So Now We’re Threatening People For Invoking Their Constitutional Right To Protest The National Anthem?

What happened to pastors in this country? What happened to Americans knowing and understanding words and rights written into the Constitution? What happened to respect of ones’ individual right to live and see the world as they do? Most important, what happened to human decency?

Since 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in protest of police brutality in this country, human decency has fallen to the way side. More frustrating, racists continue to show their self-given privilege that they have ownership of black bodies, expression, and patriotism.

Here’s the latest pitiful hiccup to respecting someone’s constitutional right to refuse to report to another’s definition of patriotism.

Erin Edgemon of says that at a McKenzie High School football game on Friday night, Pastor Allen Joyner stated that anyone who didn’t stand for the national anthem should be shot.

“If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,” the announcer said at the game versus Houston County High School, according to Facebook poster Denise Crowley-Whitfield.

Reportedly, the crowd cheered in agreement and Crowley-Whitfield’s Facebook post was “shared more than 4,700 times and received more than 50 comments, all positive, before she deleted her Facebook account on Saturday afternoon,” Edgemon reports. The Sweet Home Baptist Church is standing by their pastor.

The Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan denounced the action of Pastor Joyner.

“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school,” Amy Bryan wrote in an email. “Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board.”

Give me a second while I roll my eyes and sigh at the offensive comment made by Pastor Joyner, who’s supposed to be a pillar of the community and anti-violent. Instead, because someone doesn’t want to stand for the national anthem — a song which I highly doubt Joyner knows the racist history of it — deems it acceptable to condemn someone’s life because they refuse to comply with someone else’s command.

Here’s a list of issues I have with Pastor Joyner and other dissenters to the latest protest against police brutality.

  1. Why do people get upset because some don’t see life in the same purview as them?
  2. Why do people think it’s okay to threaten someone because they don’t agree with you or won’t comply to your any-day given command?
  3. Why do you care who stands or not when the anthem is played?

First and foremost, the national anthem, officially known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” only came into being to the fabric of our country after President Woodrow Wilson liked the song after hearing his daughter sing it. Secondly, the song was written by a racist and proslavery advocate, Francis Scott Key, in 1814. So, excuse me while I throw-up in my mouth to the self-declared arbiters of patriotism who oddly find themselves siding with white nationalism and authoritarian China, Russia, and North Korea. Or maybe they’re acutely aware that they were siding with white nationalism and just don’t care. Let’s hope for our democracy that I’m wrong on this one.

That said, people, like Pastor Joyner, who deem themselves to be servants of God, are the root of the problem of systematic racism. Anyone that’s upset that someone doesn’t want to stand for a song, a song (again) written by a racist, is fooling themselves about what patriotism means. Patriotism and racism do not belong on the same page — much less, doesn’t go hand-in-hand — and shame on anyone that tries to intertwine the two. If your worldview is to kill a dissenter, it’s not the dissenter that is the problem, it’s you, the aggravated.

Pastor Joyner, time to confess your sin and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.

[Photo by Daniel Brenner/Getty Images]