Charisma Caucus

Evangelist Alveda King: America, Take a Knee!

Martin Luther King Jr. takes a knee.
Martin Luther King Jr. takes a knee. (Courtesy/Alveda King)

There are challenges with today's young people wanting to "take a knee" and turn their backs on our National Anthem and our American flag. As we honor our nation, it would be good to extend the tradition of honoring America not by attacking cherished symbols, but by including everyone in the conversations in peace and nonviolence. I, for one, would like to see the Black American National Anthem ("Lift Every Voice and Sing") included in tributes to our nation.

What's missing in this situation is balance, due to the lack of knowledge regarding the complete and complicated history of the founding and ongoing American struggle for liberty for all Americans, whether it be civil war, war with other nations, domestic squabbles and so on. Our people are truly perishing for lack of knowledge.
Why is the "protest knee" approved while the "freedom to pray knee" is forbidden? Both are constitutional.

"Taking a knee" is a football or military term used to break an impasse; can also apply to taking a breather or saying a prayer. America truly is at an impasse. So we take a knee to God. We need to take a knee to defund Planned Parenthood.

With all of the current painful debates regarding immigration versus national safety and security, along with the horrific hostile overthrow of statues and monuments across the country, we need to take a knee. Remember: God warns us to keep away from idols. Fights over statues of "heroes" that cause race wars and fights over patriotic symbols can reek of idolatry.
"You shall not make for yourselves idols; neither set up a carved image nor a standing stone, nor shall you set up any sculpted stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God" (Lev. 26:1).
Acts 17:26 says God created all human beings of one blood, so regardless of skin color, we are one human race.
Keep it positive. Avoid disruptive news spin. Let's continue to pray for our president and all in authority so we can live peaceful lives (see 1 Tim. 2:2).
There's a lot of money at stake in sports, immigration, national memorials and so on. We all have our rants. With all the dissension among us, let's remember that money can be a liberator or a trap. We are one red-blooded race. Racism is a sin. Statues are idols. Our cherished flag and national anthem are under God, not to be worshipped. It's time to teach and engage the six steps of nonviolent conflict resolution.

For the record, in the beloved community, God loves everyone: you, me, NFL players, unborn, rich, poor, old, sick, confused. There is far too much bickering over idolatry. Everyone should "take a knee" in prayer, and ask God to heal America. It's truly time for America to return to God.

Alveda King is author of King Rules, founder of Alveda King Ministries, director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, and spiritual adviser for Restore the Dream 2015.

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