Colin Kaepernick engaged in a non-violent protest designed to draw attention to injustice towards black Americans. He has been criticized by many and called unpatriotic. Let's explore that a bit, shall we?
Recently, I've spent time thinking about what would have happened in the 1960s if people had ignored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and listened to more militant voices.
America would almost certainly have descended into another civil war.
I am very worried that we are moving towards learning the reality of that "what it" question today.
I don't know who came up with the phrase, "sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me", but that person was at best gravely mistaken and at worst delusional.
Words are perhaps the most powerful thing in our world. I find support for this idea in the scriptures:
The creation narrative of Genesis involves God speaking to give purpose to all he has created.
John opens his Gospel by drawing a direct parallel between God and the Word of God.
Words draw their power from the fact they come from the essence of who we are.
When I say, "I love you" or "I hate you" or "I forgive you", I'm revealing the very core of my being - things that exist far deeper than the level of my intellect. It's conveying a part of who I am.
Matthew at one point records Jesus explaining to a crowd who believed that ritual eating laws led to holiness, "It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth." (Matthew 15:11)
Sticks and stones indeed...words are far more like weapons of mass destruction - or at least they can be.
In the last couple of years, conversations about race in America have gotten louder and more inflamed than they have ever been since my adulthood (I was 14 when the LA riots happened in the aftermath of the LAPD-Rodney King incident).
From Trayvon to Ferguson to Eric Garner to Freddie Gray, the conversation has been growing, especially on social media.
Hoodies. Hands up, don't shoot. I can't breathe. Black Lives Matter.
As a white man living in a suburb, what am I supposed to do with all this? Anyone who isn't white may be disheartened to hear this, but It would be pretty easy for me to ignore all this.