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I Can't Stand for This

Reflecting on the NFL players' boycott of the National Anthem

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
September 30, 2017

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I Can't Stand for This

Yes, I know it's an issue that currently divides our country.
But I just can't stand by and not speak up.
I can't stand seeing the American flag disrespected.
It is a banner for which our soldiers, airmen and seamen
have fought risking their lives (and often paying with their blood)
in order to protect our liberties.

My dad, who proudly served our country in World War 2,
stood a little taller every time
the star-spangle banner passed by or was played.
He taught me it was much more than a tri-colored piece of cloth.
Our flag is an heirloom fabric we have inherited
that calls to mind our family history warts and all.

It is a symbol of the freedoms we have enjoyed
for nearly a quarter of a millennium.
It's a colorful reminder that we can't stand for anything less
than equal opportunity for anyone who voices their loyalty to it.
That grand old flag reminds us of our common commitment
to become one nation under God
while guaranteeing liberty and justice for all.

We'd best remember that what paints the breeze
is not a celebration of what is, but a promise of what can be.
When we stand to pledge allegiance to our flag
(or to sing an anthem in its honor),
we are saluting our past.
But we are also committing ourselves anew
to do our part in bringing about the dream f
or which all of us long.

All the same, those who choose to kneel when others stand
should not be maligned or denigrated as reprobates.
I respect them.
The freedom they exercise to take a stand (by kneeling)
is one of the key freedoms our flag symbolizes.

And don't get me wrong.
I've been known for taking a knee
when I feel the need to protest what isn't right in my world or in my life.
In fact, I do it all the time.
It's called prayer.

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PO BOOKS BY GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS
Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
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A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

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