As ridiculous as this controversy is, it is exposing many evangelicals’ truest commitments.
Nation over people.
Country over God.
Patriotism over justice.
Politics over principle.
Fear over hope.
Many white evangelicals willfully refuse to engage with the intent of the kneeling players. The players insist that they are protesting racial injustice. White evangelicals insist they can unilaterally redefine the meaning of these protests. It’s about disrespecting the flag. When they make this reinterpretation, they expose themselves. The symbols of their beloved nation are more important to them than the very lives of black people.
Why is evangelicalism shrinking? Causality is always plural, but perhaps it has something to do with the in-your-face idol worship of the white evangelical mainstream. The truly sad thing is that this idolatry hurts other people and entraps its devotees. I’m praying that more white evangelicals will be willing to lay down their fears and consider the liberating possibilities of following Jesus wherever he might take them. I don’t fully know what that means in my own life, but I am certain it doesn’t take us to the dead end of Christian nationalism.