Thursday, September 01, 2016

Francis Scott Key and America's National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick:  Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Colin Kaepernick is a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Colin is refusing to stand before games during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, America's national anthem. He says his refusal to stand is because he "will not show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses people of color." I can't help but note the irony of a black quarterback making $126 million dollars to play football in America speaking about oppression. If Mr. Kapernick wants to see real oppression of people with color, he ought to follow us to Africa where we bring thousands of bags of rice to feed starving families, while at the same time spending tens of thousands of our America non-profit dollars drilling for water for our African friends, in conjunction with teaching them how to farm for themselves. All this effort because the country our African friends live in is a country filled with politicians whose greed blossoms into graft. That's oppression.

One might overlook Mr. Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner if it were an isolated instance of ignorance. But there is a growing movement in America designed to relegate our national anthem into the pantheon of oblivion. Some call the anthem's author, Francis Scott Key, "a stone cold bigot." They attempt  to discredit Mr. Key because he once owned slaves. "How can you sing a song written by a racist?" Using their logic, America would also have to rid itself of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other founding documents because they too were written by men who once owned slaves, including the erudite Thomas Jefferson. Slavery, sadly, was once a part of this world's culture. Thank God people of color in America are now free.

But before you acquiesce over attempts to discredit Francis Scott Key, and before you grow more sympathetic to those who ridicule or disrespect our national anthem, let me offer a few counter arguments about the character of the anthem's author.

Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key was a devout follower of Christ. He was an Episcopalian from Maryland, and was instrumental in starting the American Sunday School Union, the first public education offered for people of color. Francis Scott Key's daughter, Alice Key Pendleton, wife of Senator George Pendleton, spent countless hours with Oklahoman Cheyenne warrior Okuhhatuh (a man of color), teaching him the ways  of Christ. In appreciation for Alice Key Pendleton,  Okuhhatuh changed his name at his Christian baptism to David (in honor of King David in the Bible), Pendleton (in honor of George Pendleton and Alice Key Pendleton), Oakerhater (the anglicized version of Okuhhatuh). David Oakerhater would come back to Oklahoma and serve his native Cheyenne people as a missionary of Jesus Christ for over 50 years. As to why Alice Key felt compelled to devote time and energy teaching a man of color the ways of Christ, the best explanation comes from the home in which she was raised. The Frank Leslie Sunday School Magazine describes the character of her father, Francis Scott Key, in this manner:
"He possessed a character of almost religious perfection. A firm believer in the Christian dispensation, Francis Scott Key's conduct was regulated by the doctrines inculcated by its Founder (Jesus Christ), and this being so, Key's life was one of perfect purity."
Poetry is called "the soul's expression." The author of our Star-Spangled Banner once wrote a poem that expressed his faith in Jesus Christ. It was later put to music and serves as a wonderful hymn in the Christian Church. Key's poem is called Lord, With Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee.

Lord, with glowing heart I'd praise Thee,
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pardoning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows:
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise:
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wanderer, far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away;
Praise, with love's devoutest feeling,
Him Who saw thy guilt-born fear,
And the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.

Praise thy Savior God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to Him and live.
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease;
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.

Lord, this bosom's ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express.
Low before Thy footstool kneeling,
Deign Thy suppliant's prayer to bless:
Let Thy grace, my soul's chief treasure,
Love's pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth Thy praise. 

Francis Scott Key's life and legacy was one of Christian character. He loved all men, including people of color. In a day and age when people think they know things based upon what they learn from their Twitter feed and social media platforms, I would encourage all Americans to take a fresh look at the author of our Star-Spangled Banner and be impressed with our heritage as a country.

It is worth standing up for.


Bob Cleveland said...

Let's just say I am immediately linking to this post on my Facebook Timeline. And remember where I live......

Unknown said...

I have actually always said that people have the right to do these things. As abhorrent as they may be to me and millions of others I do contend that they have the right.

As with many things, with rights comes responsibilities. Sometimes we do not necessarily think things through well enough until we see either the pain and sorry it causes or see it for the mistake it was for any number of other reasons. Many have acted on emotion in such instances and when given a chance they realize the error.

Kaepernick is acting on a lie. That must be up front and center as to his real problem. He is acting on a total lie. One promulgated by many nefarious actors in the body politic. He would have you believe that the numbers tell a different story than they do. That we are to focus on those only and never once address how we got to that point in the first place. In other words, do not discuss that Michael Brown was attacking a police officer trying to take his weapon from him, no, instead just keep saying “hands up don’t shoot!” Because, as long as that lie has legs we do not have to discuss the individuals responsibility that brought us to the point where an officer had to protect himself in a violent situation.

Who does Kaepernick hurt? Not me. Not you, but he does hurt by extension the organization he is in. While many may suggest that he is harming no one the whole of the SF 49’ers have to deal with it. The families of all who work for them have to deal with it. Their image is tarnished by his selfish actions to demand that stage from which he acts. If I were the 49’ers I would simply not let him out on the field until after the Anthem…he works for them, they have that right to say who is out on the field and who is not for that moment. However, when one burns a Kaepernick jersey and puts it on Youtube, burning right along with it is SF49’ers. Not good optics no matter what.

Regardless of all this…Kaepernick avoids the greatest problem faced by the people he claims to be helping or standing up for. He not only does not speak about it I bet he has no idea. While I am going to be a bit tongue-in-cheek here he has White-Privilege does he not? Know of his upbringing? While in and of itself it does not dismiss that there are racial issues around us today Kaepernick is suggesting that the whole of the nation is involved in a systemic action on a problem that is out of control. He is wrong about it and desperately so. What IS the problem then? The broken families of the Black community since the mid 1960’s. Then a black child would have a 17% chance of being in or from a broken home. They actually had better numbers than whites many times. How, standing at 75+ % they do not even acknowledge it as an issue instead blaming policing, whites and or others in the process (mind you not all blacks do this I am speaking to the activist BLM types I make no blanket accusation) My heart absolutely breaks for all the many black single moms dealing with young children of which so many have stressors you and I cannot sometimes even imagine. But the poor blacks who were disadvantaged in the 60’s seems to impart morals and values and virtue to their children. Since that time it has slipped away. Wealth was not the problem.

To therefore suggest that our national anthem is one of oppression when its history is plain to see and prove is a gross injustice born out of ignorance and emotionalism, not one of altruistic principles.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am not saying I agree or disagree with Mr. Kaepenick's actions. But blacks are being oppressed in this country and I think his use of "white privilege" as Dave called it is a good thing, even if many would disagree with his stand as he took it, the fact remains that racism has reared it's ugly head and I don't say this because of news feeds, although that would be my source if asked for proof.

I have seen it up close in Oklahoma. It's real. It's not something made up or perceived and it seems to have grown out in the open since Trump announced his candidacy(there I said it) It happened in the state I grew up in(Kansas)25 miles from the town I grew up in. I think racism needs to be stood against, although I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy as a white Christian woman. Racism is real, although it is not showing up in lynching or slave owning or segregation necessarily, it seems to be vile enough to be headed in that direction again if we don't stand against it.

Rex Ray said...


Have you heard/thought about?

“All great nations commit suicide with 7 steps.”
By former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm

1. Have America to use more languages than English.
2. Encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.
3. Celebrate diversity rather than unity. Replace the ‘melting pot metaphor’ with the ‘salad bowl metaphor’.
4. Make the fastest growing group the least educated with a 50% high school dropout rate.
5. Establish the cult of ‘Victim’ by minorities thinking their lack of success or excessive persecution is the fault of the majority and start a grievance industry.
6. Be labeled a “racist” if you disagree with the ‘Victim’.
7. Make it impossible to enforce immigration laws.

Your comment makes step “5” scary! It’s easy to see one “grievance industry” is “Black Lives Matter”(BLM).

“The (BLM) was in response to George Zimmerman being not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin in 2013.”,_don%27t_shoot

“2014 Though the Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist movement began in response to the death of Trayvon Martin, it staged its first in-person national protest in the form of a "Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride" to Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown. One of the rallying cries at those protests was "Hands Up, Don't Shoot”. This became a common chant at BLM protests, along with the dying words of Eric Garner ("I can't breathe"), "No justice, no peace" and "Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon."

Debbie, do you think Obama announcing that he told his son to be careful around police added fuel to this “persecution of Blacks idea?”

I believe ‘friction’ in America has increased many times since Obama took office, and to say “its grown out in the open since Trump announced his candidacy” [as its his fault] needs an apology.

Unknown said...

Racism, Debbie, will only be gone when the earth is no more. It is the heart of people who cause it and the bane of those who experience it. The United States is not without its presence nor without it's blemish but has done more to overcome it than many other nations combined. Thus, I have to seriously question anyone who makes a protest claiming that the whole of our nation and especially it's anthem or flag has a problem understanding the problem. That is what Kaepernick has done.

Wade Burleson said...


Our own Abraham Wright (on staff at Emmanuel) is like a brother to me. When I think of Abe, I don't think of "color." I don't disagree, Debbie, that some people in America are racist, but that is a heart problem only solved by Jesus Christ (as you know), and no amount of protest will ever change the heart. I think my point is that the predominant culture of America (right now) is NOT one of racism. We are all people of color. Some who have more color than others are leading our nation in politics, business, athletics, entertainment, etc... Jesus said, "We will always have the poor among us," and in my experience poverty transcends human skin color and affects people of all races.

Rex Ray said...


You said, “We are all people of color.”

70 years ago, that was a problem with my young sister as she tried to decide which drinking fountain to use at the courthouse…”White” or “Color”.

Comparing herself to paper, she knew she wasn’t white. Some man scolded her for using the wrong one.

Once, because of ‘overcrowding’ our mother took her to the Color restroom. It had window curtains and was so pretty she wanted to use it all the time.

So, yes; Blacks were very much decimated against in the past, but it is past time for bygones to be bygones.

America is well down the road for suicide. It’s a good time to be old.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wade, yes I believe Jesus Christ definitely changes the heart, and I know you wouldn't look at a person's color, but even among Christians there is racism. I believe even in the SBC, and I would respectfully disagree that protest does not change things. That is how many things are changed and were changed in the past as History shows.

Protest, or standing for good and right is not a bad thing at all. In fact I would say as Christians who have Christ, we are duty bound to protest wrongs while at the same time living and preaching the Gospel.

Ray: The problem is it is not past. Not by a long shot. It's growing stronger. The incident in Wichita Kansas, which is one of many, happened within recent weeks.

Rex Ray said...


WOW, I expected your link would have Blacks killed by White’s or something, but a letter?

Part of the letter states: “We have noticed that there are some Black children at your residence. Maybe you are running a daycare or these are your children. In either case, we have put our house for sale. This neighborhood does not need any blacks in it…”

Reasons why this letter was NOT written by someone in the community:
1. A neighbor would know if the children were hers or daycare.
2. “…neighborhood does not need any blacks in it.” The black lady was not moving in but lived there.
3. Pastor Alan Stucky said this can start a conversation about race and racism. 4. He said, “One of the things that struck me in there was the line about the other side of the tracks and in Wichita the reality is we are still a fairly segregated city,”

Debbie’s rush to judgment contradicts “WPD is looking into all possibilities, and say it’s too early to determine if the facts support the claim.”

Pege' said...

This mans heritage is Black and Caucasian. Referees has stated they have heard him use the "N" word toward some of his opponents. If he and those who believe as he does are looking for a perfect country with perfect men and women who have never said or did something wrong I suggest HE and they begin a new country some where else....oh but wait..seeing he is not perfect himself, HE can't. I am not a huge supporter of the pledge of allegiance to a flag or hold the anthem to be sacrosanct. He can stand and remain silent out of respect.

Rex Ray said...


Does this apply to you or Kaepernick?:

“I am not a huge supporter of the pledge of allegiance to a flag or hold the anthem to be sacrosanct.”

Christiane said...

Mr. Kaepernick is an AMERICAN, and as such has a right to his controversial behavior. That right IS what we call 'freedom' and people have died for that right. We may not like it, but we need to support this right or we weaken what that flag and that anthem really stand for.

The flag itself is a testimony to Mr. Kaepernick's freedom. We cannot honor the one without respecting the other, and that is a 'hard truth'.

I have stood on the deck of a US Coast Guard cutter, and watched as the young service people came aboard. As each one did, they LOOKED at the flag, and saluted it sharply, and with a respect that was undeniable. These young people would give their lives for their country, if need be, to support our FREEDOMS, our way of life. Our freedom isn't some 'gift' we can give to those we want to have it who express it our way, and deny to others who don't want to express their patriotism our way. No, we can't play games with 'freedom'. We are either all of us free or none of us is free, and this is rationale for tolerating to protest what we see in our own country as something that needs to be changed for the better.

Remember: one of our candidates for office has played the 'hate' card repeatedly. This year is not 'business as usual' in our country. Soon, 'freedom' may no longer be extended to all of our citizens, and we will have lost something precious. It happened before in another country, and if we have 'forgotten' how this works, it may happen to us. And then our flag will no longer represent the same freedom it does now. God have mercy on us.

Anonymous said...

Though being a citizen of the US, I unashamedly don't recite the pledge of allegiance or salute the flag. We have drifted so far from the freedom the framers of the constitution intended. The Fed Govt and it's branches have been corrupted to the bone, along with many state and local govts. "We the people" have slowly given up our rights via compliance to the state's demands in many ways. Many are waking up to this, though I think we are doomed.

Good thing Christ's kingdom is not of the world!

Rex Ray said...


Your reasoning sounds like people that say they’ll never be Christians because there are so many hypocrites in church.

Hypocrites have nothing to do with the truth of the Gospel.

Likewise, the Federal Government has nothing to do with the flag or the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rex Ray said...


You said: “Mr. Kaepernick is an AMERICAN, and as such has a right to his controversial behavior.”

I believe we all have the right to do what we want, but it’s like a guy’s right to swing his fist ends where my nose begins.

I like the song: “If you’re running down my country, you’re walking on the backside of me.”

I also like what Trump said:

“Well I have followed (the Kaepernick story), and I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing. And you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”

Christiane said...

I am in favor of our citizens having freedom as it is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. If Mr. Trump says that freedom is 'terrible', then why is he wanting to run for POTUS where he will be asked to support that Constitution?

Rex, we are either all free, or none of us is free. That is the reason why we MUST support 'unpopular' minority stances even when the majority of us does not see things the same way as the minority views them. The black community, for all of its troubles, is part of the fabric of our great country, and they ARE us, and when they are troubled, we at least should let them express their concerns peacefully, and we need to hear them out, for our sakes as well as theirs. I would stand for the Anthem, but I would do it knowing that Mr. Kaepernick had the right not to stand as a peaceful protest of what he has seen that needs national focus and attention to be corrected.

When I stand up for the flag and the National Anthem, my gesture is not for a 'symbol', but it is in support of the very freedom the flag and the anthem represents. And if that freedom is no longer allowed, I also would not stand. I'm not alone in this, no. I proudly stand because Mr. Kaepernick isn't forced to. If that doesn't make sense, so be it.

Rex Ray said...


Well, old friend, I thought I’d never disagree with you, but here we are. :)

It sounds good to say we are free, but are we always free?

Preachers are NOT free to say from the pulpit their political views or the church could loose their tax exempt status.

We are free to wear a bathing suit but not in church.

We are not free to say some things if both women and men are present…or children.

Where do you see in Trump’s words that he said, “Freedom is terrible”?

“Well I have followed (the Kaepernick story), and I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing. And you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”

Would you like Trump better if he refused to stand for the National Anthem?

Christiane, do you believe by Kaepernick not standing was in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’ or against (BLM)?

This whole thing is an example of step 5 in “All great nations commit suicide with 7 steps”.

Step 5: “Establish the cult of ‘Victim’ by minorities thinking their lack of success or persecution is the fault of the majority and start a grievance industry.”

That “industry” is (BLM).

Rex Ray said...

“All great nations commit suicide with 7 steps.”
By former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm

1. Have America to use more languages than English.

2. Encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.

3. Celebrate diversity rather than unity. Replace the ‘melting pot metaphor’ with the ‘salad bowl metaphor’.

4. Make the fastest growing group the least educated with a 50% high school dropout rate.

5. Establish the cult of ‘Victim’ by minorities thanking their lack of success or excessive persecution is the fault of the majority and start a grievance industry.

6. Be labeled a “racist” if you disagree with the ‘Victim’.

7. Make it impossible to enforce immigration laws.

What percent of these steps are complete?

Rex Ray said...

Should be: ...minorities thinking their lack of success...

Rex Ray said...


Yesterday we studied, “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalm 33:6)
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2)

Science states matter cannot be created or destroyed, but when an atom is split matter is destroyed and a great amount of energy is released (atomic bomb). This means energy was used to make matter.

I believe God did not speak the universe into existence but used his energy and on the seventh day he rested because he was tired.

Rex Ray said...

Jesus had ‘power’ or ‘energy’ as his Father:

“But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me for I felt healing power go out from me.” (Luke 8:46)


If you wanted a defense for you keeping the Constitution; would you pick someone who lived strongly by it or by someone who trashed it?

Remember among other events, schools forced to allow anyone to use any restroom of their choice depending on how THEY FEEL at the time? How many pedophiles rejoiced?

Latest news:

“President Obama defended Colin Kaepernick while answering questions from the press at the G20 summit meeting in Hangzhou, saying that the quarterback was "exercising his constitutional right."

Christiane said...

we will always be friends, and that is why we CAN disagree with each other. I respect your right to see things your way to to express your views. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Stay strong in Christ, dear friend. You have my support and my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Interesting way of looking at it, Rex. I think what the flag represents isn't just found in the root (constitution, bill of rights, 1776 war, etc.), but also the fruit: the remaining 200 plus years of outlandish evil actions by the USA.

Remember the scene in the SOund of Music where the Captain tears the Austrian flag in half because they joined forces with Hitler?

I'd have more sentiment towards the 'Don't tread on me' flag if it resurfaced in a movement today that wanted to get back to the root of American ideology.

Have you seen this movement with the sheriffs across the country who refuse to listen and submit to the FEDS?

Rex Ray said...


Thanks…friend. Someday we will meet in Heaven and there will only be good memories…mostly what we’ve said for Jesus.

Tomorrow will be ‘visitation day’ for a man who was 95. He was secretly married to our cousin by my father. They kept it a secret so his widowed mother would get a ‘dependent check’ from the army. When his plane was shot down in World War Two, he was a prisoner for years. At that time his wife told his mother they were married and moved in with her. He was a great guy that was always truly interested in what others had to say.


You said, “There is a growing movement in America designed to relegate our national anthem into the pantheon of oblivion.

I think this means a “movement” is trying to make our national anthem obsolete.

I think this “movement” is almost the KKK in reverse by the name of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and their sympathizers.

Rex Ray said...


The Black Lives Matter movement has been feted repeatedly at the White House and honored at the Democratic National Convention. Hillary Clinton has incorporated its claims about racist, homicidal cops into her presidential campaign pitch.
Blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants in America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, 57 percent of all murder defendants and 45 percent of all assault defendants, even though blacks comprise only 15 percent of the population in those counties.


This is part of my kinsman, Everett McCulloch’s obituary:

“His plane flew over Normandy during the D Day invasion on June 6, 1944. On the ninth mission, his plane, which was named the “Flak Magnet” by Everett, was shot down over Magdeburg, Germany on June 20, 1944. He was captured and imprisoned in Staglag Luft IV, a German POW Camp. In February 1945, Everett was one of 10,000 Allied POWs who were marched from Poland to Western Germany. During this three month march, he endured many hardships where he was forced to sleep outdoors on the frozen ground and had little to eat. Towards the end of the march, the German soldiers abandoned the POWs. Everett, who was skilled in mechanics, hotwired an abandoned fire truck. He drove the fire truck westward for several days, transporting more than 20 Allied POWs. They finally were liberated by the British Army on May 5, 1945.
Everett and his family were long time members of Fairview Baptist Church, joining in 1957. At Fairview, he was a “good and faithful servant” of the Lord. He taught Sunday school for many years leading young people to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Everett’s faith led him to serve as a deacon and hold many leadership roles at Fairview Baptist Church in Sherman, Texas.”

I visited Everett in intensive care three days before he died. His mind was sharp and was still interested in people. He asked if a little girl was OK that had been hurt on my slide four years ago.

The accident would have happened if the slide had only been three feet high. There have been 1,482 slide rides including one for my wife.

After his wife died four years ago, he seldom attended church and with a new pastor, no one from his church visited him during his time in the hospital. (How soon we forget.)

Rex Ray said...

Yesterday, I attended my cousin-in-law Everett Muculloch’s funeral. I learned the new pastor had visited Everett a couple of times in the hospital.

The link I gave was printed in the obituaries section, but yesterday the same newspaper front page headline was:

“Everett McCullough, POW in World War ll, dies at 95.”

It had his picture with his ‘flying uniform’. It gave more information. “He learned the hard way not to tie your shoe while standing in line. He got a hairline crack in his neck by being hit with a rifle. It bothered him the rest of his life.”

At the funeral, a man told how Everett was 23 years old when he met the girl he would marry. (I had never heard the story.)

“Dave Ray was campaigning for County Superintendent. His niece, Mary Hicks, was with him when he had a flat and no spare in front of a farm house. Everett took the tire several miles to town on his bicycle to have it repaired. Mary kept the tire balanced on the handle bars. Dave Ray lost the election, but Everett won the girl.”

Rex Ray said...

At the funeral, I was reminded why the sons of Aaron were killed. Criswell Study Bible suggested four possible reasons. The one I believe is they were arrogant. In the presence of God, all the people had their faces to the ground, but the sons were ‘doing their job’ as if their job was more important than bowing to God.

That’s the way I felt when the Sheppard Air Force Base Honor Guard took over the funeral. It was like slow synergized motion their marching to the hearse and carrying the casket to the grave. Each step was taken after a command from the leader. (Step…pause…step…) Folding the casket flag took forever. Then they marched 100 yards, picked up rifles and did the 21 gun salute. Taps was good. The process took more time than the rest of the service.

Anonymous said...

Here you go, Rex. Some good information in here, especially around the 31 min mark.

Anonymous said...

And another good one in which the author at the 44 min mark suggests that, in his opinion, if the original framers of the Constitution were alive and brought up to speed on the current FED gov't none would solute the flag. I agree!!