Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 34 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
General News    H3'ed 9/20/16

How Jehovah's Witnesses Won Colin Kaepernick's Right to NOT Honor the Flag

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   11 comments
Message Jamie Wendland
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

How Jehovah's Witnesses Won Colin Kaepernick's Right to NOT Honor the Flag

Jehovah's Witness schoolchildren Lily and Billy Gobitis had no idea that they were about to set the stage for one of the worst cases of religious persecution in America and a series of Supreme Court rulings regarding the constitutional right for free speech when they refused to raise their hand in salute of the American flag.

It was pre-war 1938 and Hitler and his Nazi regime were not only persecuting Jews, but anyone else they felt "inferior" to their superior race and nation. This included gays, the mentally ill and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Walter Gobitis, the children's father wanted to do something in solidarity with the German Witnesses who were being severely persecuted.

At this time, Americans didn't recite the Pledge of Allegiance with hand on heart, rather they performed a ritual that eerily similar to the Nazi salute. It was called; "The Flag Salute."

After a discussion with his family, Mr. Gobitis decided that his children should not participate with the flag salute as a daily ritual at their public school as a show of respect to the German Witnesses who were suffering.

These were patriotic times in America, so this did not set well with the MinersvilleSchool District, who immediately contacted Walter Gobitis informing that this would not be tolerated.

The Gobitis children continued and soon other Jehovah's Witness children joined them with this "protest."

They were all expelled.

But this was not the end of it and as things do, this snowballed into a national movement of Jehovah's Witnesses.

By the 1939 annual conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses hosted by The Watchtower Society around the nation, it was moved and adapted that no Witness should perform the flag salute, because all government is of Satan, not of God and so no true Christian could pledge allegiance to both.

For Biblical evidence of this they pointed to Mathew 4-8--- the third temptation of Christ;

"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

Jehovah's Witnesses are a very practical and analytical religion, so to their minds it makes perfect logic that Satan would not offer anything that was not already in his possession. Because He had offered all of the kingdoms of the earth to Christ, they therefore reasoned that Satan and not God presently controlled all of the governments of the world and Jehovah's Witnesses should have no part of it.

Given this move, not honoring the flag was now a matter of religious freedom and not just a symbolic act in solidarity with the German Witnesses.

Let me back up a minute here to mention that Jehovah's Witnesses have always had the knack to navigate around established American law and customs.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 5   Well Said 4   Valuable 4  
Rate It | View Ratings

Jamie Wendland Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Jamie Wendland is respected for well-researched political and cultural analysis. A contributor to Russian Pravda.RU and Oped News his articles and commentary also appear in a variety of international publications and journals. Feel free to email (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Bain Capital's grip on addiction--The profit behind 12-step treatment

The Depth of Black History-The Bias of Archeology

Nitrogen Toxicity and the Future of Sustainable Agriculture

How Jehovah's Witnesses Won Colin Kaepernick's Right to NOT Honor the Flag

Why Americans Love War--The Pentagon's Propaganda Machine

A Right to Assemble Chaos--Why American Police Incite Riots

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend