One would have thought that for a sitting president to pick a fight with the NFL would be political suicide, such a high place does that institution (the NFL, not the presidency) hold in the U.S., and to do it in such a vulgar way, by referring to those players that chose to kneel at the playing of their national anthem in protest of systemic racism, by referring to them as SOB’s, is truly unprecedented and un-presidential. The president’s recent remarks continue along his chosen path of a politics of division, setting not only white Americans against black, but also pitting patriot ones against unpatriotic ones, albeit by defining patriotism in terms that would render those in disagreement with him, the president (and his base), to the latter camp.
And if you’re asking yourself by now what any of this has to do with your Christian faith, or your church, let us remind ourselves that we do not worship false idols. Sure, as Canadians we love our country as much as our neighbours to the south love theirs, although usually in a quieter manner. But shouldn’t one of the reasons we love our countries, both north and south of the 48th be because they are places where all citizens are free to express their views. Moreover, is it not incumbent upon a free countries citizenry to peacefully protest injustices even, neigh especially, when perpetrated by the state? Our Christian faith is founded on two closely related principles, love your neighbour as yourself and love God. We are all broken, we are all works in progress. The same goes for our countries. Thanks be to God to those amongst us who care enough about their neighbours to stand up for the rights of others.
And please, keep Mr. Trump in your prayers, he needs them very badly.