I am getting really fed up with all the controversy surrounding whether NFL players stand or sit or kneel for the national anthem. I believe that one of the wonderful things about this country is that individuals can refuse to stand for the national anthem or can burn or stomp on the American flag without fear that they will be shot or imprisoned. As far as I’m concerned that is freedom worth celebrating!

I further believe that this in no way minimizes what the flag stands for or insults those who have served in the armed forces. As a matter of fact, I think that it honors those who have served and sacrificed much, if not all, for our freedoms. Fighting for the freedom of ALL Americans, not just the Americans one happens to agree with, is indeed something to be honored.

I lived in Wisconsin from 1989 until 2000. (I now live in Pennsylvania) During the time I lived in Wisconsin, I became an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers. It’s hard not to become a Packer fan while living in Wisconsin. Cheering for the Packers is embedded in every aspect of the culture, it’s in the air. As I was driving home from church this morning I found myself missing Wisconsin and wishing I was there this weekend as the Pack plays the Seattle Seahawks this afternoon for the honor of playing in the Super Bowl.

I know that in most, if not all, churches in Wisconsin this morning the congregations will have been seas of green and gold, and in many, if not most, churches the Pack will have been lifted up in prayer from pulpits and platforms. I know that in most, if not all, schools in the state of Wisconsin Friday would have been Packer Day, each classroom will have been a sea of green and gold AND if the Pack wins today tomorrow will again be Packer Day and the classrooms will again be seas of green and gold. I also know that grocery stores, shopping malls and streets will be empty this afternoon while the game is being played. One Sunday afternoon while I was living in Wisconsin (3 hours away from Green Bay mind you) I did my grocery shopping during game time. The store was empty and the game was being broadcast over the loudspeaker system for the employees. I kid you not.

You know what is so cool about being a Green Bay Packer fan in Wisconsin? It’s very unifying. It doesn’t matter how you vote, what church, if any, you go to, or what kind of work you do. All that matters is that we’re all cheering for the Packers.