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Friday, April 4, 2008

Booing the President

Booing the President

Maybe I’m just old school, but it seems to me that there are lines that American citizens should not cross, and one of those lines is booing the President of the United States. Three years ago I attended opening day for the Washington Nationals Baseball Team. It was their very first game as the Washington Nationals and as a part of the celebration of this event; the President threw out the ceremonial first pitch. It’s an old, old tradition that began in 1910 when President William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch for the Washington Senators. From that day forward it became a tradition for the President of the United States to throw out the first pitch. 

It is, in my mind, a very nice tradition and until recent years the President, whoever he was, Republican or Democrat, received a nice round of applause for getting the grand old game off to a start. That’s why I was disappointed in 2005 when President Bush threw out the first pitch. While most fans gave him a nice round of applause, the boo birds were there. In fact, the couple I took to the game couldn’t see the President because a couple of protestors held up signs of protest when the President stepped on the field.

More recently when I attended opening day at the new Nationals ball park, there was more booing when the President stepped on the field.

Good grief, as Charlie Brown would say. It’s a baseball game for goodness sake! Are we becoming a banana republic where everything must be political? No matter how much you disagree with the current President, be he Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, doesn’t he or she deserve your respect?

As Paul says in Romans 13:7 in regard to government, "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes, if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
This doesn’t mean you have to surrender your freedom or you don’t have a right to disagree with the President on policies. I certainly disagree with the current President on a number of issues and I’m sure I’ll disagree with the next President on his or her policies. But I hope I will always give them respect and pray for their protection and wisdom in crisis.

Is America becoming such a coarse society that we no longer maintain a consensus of common decency and courtesy? As an American you have all sorts of freedoms. Nevertheless, there is a difference between what you can do (like booing the President) and what you should do. 

Next year when I go to out to opening day for the Nationals I plan on applauding the President who throws out the first pitch whether her name is Hillary or his name is Barak or John. It’s just the right thing to do.

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