Respect Cannot Come From Force

It seems self-explanatory but it isn’t. It is impossible to force another human being to respect something or someone. So what is the point of forcing anyone to stand, sit, or twerk for the flag?

What are people angered and insecure about when someone kneels for a flag? What are they angry about? Why do they care? That whoever it is does not “respect the country”? What does “respect the country” mean? How does one “respect a country”? I understand respecting people. But what is “respect a country”?

I understand that not standing for the flag disrespects people who invaded foreign countries and planted that flag in those countries. But what if you really do not respect the people that did that? To paraphrase Louis CK, if you go into another country with a gun and start shooting people and you get shot and killed, it’s really not so weird. Maybe it’s a tiny bit your fault?

Do you really have to respect everyone who invaded a foreign country because they were “just following orders”? We’ve heard that one before. I don’t respect them. Forcing a person who does not respect them, to stand for the flag, won’t force him to respect them.

If a person doesn’t steal from anyone, lives his life without bothering anyone else, and fulfills all his commitments, but kneels for the flag, does he still “respect the country”? Must he really be ostracized because he doesn’t like the flag?

I don’t stand for the prayer for the State of Israel. If I am the shliach tzibur for Musaf, the gabbai knows I will not say the prayer and he will have to do it if he wants to. He’s OK with that. I’m OK with that. We don’t fight over it. We get on with our lives. We don’t freak out over doing or not doing the prayer because the people in the shul respect me and I respect them. I just don’t do the prayer, and people are mature enough not to take it personally, because really, it has nothing to do with them.

Can one respect a country but not its government? Why can’t people make this distinction ? For someone who sees unjust wars when he looks at the flag, must he still stand? What will his standing accomplish?

Someone who just doesn’t like the flag because he doesn’t like red and blue together because it makes him nauseous or his father beat him with a red, white, and blue whip as a child, what is the purpose of forcing him to stand?

Who cares why people don’t stand for a flag? Why does it matter? Nobody can explain this to me in any way that makes sense.

Something about a culture war. That’s what people say. They immediately go to war war war. If not standing for a flag can start a war where people kill each other over it, the culture of everyone in that country is a תרבות רעה, or a bad culture. They will kill each other over something if it isn’t a flag, and this will happen in the USA when the money runs out and the run on bonds begins.

Forcing people to go through the motions of an act of respect when they do not respect the thing in their own minds, is counterproductive and just childish. America is led by a child and he’s riling up the other children into a giant national temper tantrum over a flag.


4 thoughts on “Respect Cannot Come From Force

  1. Rafi, you don’t know what I care about or why I comment. I’m an observer. There is a culture war, and it doesn’t care whether or not you recognize it. Is Brendan Eich a “cultural warrior?” Tim Hunt? James Watson? James Damore? They are obviously not, and yet they are all casualties of the war you think is irrelevant or doesn’t exist. You don’t even understand it. It’s not even specifically about Islam. Or the flag. Or the national anthem.

    I don’t care about football or the anthem or standing for it. But since THEY made it an issue, then I support those who fight against THEM, from a distance. They lost this battle, as the football team owners are now coming around to doing what they should have from the beginning and putting down this pathetic little rebellion. All Trump did was play SJWs like a virtuoso. He raised the issue. If they backed down, he won. They didn’t, and instead, doubled down (Second Law of SJW: SJWs Always Double Down), and won even bigger. I am entertained.

    The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.

    — NFL Game Operations Manual, NFL Game Operations Department

  2. Football players are employees. They are bound by contract to stand for the anthem. Are you against contracts now?

    • I don’t think you care about contracts in this case. You’re not commenting here as a libertarian lawyer standing up for contract law and the NAP. You’re commenting as a “cultural warrior” or however you see yourself, standing up for Western Culture or whatever it is you think is so valuable. It puts you in the right culture camp for the big war you’re fighting against Islam, or something.

      I think you care about them standing for a flag because you want to win the cultural war and this is a battle in your head. You’re souped up on militancy over a piece of underwear.

      An NFL owner can choose to enforce that part of the contract if he wants to, as far as he wants to. That’s fine. It’s just stupid. The whole damn thing is just childish nonsensical stupidity. Just play ball and to hell with politics.

      If the NFL is boycotted to the point that it is under existential threat, then yes it would be a wise business decision to force players to stand for a flag. But beyond that all it shows is the stupidity of the average patriot. Were I an NFL player forced to stand for the flag under contract, I would. I would however make clear to Trump and the other authoritarian nitwits that this does not in any way mean that I respect the flag, as I do not. No doubt Trump would try to arrest me for even saying that because it flouts his orders.

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