Home > Uncategorized > Why Can't We Disagree Well? Reflections on Colin Kaepernick, VP Mike Pence, and Listening Well

As Christians, we can (and should) disagree well.

Well, the debate about taking a knee just took an odd turn.

On Sunday, after players at an Indianapolis Colts home game chose to kneel during the national anthem, Vice President Mike Pence decided to walk out of the game. On social media, President Trump signaled that, perhaps, this was a planned walkout designed to rebuke the players for their protest.

And so our country goes further into the rabbit hole of a debate over patriotism.

And we go further down the rabbit hole of missing the whole point of why Colin Kaepernick took a knee in the first place.

I find the vice president’s actions and the president’s tweets to be unhelpful. As two of our highest ranking leaders, their actions and words speak volumes about where their priorities lie. Is this issue about the flag? Or is it about something deeper?

In my initial article I criticized the protests as unhelpful, but that was not my main point.

My focus was that, as Christians, we are going to be on the other side of popular speech and we need to be consistent in our application of this right. We need to “do onto others” by respecting their freedom of speech because this is a right we should value, protect, and rely upon as Christians.

This walkout—in addition to comments by Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones about benching players who protested—was not about resolving disagreement. Instead, it was the all-or-nothing approach to conflict that has come to dominate our culture. In a moment when he could have modeled how to disagree well, Vice President Pence chose to use the anthem in his political gamesmanship in a way that belittled the seriousness of the conversation.

And let’s not forget this is a very serious conversation. Men and …

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