Prior to the events in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11th 2001, the relationship between sporting events and the playing of National Anthems had become a mundane ritual. If you take away the Olympics, playoffs and the Super Bowl, anthems were rarely ever televised. Some professional sports even played anthems while players were still in the locker room. However, post 9/11 the singing of Francis Scott Key’s song united this nation for a minute or so daily. I was in Philadelphia for the first National Football League Monday Night Football game following this terrorist attack. When a flag the shape of the United States was displayed across the entire field, the crowd went crazy, setting the stage for an emotional national anthem. Those professional athletes who have chosen to kneel or sit have forgotten what the national anthem represents. As more begin similar displays as a protest, the future of America’s national anthem is in jeopardy.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! – Psalm 105:2
As a former teacher, I understand pressure to remove the national anthem at professional sporting events isn’t the end but the beginning of an attempt to erase any trace of God from American history. During homeroom or over a loud speaker, public schools read a daily passage or verse from the Bible up to the early 1960’s. The reading communicated a morale, trait or value teachers hoped to instill within their students. When a few atheists were offended, a law suit followed that removed the Bible permanently from public education. When schools obliged others were upset about students and teachers praying for each other. This too was banned, stripping God’s influence from the classroom. Looking back at history, schools have never been the same as God has removed his own blessing from those who have not made room for Him. Then, there was the 10 commandments, “surely we can’t allow human beings to read and see these rigid rules.” Today, religious leaders are arrested if 10 commandment statues aren’t removed from all court buildings. Finally, there is the pledge of allegiance which has been made optional for children or simply discarded all together. If the national anthem is silenced, there’s always something else atheists, leftists and progressives will deem offensive.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted, Isaiah 49:13.
I hope the owners of professional sports teams don’t cave to public pressure like weak minded republicans more interested in gaining approval from the press rather than upholding American values. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to drain the swamp. When this promise was made, I don’t think Trump realized how deep and dangerous this resistance would be. While the media continues to label the Trump presidency as the worst ever, the horizon appears to be void of any leaders willing to stand up for the national anthem. Sure, there may be some closet defenders, afraid to vocalize their opinions. Yet, America appears to be on the verge of a social war between the past and the present. As someone who grew up in a military family, respect was impressed upon me. Unfortunately, some where along the way respect for God and country has slowly faded away. In view of this decay, may God raise someone up to carry the torch for the National Anthem so that this treasured tradition does not disappear like those now forgotten. Stand up and sing, thanking God for all the Lord has done for this land called America.
by Jay Mankus