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Salutes And Slogans: The Reckless Folly Of Mandatory Patriotism

Every few years, it seems, the issue of forced patriotism rears its ugly head in United States. Most recently, the issue surfaced again after a number of professional football players decided to “take a knee” rather than stand during the national anthem.

The players wanted to make a statement about racial injustice in America. They weren’t protesting the anthem for religious reasons, but an incident from 1940 during which a mandatory patriotic exercise was opposed on the grounds of religion is instructive.

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Pat Robertson Unleashes A Raft Of Thoughtless Comments

Americans were horrified by the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. It’s still unclear what motivated Stephen Paddock to unleash such carnage, and that’s leading some people to engage in speculation.

Some ideas we can easily discount. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, has blamed the incident on a lack of respect for President Donald Trump, a thoughtless move that does little more than shift the blame away from the killer.

Forced Patriotism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.

As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.  

Forced Piety Mixed With Nationalism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Notorious R.B.G.) is nearly perfect in my feminist book of idols, but here and there, everybody will make problematic comments, including her.

In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo!, released Monday, Ginsburg dubbed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's choice to kneel and sometimes sit down during the National Anthem prior to games as “dumb and disrespectful.”