Folks, countrymen and women, fellow Americans: It’s time for us all to stand.

It’s time to stand for what’s right. What’s righteous. What really matters. What makes us strong and united. What made us who we were – and who we still want to be.

Of course, every American needs to stand for our national anthem, our hallowed flag and our Pledge of Allegiance. From our earliest days, whether in peace or times of war, all of us stood proudly and voiced our devotion to all that was good about our country, and to those elegant symbols of what God had created and enabled us to enjoy.

It’s not a coincidence that when we all did that together, despite whatever differences we had otherwise, we were a strong, prosperous and invincible nation. And the absolute envy of the world.

And it’s not a coincidence that as we have allowed those symbols to be desecrated and dishonored – for various reasons and by various citizens with political chips on their shoulders – we have become increasingly divided and deserving of dishonor nationally.

The awful, obvious irony is that audacious protests about “racial inequality” have themselves incited more anger and increased racial division!

How did this happen?

A modestly talented football player, Colin Kaepernick, then of the San Francisco team, decided that he was unhappy with what he perceived as police brutality in several reported incidents – and he decided to display his displeasure and concern by refusing to stand with his teammates and thousands of fans in the stadium as everybody else saluted the flag and the anthem was played. He ostentatiously “took a knee.”

He chose to dishonor our mutual symbols in this flagrant display, as if the flag and anthem were somehow related to the alleged police actions! He seemed to think that somehow this was going to make a difference, and bring about a change.

It did. It certainly did.

While a great hue and cry arose all over the nation, and millions tried to figure out why he thought he was doing this, it quickly became known that this kneeling figure had a contract by which he would receive over $100 million to play this schoolyard game, and that he felt obligated to express his displeasure with America because the nation hadn’t cured all our lingering racial divisions to his satisfaction

Instead of perhaps making a public pledge to dedicate at least $50 million of his pay to worthy causes like inner-city programs, police and teen gang communications, anti-poverty programs, family education and support programs addressing the millions of households with no fathers present – he chose to deny any respect for the flag and anthem that were a vital part of the society that provided his incredible privileges. There was no logical connection between our symbols and his concerns, but he presented himself as a brave soldier making a bold (and perverted) “patriotic” gesture.

And then, in rapid succession, he was joined on his disrespectful knee by a few, then over 200 other NFL players (themselves highly paid and privileged) and even several owners – including a worldwide “kneeling” in London, in which all stood for “God Save the Queen” but snubbed our own anthem!

The liberal media avidly, almost gleefully, reported all this for the world to marvel over. Here in the U.S., high school and even Little League kids were encouraged or allowed by their coaches to emulate their NFL role models and “take a knee” – insulting our flag and anthem, while scarcely understanding why!

When the president wisely suggested, not demanded, that NFL coaches “fire” their disrespectful players, Commissioner Goodell responded defiantly, obviously worried the League might lose the profitable cooperation of many of its players.

He evidently hoped nobody would look up the NFL’s own rules, in force for many years. On pages A62-63 in the rulebook we read:

“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sidelines for the National Anthem.

“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition.

It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choices for violation of the above, including first offenses.”

So, President Trump was out of line “suggesting” what the NFL’s own rules demanded? He was roundly accused of “politicizing” football – when it was Kaepernick who did exactly that, and his sympathizing fellows who did, as well!

LeBron James actually called his president “a bum” and asserting Trump was “trying to divide the nation”! LeBron, of all wealthy athletes, should know better.

Tim Tebow “took a knee” when he scored a touchdown – thanking God for his skills and success. He was ridiculed and eventually let go by his embarrassed employers. Kaepernick “took a knee,” in effect giving our flag and anthem his finger. And though no NFL team has wanted him since, his pompous, misguided example has continued, like renegade cancer cells in what was a prosperous, healthy body.

In the King James Bible, Ecclesiastes 10:2, we read, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right; the heart of the fool to the left.”

WISE UP, AMERICA! LET’S ALL STAND FOR WHAT’S RIGHT … AGAIN!

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