It’s easy enough to take a stand–or the knee–when everyone else around you is doing the same.
That doesn’t take much bravery if you ask me.
Now, taking a stand when everyone else around you is taking the knee–especially when you’re automatically branded as “racist” or a “fascist” by the logically inarticulate progressive left, well, that’s courage.
Billy Vunipola, a rugby star in England, recently explained that he refused to take a knee for Black Lives Matters because, as a devout Christian, he was not OK with their supporters “burning churches and Bibles”.
“We were asked if we wanted to take a knee or not, and what I saw in terms of that movement [Black Lives Matter] was not aligned with what I believe in. They were burning churches and Bibles. I can’t support that,” Vunipola said in an interview with a rugby podcast, Breitbart reports.
“Even though I am a person of color, I’m still more a person of, I guess, Jesus,” Vunipola, who was born in Australia to Tongan parents, explained.
He’s not wrong. You certainly won’t hear it mentioned in the mainstream media, but Black Lives Matter/Antifa violence has been targeting churches and Catholic statues for months.
Mosaic of Jesus and Mary Dedicated to Polish Soldiers Vandalised with ‘BLM’ Graffiti https://t.co/xke5zdUWyh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 26, 2020
As Breitbart explains:
Numerous statues of Christian missionaries have been toppled amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter unrest, which has morphed over time into a protest over the death of George Floyd to general agitation against Western society, symbols of Western history, and various alleged social injustices such as “systemic racism” and “white privilege”.
In one Roman Catholic church in Florida, a statue of Jesus himself was beheaded, just weeks after prominent Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King had declared that “All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends” should “come down”, denouncing them as “a gross form white supremacy.”
Anti-Christian BLM activism has not been confined to the United States, however, with, for example, a mosaic of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus in the Netherlands, dedicated to the memory of Free Polish soldiers who had helped to liberate the country during the Second World War, being defaced with the ‘BLM’ slogan in June.
Protestors tear down a statue of St. Junípero Serra, a Fransiscan missionary who founded 9 of the 21 California missions beginning in 1769. Pope Francis canonized him in 2015 in DC on my alma mater’s campus – the first saint to be canonized on U.S. soil.pic.twitter.com/VApSpqgHNq
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) June 20, 2020
Vunipola is not the only athlete who has gone against the grain.
Here in the states, Jonathan Isaacs became the first and only NBA player to stand for the anthem earlier this month.
Isaacs also pointed to his faith in his powerful explanation for why he would not kneel for this notoriously radical group.
I asked Jonathan Isaac two questions:
You didn’t kneel during the anthem but you also didn’t wear a black lives matter shirt. Do you believe black lives matter?
Can you explain what religion has to do with kneeling for the anthem to protest against racism and police brutality? pic.twitter.com/me61FleWPY
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 31, 2020
“I believe that black lives matter. A lot went into my decision … kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don’t go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives … I do believe that black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision that I had to make, and I didn’t feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand-in-hand with supporting black lives,” he told The Bleacher Report at the time.
“My life has been supported through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and everyone is made in the image of God and that we all fall short of God’s glory,” he continued, “and that each and every one of us each and every day do things that we shouldn’t do, we say things that we shouldn’t say, we hate and dislike people that we shouldn’t hate and dislike, and sometimes it gets to a point where we point fingers about whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to simply whose evil is most visible.”
“I felt like I wanted to just take a stand on [it]. [I feel like] we all make mistakes, but I think that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that there’s grace for us, and that Jesus came and died for our sins, and that we all will come to an understanding of that, and understand that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get past skin color, we can get past all the things in our world that are messed up, jacked up,” Isaacs stated. “I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that afflicts our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world. I feel like coming together on that message, that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues us as a society, I feel like the answer to it is the gospel.”
When interviewer Taylor Rooks asked Isaacs what the correlation was between kneeling for the anthem and his “religion,” the athlete replied with a powerful reinforcement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I don’t really see it as religion for myself; I see it as a relationship with God,” Isaac answered. “I don’t think that kneeling or putting on a T-shirt, for me personally, is the answer.”
“I feel like for me, black lives are supported through the gospel,” he concluded. “All lives are supported through the gospel. That we all, like I said, have things that we do wrong … we all fall short of God’s glory, and that at the end of the day, whoever will humble themselves and see God and repent of their sins, that we could see it in a different light … see people’s evil in a different light … it would help bring us closer together, and get past skin color, get past anything that’s on the surface that doesn’t really deal with the hearts of men and women.”
Amen to that.
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