longer welcome in public discourse, and that the ideals America was built on aren’t worth standing for anymore. Silence them for a change.
- A time to speak—It’s time to speak loudly and often and through every medium available that we will not support the institutions and agencies that are undermining this nation’s mental, spiritual, ethical, and moral foundations. It’s time to speak with our wallets and let our money carry a message to those whose ears will not receive our words.
Daniel might have added another couplet to Solomon’s list: “There’s a time to stand and a time to kneel.”
- A time to stand—In chapter 3 of Daniel’s prophecy, a huge statue had been built honoring King Nebuchadnezzar. He commanded that when the orchestra played at the statue’s unveiling, everyone was to bow or kneel in a worshipful posture. In this case, it was a time to stand, because kneeling would symbolize honoring a political position more than God. Daniel’s colleagues stood while the music played and were sentenced to death because of it.
- A time to kneel—Later, another king enacted another law forbidding anyone to kneel and worship any deity or authority other than the king. It was a time to kneel, because standing symbolized agreement that certain political policies had authority over things that God approved. Daniel assumed the forbidden posture of worship before God as he had always done and was condemned to death for it.
Here’s the thing. Kneeling is wrong when it’s done at a time when it symbolizes support for attitudes, policies, and practices that oppose what God approves. The same is true of standing. If either posture symbolizes support for ideas and behaviors that God has rejected, then it’s time to do the opposite. It isn’t whether we stand or kneel, but when and why that matters.
© 2017 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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