This whole story with Colin Kaepernick reminds me of a personal story. Are kids still required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day in public school? Like most people reading this, the pledge was a daily ritual for me in homeroom each morning.
In high school, I became uncomfortable having to recite it because of the “under god” line. I didn’t believe in god and it bothered me that I had to say something that I didn’t believe in every day. I still stood up but would not say the words. Eventually, my homeroom teacher noticed that I wasn’t saying the pledge and yelled at me and told me I had to say it. I didn’t argue with him or try to explain my objections. You think being a non-believer is “out there” now? It was really frowned upon by society thirty years ago.
I decided that I would start saying the pledge again but not the words, “under god”. No one was going to make me say that. My homeroom teacher would look at me to make sure I was reciting the pledge but never noticed my omission every day. Isn’t it funny how we can take little gestures like saying a few words or not standing for the anthem, and make them seem like they are so important? Again, I would not do what Kaepernick is doing. It makes me personally uncomfortable. It also takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what he is doing on a national stage and to subject himself to the level of abuse he is taking. My bottom line on this is that it’s just not that big of a deal to me. I often hear from people that we live in a society where everyone is always offended by this or that. Why choose to be offended by this? It’s just not that big of a deal. We have the right to express ourselves and people are not always going to agree with us, and that’s okay.