Archive for September, 2017

September 29th, 2017

Veterans for Kaepernick

I find Yom Kippur to be a very personal holiday. Not that there aren’t things for which we all might atone in relation to how the outside world functions; kindness in all spheres would certainly make the world a better place. For me, the process of atoning typically means trying to peel myself back from the news and events of the world, from the constant political sniping, and from social media, in order to spend time really thinking about myself, my flaws, and my relationships with the people I care about.

But in typical “just catching up to this” fashion, I just came across the Twitter hashtag . It feels appropriate to call it out on the eve of Yom Kippur, to say thank you to those who have served this country, and in doing so see themselves as protecting the rights of Americans to express themselves, and the rights of Americans to stand up — or kneel — in order to make a point about injustice in our society.

The flag (any flag) is a symbol, and symbols can be powerful; anthems, too, for rousing our emotions. But we should venerate ideas and values, not symbols and anthems. Freedom of speech, and freedom from injustice, are values that can exist under our flag or others–just as there are plenty of nations where flags and anthems receive great and deep respect … but freedom of speech, or simple justice, are both absent.

So thank you, veterans. I did not serve in the military, but I am incredibly grateful to those who did, and for those of you who are brave enough to carry that service forward by supporting peaceful protest. Happy new year and may you, too, be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.