Kneeling at the beautiful sound of our National Anthem is not a group of people protesting our military. The NFL has been blasted and their PR pros are trying to deflect that assertion, largely due to the loss of revenue and viewers. Yes, money still rules and policies will be put in place that will eventually fine players for that type of demonstration. Now swimmers on the National swim team are taking a knee and young kids are following suit.
Listen, I don't have an issue with any of it, as a veteran who served proudly in the USAF. I served like millions of other veterans so that the rights afforded Americans could always be available.
I do have an issue with what they are protesting, because for over 25 years I've served in law enforcement, and there simply aren't cops in America seeking out black men to arrest them, beat them or shoot them due to the color of their skin. The FBI statistics do not support that claim. I have worked with all races on the force and not one person I've ever worked with did anything like what the protestors claim to any citizen because of a person's race.
The cause that should be taken up by everyone is the rampant gang and black-on-black crime all across the US. Google those stats and tell me where the problem really is.
So, let them protest law enforcement while taking the knee, and have major companies like Ford support them. I was one who served so that they could have the right to protest. I have the right never to purchase a Ford or spend my money with any of the companies that support their belief that law enforcement is the problem.
Rod Costello, Phenix City
The NFL consists of 32 teams with a roster of 53, totaling 1,706 players. To date we have not seen a cohesive or a collective body of these players stating their disputations (the action in oral defense of a thesis) to justify their behavior during the National Anthem. They talk of "equality" and "social justice" without defining these terms; they fail to establish a methodology or procedure to approach a solution.
I would offer a starting point by example. In 1517, 500 years ago, Martin Luther, an Augustinian Monk and professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, posted 95 theses on the power of indulgences along with a list of propositions, "arranging a disputation, a standard medieval form of academic discussion that would subject his theses to helpful critical debate so that he could clarify his own position." He forwarded his theses to his archbishop in a letter dated October 31, 1517, the date that signifies the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Granted, other reformers were responsible for the reformation -- Philip Melanchthon, a German Lutheran reformer, the Swiss Preacher Ulrich Zwingle and the French Theologian John Calvin. Within five years a schism in the Catholic Church followed. In 1529 the Holy Roman Emperor referred to these dissidents as "protestantes" -today's Protestants.
Although half a millennium post his 95 theses, Luther's challenge changed the religious landscape to this day. Is it possible for players of the NFL to present their "theses" on "equality and "social justice" thus arranging a disputation that will clarify their position and obtain for them and all Americans a lasting solution?
Joseph Liss, Columbus
Words of wisdom
It was a great delight reading the opinion of Ms. Staples. She spoke of people and how they relate to prayer ... some sincere and some not so sincere, better known as "ceiling prayers," meaning they never reached God.
I did not agree with her on gun control, I rather think we need "people" control. But, her letter was right on in details of just how people are affected by prayer.
There are people who only brag about their prayer life, but there are many Christians who pray earnestly … and receive answers from God. It is true, we don't always get the answer we expected, as God still knows our needs. Many times the answer is even greater than the request. There are also times when we were blessed by NOT getting the request granted. There is an old saying, "Be careful what you pray for, you might get it."
Her quote from 2nd Chronicles 7:14 states, in part, "If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray … I will heal their lands." God proved that already when Israel was backslidden and He did just that.
The greatest part of her opinion was that of Jesus Christ when she stated that He was not only there in time of crisis but always. She is absolutely correct.
Political correctness often gets in the way of truth. We need to pray for this country, and its leaders. Yes, even President Trump. He is a man and can make mistakes, but God doesn't make mistakes. His intervention in the lives of the leadership of this country can heal this land of hate, prejudice and discontent.
Dwain Maxwell, Columbus