Posted by Jeff Iorg on with 1 Comments

Baptists are dissenters. We have been marching, protesting, and boycotting for centuries. Our forefathers were called radical reformers – since we insisted the Reformers (Luther, Calvin, and their peers) did not go far enough. Reforming the Church was not enough. We wanted a reclamation of biblical theology, particularly a robust ecclesiology. So, being prickly is part of my spiritual DNA. I have even carried a protest sign or two in my time, and been the object of picketers more than once.

That’s why modern protesters don’t really bother me. Non-violent protests are a valid way to express an opinion, make a point, or otherwise stir the political pot. When Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, and persuaded other athletes to follow his lead, it really didn’t offend or inspire me. It was just another protest, the latest in a never-ending cycle of such activity in a free society. But the recent Nike ad in which Kaepernick claims his protests have involved “sacrificing everything” is different. It bothers me because it reflects a shallow, pampered opinion about what constitutes sacrifice.

I met Adam Plumendore when he played tee-ball with my oldest son. Our families shared many happy times together in various sports and school activities over the years. He was the left tackle, protecting my quarterback son’s blindside, for two years in high school. Adam joined the Army soon after the September 11 terrorist attack. He was the first Oregonian killed in action in Iraq. Along with the governor of Oregon, I officiated his memorial service and tried to make sense of his death to his devastated family…and to mine.

Mr. Kaepernick, Adam Plumendore sacrificed everything. He died defending our way of life which allows rich athletes to play sports for a living. He died defending your freedom to protest – even during the anthem celebrating the country for which he died. So, you can kneel, sit, or stand on your head during the anthem – I don’t care. Freedom loving people have died to give you that right. Just don’t claim to be “sacrificing everything.” It’s an insult to young men like Adam who really have.


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James Mason Sep 11, 2018 1:42am

I don't believe he has ever claimed a sacrifice in comparison to the military, just like his protest was never meant to disparage the military, though this keeps getting stated. Ironically, his protest is about freedoms not granted to ALL of the people the military fight for, such as the freedom to hold up your hands peacefully, reach for your wallet to prove who you are, and now apparently to simply live in your own apartment, without getting gunned down like an animal. His "everything" was not just a job in the NFL, it was to be maligned, hated by a large segment of society, including those whose God does not teach hate, to have daily and constant death threats to his person and his family that may go on for years to come. One can sacrifice everything, and not wear a uniform doing it. It just may not be the same sacrifice. I for one cannot dismiss so flippantly the protest because I have two children who fit the profile of those he (and others) kneel for. And I more than any other time in my life fear for their safety each and everyday. The God of Christ will keep them, but I confess, though it is a sin, that I fear for them more than ever these days. I often want to grab them and not let them leave the house, just so a chance encounter does not end in tragedy with those sworn to protect them. For too many care more about the way of demonstration, than the reasons behind it.