Here are more thoughts on the Blue Angels Airshow evoked by scores of politically oriented t-shirts and a crowd swathed in American flag garb.

One man’s t-shirt had the inscription: “I stand for the flag. I kneel for the cross.” This man obviously had no sympathy for professional athletes who take a knee to protest police brutality. Perhaps he didn’t know that Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, had apologized to Colin Kaepernick, noting that he wished the league had listened to the quarterback’s reasoning for kneeling sooner.

I have even more problems with the “kneel for the cross” boast. Does this man know that millions of Christians do have sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement? And does he realize that America is not, in fact, a “Christian nation?” It’s not being a patriotic American to cast aspersions on people who believe in another — or no — religion. In fact, the America-is-a-Christian-nation-stance is downright unAmerican, if one truly believes in the separation of Church and State.

Recent laws enacted by Texas underscore this state’s acquiescence to gun-toting, Bible-waving, right-wing “Christians” bent on making it impossible to get abortions and easy to carry guns. Texas’ new anti-abortion law turns all citizens into bounty hunters. Just think, one can get $10,000 for reporting on a woman having an abortion or for abetting in the process. Hmmm….should the men who impregnated the women be reported for causing the woman’s pregnancy?

The new gun legislation, effective on Sept. 1, makes it legal for citizens to carry handguns anywhere without a license or training. Hmmm…..praise the Lord and pass the handguns! Perhaps a song should have been written back in the days of lynching entitled, “Praise the Lord and pass the rope.” UNC Professor Emeritus Donald G. Matthews wrote in the Journal of Southern Religion, “Religion permeated communal lynching, because the act occurred within the context of a sacred order designed to sustain ‘holiness.’ The ‘sacred order’ was white suppression and the ‘holiness’ was white virtue.”

Many readers of this two-part piece on the Airshow might take umbrage at my turning the event into a political column. I get that. On the other hand, I would ask those same people to consider the impact that inflammatory tee shirts and right-wing taunts have on Americans with different political views.

One can be a “real American” who loves our country and still believe in sensible gun legislation or the need to face up to climate change or a women’s right to choose or that America should be a nation that welcomes people of all races and religions and backgrounds.

Will I attend the Blue Angels Airshow if it returns to Brunswick? Probably not. But I might go outside and look up to witness the aviation artistry – and pray for peace.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected] (David’s latest book co-authored with Anneka Williams, who graduated from Bowdoin College this past May, is entitled, “A Flash Fiction Exchange Between Methuselah and the Maiden: Sixty Stories to While Away the Hours,” is available at Gulf of Maine books (Brunswick), Mockingbird Books (Bath), Longfellow Books (Portland), Paul’s Marina (Brunswick), the Bowdoin Bookstore or on Amazon.)

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