Author Topic: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?  (Read 1666 times)

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4711
    • View Profile
What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« on: June 08, 2020, 03:08:08 PM »
I noticed of late that some police officers at protests are "taking a knee" with the protestors.  We started hearing about this gesture a lot after Colin Kaepernick did it during the National Anthem.  Kneeling has a certain meaning within the Christian tradition, and it also means something historically regarding showing fealty toward one recognized as one's superior (as to royalty).  Some are pushing back on this saying that the gesture is inappropriate, especially for Christians who bend the knee to no one save God Himself.

So why this kneeling?  What does it ultimately mean in our current context?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 18098
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 03:14:25 PM »
Just stop singing the national anthem before sporting events. I'm fine sitting with unpatriotic Packer fans if I don't have to be subjected to their socio-political foolishness just to enjoy a football game together. 

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13966
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 03:44:41 PM »
I donít go to many big sporting events, but Iím in agreement with Peter here. What does the national anthem have to do with sporting events? Just stop playing it.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

James_Gale

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4094
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 03:56:53 PM »
Just stop singing the national anthem before sporting events. I'm fine sitting with unpatriotic Packer fans if I don't have to be subjected to their socio-political foolishness just to enjoy a football game together.


You're fine sitting with Packer fans?  Troubling.   8)

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12771
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2020, 04:01:38 PM »
Just stop singing the national anthem before sporting events. I'm fine sitting with unpatriotic Packer fans if I don't have to be subjected to their socio-political foolishness just to enjoy a football game together.


You're fine sitting with Packer fans?  Troubling.   8)
Especially when you consider that the Packers are a non-profit community owned franchise and thus socialist.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5153
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 04:03:57 PM »
For those of you who never played football:

"To Take A Knee" is when the quarterback after receiving the snap
from center, cradles the ball, and puts his knee to the ground.
This ends the play immediately.

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12711
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2020, 04:13:11 PM »
Although Peter, SW and I can never be divided in our absolute loyalty to the Green and Gold - and I say that in all seriousness - I took a knee last Wednesday at our live-stream service and will again this Wednesday. 

I took a knee because the commander of our whole region of Brooklyn, Brooklyn North, took a knee at the Barclay's with protesters last week.  I took a knee because the overwhelming majority of protests, which are non-violent, are designed to have all people, including especially people of God, humble themselves, in our case before the Lord.  I took a knee because it is an act of humble contrition with resolve to work for justice for all God's children.  I took a knee because the people of God whom I serve take a knee in confession and absolution every time we meet, and so do I.  I took a knee because we participate in a culture of violence and death, and it must be confessed.  I took a knee because in solidarity with those who have been oppressed, I have fallen short and will work for a better future in the years I have left.  I took a knee as an evangelical Christian Lutheran because it is God's desire that at the name of Jesus every knee may bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, and his Lordship is described precisely and exactly as sacrificing Himself for the sin of the world.

Taking a knee is a good thing.

Dave Benke

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5387
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 04:31:56 PM »
I donít go to many big sporting events, but Iím in agreement with Peter here. What does the national anthem have to do with sporting events? Just stop playing it.
It may be our replacement for "God Save the Queen."

It has as much to do with the sporting event as the American flag patches on everybody's uniforms and helmets. It's just what we've been doing for a while.

Peace,
Michael

Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Keith Falk

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1651
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 04:55:45 PM »
Taking a knee is a sign of submission, it is a of respect, it is a sign of humility, it is a sign of togetherness.  Ever been to a youth league game?  What happens when a kid is hurt?  The other players... take a knee.  What happened when people gathered before rulers or lords?  The person took a knee.  What is a classic prayer position?  Taking a knee.  What may (in Christian freedom, of course) one do upon entering a sanctuary?  Take a knee (and make the sign of the cross).Taking a knee within the context of the national anthem is a sign of the players' recognition of the brokenness, the wounds and injuries their fellow human beings are suffering.  It may be a sign of prayer (I don't know their hearts - do any of us?) that injustice be overcome.  But taking a knee is one of the least disrespectful physical actions humans have done.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

pastorg1@aol.com

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 05:21:51 PM »
I donít think Iíd do it if people are telling me to do it.

Peter (Difference between chosen humility and directed humiliation) Garrison
Pete Garrison, STS

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 18098
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 05:50:47 PM »
Although Peter, SW and I can never be divided in our absolute loyalty to the Green and Gold - and I say that in all seriousness - I took a knee last Wednesday at our live-stream service and will again this Wednesday. 

I took a knee because the commander of our whole region of Brooklyn, Brooklyn North, took a knee at the Barclay's with protesters last week.  I took a knee because the overwhelming majority of protests, which are non-violent, are designed to have all people, including especially people of God, humble themselves, in our case before the Lord.  I took a knee because it is an act of humble contrition with resolve to work for justice for all God's children.  I took a knee because the people of God whom I serve take a knee in confession and absolution every time we meet, and so do I.  I took a knee because we participate in a culture of violence and death, and it must be confessed.  I took a knee because in solidarity with those who have been oppressed, I have fallen short and will work for a better future in the years I have left.  I took a knee as an evangelical Christian Lutheran because it is God's desire that at the name of Jesus every knee may bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, and his Lordship is described precisely and exactly as sacrificing Himself for the sin of the world.

Taking a knee is a good thing.

Dave Benke
Sure it is. Many churches have kneelers designed specifically for Christian to take a knee, or both knees if they are spry enough. I'm assuming your Wednesday evening service didn't start with the National Anthem with all facing the flag. But I think your comparison is apt. Those taking a knee at football games are engaged in an act of worship, much like Christians in churches with kneelers, and their religion is socio-political rather than spiritual.

mariemeyer

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4320
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2020, 06:10:47 PM »
Sunday afternoon Bill and I attended a Bethel town march to remember George Floyd.  The march began at the WWI Memorial and ended at the Municipal Center where local persons were invited to speak of their life experiences in Bethel. The peaceful community event included several town policemen who joined the march.  Bethel police officers with bright yellow vests stood at various point at the beginning of the march, the march route and at the conclusion of the march.  (Bethel is an old traditional New England town.)

After community leaders spoke everyone was asked to kneel for 8 minutes and 49 minutes in silence, the number of minutes a police office had his knee on George Floyd's neck. Persons at the Municipal Center were predominately young, including young families with children.  The march was organized by a young black man who graduated from Bethel High School. A Bethel resident, currently a student at Howard University, also spoke as did a black Bethel clergyman.

About 70% of the marchers were white and 30% black. Bill and I were by far the senior participants.  In this instance "taking a knee" was directly related to the murder of George Floyd.

Marie Meyer

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12711
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2020, 06:14:04 PM »
Although Peter, SW and I can never be divided in our absolute loyalty to the Green and Gold - and I say that in all seriousness - I took a knee last Wednesday at our live-stream service and will again this Wednesday. 

I took a knee because the commander of our whole region of Brooklyn, Brooklyn North, took a knee at the Barclay's with protesters last week.  I took a knee because the overwhelming majority of protests, which are non-violent, are designed to have all people, including especially people of God, humble themselves, in our case before the Lord.  I took a knee because it is an act of humble contrition with resolve to work for justice for all God's children.  I took a knee because the people of God whom I serve take a knee in confession and absolution every time we meet, and so do I.  I took a knee because we participate in a culture of violence and death, and it must be confessed.  I took a knee because in solidarity with those who have been oppressed, I have fallen short and will work for a better future in the years I have left.  I took a knee as an evangelical Christian Lutheran because it is God's desire that at the name of Jesus every knee may bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, and his Lordship is described precisely and exactly as sacrificing Himself for the sin of the world.

Taking a knee is a good thing.

Dave Benke
Sure it is. Many churches have kneelers designed specifically for Christian to take a knee, or both knees if they are spry enough. I'm assuming your Wednesday evening service didn't start with the National Anthem with all facing the flag. But I think your comparison is apt. Those taking a knee at football games are engaged in an act of worship, much like Christians in churches with kneelers, and their religion is socio-political rather than spiritual.

During the pandemic and since, in an immigrant congregation, in order to honor our location in Brooklyn in the heart of the pandemic, to honor those who work for our health and peace, we begin all Wednesday services, prior to the invocation, with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, which is for now inside the sanctuary, and then with applause for all who work on our behalf for health and peace.

Dave Benke

pastorg1@aol.com

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
    • View Profile
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2020, 07:03:23 PM »
Such a fine tone.
Pete Garrison, STS

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 7525
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2020, 07:16:58 PM »
I have honestly never had a problem with Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem.  He used to sit, and Nate Boyer, a veteran, convinced him it would be more respectful to take a knee.  Nate Boyer underestimated the depth of the lack of self-understanding of the American right, and apparently doesn't watch Fox News much. 

I do have a problem with the current public pressure for white people to "take a knee," not because I don't share the sentiment that police abuse of African Americans must stop, but because being compelled or coerced to do so accomplishes subservience, not the changing of hearts and minds.  Alas, taking a knee is now a political football for both sides (pun intended).

The truth is taking a knee as Kaepernick did is not a big deal. Not taking a knee is not a big deal.  And I agree with Pastor Speckhard that if this is where we are, just stop playing the Anthem entirely and let football be football.  Toxic politics has polluted enough of my life.  The only time I want my Falcons taking a knee is late in the game with a lead and the ball, and the other team with no timeouts.  And lately, they can't even give me that.  Just let me enjoy my misery in peace.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).