With all the chaos we have been facing in our world of late – hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, threats of nuclear attack, I was shocked to find that what finally put me over the edge was not any of these things…..instead, it is the current “fight” over appropriate posture while singing or choosing to abstain from singing the National Anthem.
Why on earth did Mr. Trump think his opinion on the subject is in any way shape or form relevant to his position of President of the United States? If anything, Mr. Trump should be defending an athlete’s rights to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Both are protected under the first amendment of the US Constitution. Instead of protecting the rights of the Constitution (the primary responsibility of the President), he started a fight……and people joined in.
I had only been tangentially aware of this “conflict” until yesterday morning on my drive to yoga when the local DJ started spouting off his horror over an athlete’s decision to exercise his constitutional rights and proudly stated how he would be participating in the “appropriate observance of singing our National Anthem.”
Then I cried. I cried a lot. This was the straw that finally broke my emotional back. I cannot stand how everything lately seems to be a fight. I personally don’t care if someone sings the National Anthem or not. Their personal reasons for singing or not singing are none of my business….in the same way that I don’t care if people recite the Nicene Creed at mass or not. If you don’t believe in the words, if you don’t believe in the principles, the theology, or whatever…..it is a matter of your personal choice, your personal belief, and I expect you to live and act according to your own truth. I am 100% at peace with this. Your decision to sing or not sing, stand or kneel in no way shape or form alters my ability to have honor and respect for you as a human being, neither does it have anything to do with how I may or may not choose to honor the intention of the National Anthem. Isn’t this what our Constitution calls us to do by establishing our freedom of speech and freedom of religion? If not our Constitution, isn’t this what our religions call us to do (love one another?)?
My greater concern is not over whether we sing the National Anthem or not, it is about how everything seems to be a fight. I am tempted to point a finger of blame at Mr. Trump who often seems to be the one starting the fight, but I cannot. Donald Trump is only a symptom of a greater ill – the ongoing and increasing issue of our societal division. White or of color. Straight or Gay. Male, Female or Other. Republican or Democrat. Rich or Poor. Etc. etc. etc. etc. No matter where we are in the spectrum of any of the above, someone wants to start a fight. For those of us who are sensitive and who are here for the purpose of love, this constant conflict, the constant need for our culture to fight, the constant force-feeding by the media of every possible fight….is exhausting and excruciating.
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. And that way is LOVE. Why is it so hard for the world to make this simple choice?