Week 4 9-26-2017

The question of the day has been asked by mainstream media and a number of rabble-rousers.  My question is why do people who disagree with your standpoint, feel that you should not have a right to express your opinion in a civilized lawful manner? Just because you disagree with a person’s opinion, you shouldn’t disagree with their right to express it.

The question “should people stand during the national anthem?” resonates through social media. I have had posts show up in my timeline asking me to condemn the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.   My answer to the question is “it is the tradition.” But kneeling during the national anthem is a valid form of protest, a freedom many millions of men and women have died to protect.

One of the things that make ours a great country is our right to freedom of speech. We are guaranteed by our constitution the right to free speech. This freedom has been interpreted to include civil and legal forms of expression such as sitting or kneeling when the standard convention is to stand. We are a great nation because of this freedom and many others protected by our constitution. So the predominate question “should everyone stand during the national anthem?” can be answered with a simple “Yes.” But everyone has the freedom to kneel, sit, lay down or even jump up and down so long as they do not harm others as a form of protest. If the NFL players want to kneel they have that right. Just because I agree with their right to protest in this fashion does not mean I agree with their position on the subject against which they protest. Only when someone harms others, causes damage to other’s property or commits a crime should their right to protest in that manner be restricted. Kneeling during the national anthem causes no harm to others.

All of that said, the fact that I support someone’s right to protest something in a civil and legal manner does not mean I support their cause.

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