I am heartbroken, sickened, and fed up with all the press on the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Do you realize it has been over 54 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream Speech.” As a Cherokee woman, I have had a similar dream to that of Dr. King for nearly my whole 35 years. It is time for the dream to end. It is time for it be reality! God did not intend for society to fight over race. The greatest command He gave us was and still is to LOVE!

Disrespecting the flag is NOT the answer to solving race issues or to bring about change. To me, our flag represents freedom. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812 as he watched the British bombard American troops at Fort McHenry at the Battle of Baltimore. At dawn, Key was inspired to write a poem when he saw that the American flag was still waving over the fort. Knowing why the National Anthem was written, how can anyone turn it into a negative action. Our troops repelled hostile and oppressive forces.

Some may say that I have never been discriminated against, so I do not get an opinion. Au contraire, I am a Cherokee female minister and chaplain. Plus, while I have extremely fair skin tone, that did not protect me from prejudice. I actually had a dirty rat tell me in college to go back to Oklahoma to my teepee where I could shoot guns and drink whiskey.

Let us get to the truth of the matter--God’s Word. God created only 1 race--the human race. “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, New Revised Standard Version). Racism has been around for thousands of years. In Exodus, we see the start of racism as the Israelites (Hebrews) are oppressed by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God does direct us on what our actions should be. Survivors of racism, discrimination, and prejudice work on forgiving those that have hurt you. “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32, New Revised Standard Version). For those inflicting the pain, repent now! As for our whole world, take heed of scriptural commands. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, New Revised Standard Version). Til next week! Always 4 Christ!

Hymn for the Week is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s favorite: "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" composed by Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993) with a close second being "There is a Balm in Gilead" that is a traditional African American Spiritual. I encourage you to find your healing within the lyrics.

Rev. Tritthart is a graduate of Westminster College and Rawlings Divinity School. She is an ordained minister, a public speaker, and a ministerial services provider offering assistance to Miami and the surrounding areas. She owns Tritthart Special Event Services and can be reached at (918) 919-1500 or www.Facebook.com/tritthartses or www.tritthartspecialeventservices.com.