Click For Photo: http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice/files/2017/10/stand-for-the-flag-kneel-for-the-cross.jpg
So apparently this meme has been circulating some circles on the internet: stand for the flag; kneel for the cross. It’s a way of criticizing the black football players who have been kneeling during the national anthem and trying to bring the mantle of Christianity into the debate. But what religion does the meme actually describe? Apart from the presence of a cross which has been completely abstracted from its theological context, there’s nothing in this picture that resembles anything about Christianity.
This meme portrays a religion that is mostly about ritual gestures. The two basic principles are to know when to stand and when to kneel. There are two objects of worship that are put on equal footing with one another in the slogan: the American flag and Jesus’ cross. The meme also lets me know that men with guns are accorded the highest status within this form of religion.
Idols - Flag - Man - Gun - Cross
There are three idols here: the flag, the man with the gun, and the cross. Each of these objects is being used idolatrously, that is they are being tokenized for the sake of increasing the power and status of the person tokenizing them. Moral superiority is conferred to the person who performs the right gesture and shows the right deference for each idol. The cross in this case doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus’ sacrifice; it is simply the object before which one kneels as part of a checklist of religious piety.
There are certainly many white Americans whose religion is captured in its entirety by this meme. They (literally) stand for the flag and (figuratively) kneel for the cross, which presumably means that they stand with their hands over their hearts at sporting events when the National Anthem is played, and they attend some form of Christian worship on a...
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