Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Paul Kattupalli. Thank you for joining us today. This week we are looking for partners for our ministry. Please go to our web site www.doctorpaul.org to became a partner and supporter of our ministry. We don’t have any support from any organization or a church. We depend solely on you for all our ministry activities. So, we appreciate your continued support.
This week started off with lot of steam. President Trump criticized NFL players for not standing during the playing of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’. As you know, some NFL players are raising their fists in defiance, or kneeling or sitting during the national anthem.
Now let me give you some thoughts on this. I came from India and have been living in the United States for the last 16 years. I am not a citizen of the United States, I am living here on a green card. Though I am a foreigner, I always stand in respect during the playing of national anthem. Whatever grievance you might have, you can protest, that’s your right, but you should have respect for the national anthem. You see, we enjoy many rights in America because of the Constitution. But the Constitution did not come out of thin air. Men and women sacrificed their lives in blood and sweat to give us the Constitution. When we respect the national anthem, we are respecting the Constitution and the sacrifice men and women made for us to enjoy the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
I was watching Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. They all remained in the locker room during the national anthem. Only one player Alejandro Villanueva stood up in respect when they recited the national anthem. Only one player out of this big team? He became a hero overnight. He respected the national anthem because he knew the price of freedom. He is playing for Pittsburgh Steelers, but he is also a major in the United States Army. Serving as an Army Ranger, he served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Once he rescued wounded soldiers while under enemy fire. He was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor. So, yesterday (September 24, 2017) before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, he was the lone member of the Steelers to appear and stand for the national anthem. The rest of the team remained in the locker room.
Alejandro showed the respect for the national anthem because as a soldier he knew the price of freedom. NFL players with their multimillion dollar contracts and mansions often do not realize that the freedom they enjoy in America came through the sacrifices of men and women like Alejandro.
The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. In the War of 1812, when the British troops attacked Baltimore Harbor, the American soldiers fought courageously. When Francis looked at the large American flag flying above Fort McHenry he was so overwhelmed by the victory, that he sat down and wrote the Star Spangled Banner.
Charles Blow on New York Times now attacking even Francis Scott Key. His argument is, ‘don’t show respect for national anthem because it’s author held some racist views’. If you apply that standard, we have to leave all American traditions. Are we going to stop honoring Constitution because many of its authors held slaves? Are we going to stop honoring Declaration of Independence because Jefferson held slaves? Are we going to rename Washington DC because George Washington held slaves? Now the Left loves Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Darwin expressed many racist views in his books. Are you going to remove Darwin statues and stop teaching evolution in our class rooms? They say, ‘hey, Darwin was just a man of his time, his scientific theories should not be judged by his racism. His theory of evolution is independent of his personal views and life’. If you defend Darwin along those lines, apply the same standards to the founding fathers. Their theories of liberty and government are independent of their personal views and lifestyles.
America is a collection of ideas derived from Judeo-Christian worldview. So, it is not about individuals. The words of Jefferson are larger and greater than the life of Jefferson. Same applies to national anthem. It’s words and ideas are greater than some views held by Francis Key. He wrote in the Star Spangled Banner.
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust’
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
Please note those powerful words, ‘In God is our trust’. Judge Roy Moore is running for senate from the State of Alabama. The media is attacking Judge Roy Moore. Their complaint is he is talking about God too often. Recently Judge Moore was speaking to a group of pastors. He told them, I quote, “We are losing the acknowledgment of God, and I’m standing here talking, to Christians and Pastors, and I’m telling you we’re losing the acknowledgment of God’. He was talking to them from the Old Testament book of Hosea, explaining what happens to a nation when it no longer possess the knowledge of God. He said, ‘You wonder why we’re having shootings, and killings here in 2017? Because we’ve asked for it. We’ve taken God out of everything. We’ve taken prayer out of school, we’ve taken prayer out of council meetings’.
CNN and other media has blasted Judge Roy Moore for these statements. How dare he associates violence with the lack of prayer? But he asked a very legitimate question: Why are we having shootings and killings here in 2017? Yesterday someone went into a church in Tennessee and killed a worshipper. Shooters are going into churches, schools, hospitals and killing people. Once upon a time, we used to think they are sacred places that should not be violent. But nothing is sacred anymore. It is God who made human life sacred. Without God, nothing remains sacred. We removed God from our national conscience and violence is going up and up. That is exactly the message of Old Testament prophets: Without knowledge of God, people perish.
With its attacks on Judge Roy Moore, our secular culture only exposing its paganism and ungodliness. I am not surprised. In Romans chapter 1, Apostle Paul clearly wrote the steps of degradation a culture descends through, when it abandons the Creator God. First they reject their Creator, then they defile their bodies in sexual immorality and start to worship nature instead of their Creator. They worship Mother Nature instead of Father God. In this atmosphere filled with paganism, it is very important to support individuals like Judge Roy Moore who remind us how far we have gone from the God of the Bible, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Both Democrats and Republicans are attacking Judge Roy Moore. The Republican Establishment spent over ten million dollars to defeat this great man of God.
We say, the land of the free and the home of brave. I have nothing against the wealth of our sports stars and Hollywood celebrities. But too often they fail to see that this is a land of the free because it is also the home of the brave. Ironically they scornfully deride the very constitution that gave them liberties, and the very military that guard their freedoms.
I am a medical doctor, I often do physicals for US army men and women. I alway tell them, ‘thank you for your sacrifice’.
I was born and raised in India. I graduated from medical school when I was 24 years old and came to America. When I was lagging in my test scores, my dad used to rebuke me, ‘remember, you should become a doctor in America’. As a foreign doctor I had to do residency in a specialty before I could practice in America. So, I went to New York City to do residency. I started my internship in a hospital in New York City. I was staying in a skyscraper across Metropolitan Hospital in Manhattan. Everything was new to me. Between the patients, I used to interact with other residents. There are many doctors in this hospital from India and Pakistan. Between patients we used to meet for lunch and tea. One of the friends I made here is Dr.Jafari. One day he looked at me and said, ‘You are from India, I am from Pakistan, here we are serving American patients. Your country made nuclear weapons to destroy my country. My country made nuclear weapons to destroy your country. Here in America, Indians and Pakistanis, we are nice to each other and living in peace. Why can’t we be like this over there?’
I never met a Pakistani before I came to America. I never met a Jew before I came to America. I never met a Chinese or Korean before I came to America. When I was working in that hospital in New York City, there were people from all over the world. America provided a ground for me to meet all these people from around the world. We leave our baggage in our native countries and come to America with one goal: pursue the American dream.
So,America is a collection of ideals derived from Judeo-Christian worldview. It is a land of freedom for so many persecuted people from around the world. Nabeel Qureshi passed away this last weekend. His parents came from Pakistan. They are Ahmadi Muslims. You know, in Pakistan, a majority Muslim nation, Ahmadis are a persecuted minority. Ahmadis consider themselves as Muslims but they are persecuted by Sunni Muslims because Ahmadis, among other things, do not believe that Muhammad is the last prophet from God. The Constitution of Pakistan prohibits Ahmadis from practicing their religion or calling themselves Muslims. Many Ahmadis flee to America for religious freedom. In America, Ahmadis can profess their faith publicly without fear of persecution. Many Shiites flee to America for religious freedom.
Refugees from Nepal are coming to America. They are denied a place in Nepal, a Hindu nation and Bhutan, a Buddhist nation. They are heading to America for freedom to live. Rohingya Muslims are fleeing to America. They are being denied a place in Buddhist majority Myanmar. People from every continent are coming to America in our time. You know, more Africans came to America in the last twenty years than the previous two hundred years combined!
There is no other nation in the world where so many people from different parts of the world can come together and follow a dream. Outside Israel, name one country where Jews are elected to public offices more than in America. Outside Africa, name one country where people of African descent flourished more than in America. Outside India, name one country where Indians flourished more than in America. Don’t misunderstand me here. There are pockets of racism inside America. But fighting racism through disrespecting the national anthem is a bad idea. Jackie Robinson and Arthur Ash were great African-American sportsmen. They faced so much racism and discrimination. But they always respected the national anthem. They moved our conscience with their words, not protesting the national anthem. Martin Luther King Jr moved our conscience through quoting the Bible, not protesting the national anthem.
How can we eradicate social evils in our society? Let me give you some insights from history.
First Great Awakening
In American history, there are two great spiritual revivals. The First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening. The First Great Awakening shook the American mainland during 1730s and 1740s. In 1700s American Colonies were in confusion and turmoil. People were asking, ‘What is our identity? Where is our culture going?’. Then came the Great Awakening, the first authentically American cultural event. Great preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield founded this Great Awakening by turning people to the Word of God.
Jonathan Edwards: Under Jonathan Edwards there was a great revival in Massachusetts in 1734 – 1735. Let me read a passage from Perry Miller’s book Jonathan Edwards:
“Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noonday; the sharpest sight cannot discern them”
“All that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God”
Please note those words: ‘Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering’ Without conversion of our souls, that is exactly what happens. We walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and ‘the arrows of death fly unseen at noon’. Jonathan Edwards pleaded with people: It is dangerous to fall in the hands of a righteous God. Repent of your sin and make Jesus your Lord Savior.
George Whitfield (1714 – 1770): Another founder of First Great Awakening was George Whitfield. He was one of the greatest preachers of 18th century. In 1739, he wanted to establish an orphanage in Georgia, then a British colony. George Whitfield went around preaching and raising funds for this orphanage. People were thronging the streets to listen to this great preacher from England.
Let me read a passage from James Gledstone’s book The Life and Travels of George Whitefield:
“At Fog’s Manor Whitefield shouted, ‘if not a greater, commotion was in the hearts of the people. Look where I would, most were drowned in tears. The word was sharper than a two-edged sword, and their bitter cries and groans were enough to pierce the hardest heart. Oh, what different visages were then to be seen! Some were struck pale as death, others were wringing their hands, others lying on the ground, others sinking into the arms of their friends, and most lifting up their eyes towards heaven, and crying out to God for mercy! I could think of nothing, when I looked upon them, so much as the great day. They seemed like persons awakened by the last trump, and coming out of their graves to judgment’.
Please note those words: When George Whitfield was preaching, the words of the Bible sharper than a two-edged sword piercing the hearts of men and women. They were crying out to God for mercy. It’s like they are ‘coming out of their graves’. If Colin Kaepernick wants to change America, he should not kneel during the national anthem, he should kneel in the presence of God, make Jesus His Lord and Savior, and then go out and preach the Word of God. That is how we can change America.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for your grace and mercy on us. We repent for neglecting your Word. We pray that you forgive our sins. We pray that you anoint us with your Word and Spirit. We pray that you move the hearts of men and women in our time to see you and accept you as their Lord and Savior. We pray that you bless America with unity and love. In your mighty and wonderful name we pray, Amen.