Notes from Jan

O Say Can You See?

May 28, 2018

It’s Memorial Day, a day to remember, honor and appreciate sacrifices made for our freedom.

Our family in Norway, Denmark and the USA fought during WWII. Some fought in  Viet Nam and recently served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I honor them.

In church yesterday we prayed for Gold Star families and applauded  a band of brothers and sisters from the local VFW.

Flags flap in the breeze, colorful reminders of parades and picnics to come for many, but not all.

The NFL’s recent ban on kneeling during the singing of the national Anthem  leaves me puzzling on what it really means to be a patriot.

Is it someone who supports their country ( the flag) without question or as the Urban dictionary defines,” a real patriot is someone who loves their country enough to speak up when they see something that needs to be changed.”?

Our anthem begins, “O say can you see…?”

What do we see or  assume when someone kneels or stands?

Is kneeling about disrespecting our flag or flagging issues of racial injustice in our country?

Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy  and  Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird speak of our history of injustice, as does recent news of tasering and cuffing a black NBA player over a parking violation.

We sing, “what so proudly we hailed?”

A few years ago Jud and I took a European river cruise with good friends. We travelled inland and saw the vast parade grounds for the Nazi party’s rallies during the 1930s in Nuremberg, Germany.  Thousands stood (what would have happened if anyone kneeled?), saluted and shouted, “Heil, Hitler!”

It matters who and what we “so proudly hail.”

When I read  the Washington Post’s May 24th  article by Phillip Bump concerning Pew research’s findings,” The group least likely to think the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees are white evangelical protestants,”

Who are we hailing by halting?

What are we Bible readers to do with words in Exodus 22 to not mistreat foreigners, but remember we were once strangers, foreigners?  What are we to do with God’s requirement in Micah 6:8 ” To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”(NIV)

What makes us “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?

Kneelers and standers.

Citizens and strangers.

We, without fear of reprisal or deportation,  voice our convictions.

For most of us, it’s been a few years since we’ve  been a kid in a classroom, standing, pledging allegiance to the flag,


We pledged to be One nation, under God,  indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Time to flag that promise  to assure “liberty and justice for all.”














This story has been viewed 2 times

3 people HEART this story


  • Reply Radina Welton May 28, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Preach it, sister! I’m with you!

  • Reply Alice May 28, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Jan, shout it from the housetops, post it everywhere possible, don’t let any of us forget for a minute God’s commendation to care for not only orphans and widows, but also the stranger in the land. I’d love to see your comments front and center in every church bulletin in the land (wishful thinking, I know). THANKS for this emphasis on Memorial Day.

  • Reply Shirley Westrate May 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
    Hugs to you, Jan Carlberg.

  • Reply Linda Coonrod May 29, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Yes, yes!! Thank you so much for your clarity of thought and speech!!

  • Reply Katherine Bagley May 29, 2018 at 1:55 am

    I couldn’t agree more, thank you Jan!

  • Reply Nancy Sheys May 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Sometimes love is difficult, especially if one listens to and reads statements to do the opposite. Scripture does not suggest that we love our neighbor. It commands us to love our neighbor as our selves. Thanks Jan!

  • Reply David Carlson May 30, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    As a white evangelical (getting harder to use that term) protestant male, I thank you for your post.
    In 1954 the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance . Even as a 5th grader growing up in Wheaton, Ill., I remember having mixed feeling about the change. Was the USA anymore under God than other nations ? Were we God’s favorite nation ? I believe it became part of white privilege and not a call to Servanthood. So sad !

  • Share Your Thoughts

    WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :