Rapinoe and Too Many Others Ashamed to be an American

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Surge Summary: U.S. Women’s Soccer player Megan Rapinoe represents too many other American’s in her disdain for her nation. Those born in America are lavishly blessed in so many ways – yet multitudes of them take all that for granted.  

by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Providence Forum

This is the era of the ungrateful American. This is the time when some Americans pour contempt on their country—even before the whole world.

A case in point could be seen at the opening of the World Cup of women’s soccer in Vietnam last Friday.

All the Vietnamese players showed their pride for their country. But, as the New York Post notes, “Most members of the US women’s soccer team stayed silent during the national anthem.”

The Post added, “Only five of the 11 players who stood on the field for the anthem — with young, aspiring players standing before them — placed their hands over their hearts, while their six teammates kept their digits clasped behind their backs, video shows.”

In contrast to this attitude was that of the late Jeremiah Denton, Jr., whom I once got to interview for Coral Ridge Ministries-TV. He served in the Vietnam War. His plane was shot down, and he was brutalized as a POW for eight years. When he was finally released in 1973, he made a brief speech.

Said the future U.S. Senator: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander-in-chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”

An interesting irony is that nearly 60,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War, the goal of which was to stop the spread of Communism. We failed in that objective, and then came the “killing fields,” in which the Communists butchered tens of thousands.

And some American athletes put their ingratitude on display before the watching world.

To me this is the very opposite of Lee Greenwood’s popular song, which soared in popularity during the Reagan years: “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.”

But today’s elite seem to be saying by their protest of the National Anthem: “And I’m ashamed to be an American.”

The outspoken lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe is a leader in opposing the National Anthem and other trappings of patriotism.

In 2020, Terry Gross interviewed Rapinoe for NPR and summarized some statements from U.S. soccer officials to the female soccer star: “As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.”

Rapinoe resented this statement: “I couldn’t believe it. I think I was truly sort of dumbstruck. It really upset me. The nerve and the audacity to say what they did in that statement —it is an honor and a privilege that we all have in this country? I don’t think so. I don’t think we do all have that in this country.”

No “privilege” to be in this country? I’ve been reading an interesting book by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, whom I’ve had the privilege to interview on numerous occasions.

In his 2002 bookThou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Lapin talks about how no American should be arrogant about his nation of birth: “You had the good fortune to be born and raised in a country that offered not only physical survival but also endless opportunity” (p. 82).

In a different context, the Apostle Paul reminds us of why we should be humble: “What do you have that you did not receive?”

America has never been perfect. But as a nation, it has lifted up millions from grinding poverty and continues to do so, as we strive toward “a more perfect union.”

Many modern Americans, perhaps those protesting the National Anthem, don’t seem to be aware of the numerous sacrifices made by the settlers of this nation and the founding fathers. I suppose they just dismiss them as part of the “patriarchy.”

But sacrifice they did. Semi-retired Judge Darrell White made a fascinating remark in our Providence Forum film, “Endowed By Their Creator,” part of my seven-part Foundation of American Liberty series.

White noted: “In a nutshell, our founders sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity, us. They pledged their lives, their fortune, and their sacred honor to secure our blessings of liberty. We, on the other hand, have fallen into a pattern of doing just the opposite. We have sat on our posteriors while socialistic policies plunder our posterity, financially and morally on the altar of temporal prosperity.”

America’s first great historian, George Bancroft, wrote of the fledgling American “army” that dared take on England: “On these bustling preparations of men who had no artillery, few muskets with bayonets, and no treasury, the loyalists looked with derision, never doubting the power of Great Britain to crush every movement of insurrection.”

But founding father Ben Franklin said, “The eyes of all Christendom are now upon us, and our honor as a people is become a matter of the utmost consequence. If we tamely give up our rights in this contest, a century to come will not restore us in the opinion of the world; we shall be stamped with the character of dastards, poltroons, and fools; and be despised and trampled upon, not by this haughty, insolent nation only, but by all mankind. Present inconveniences are therefore to be borne with fortitude, and better times expected.”

Such sacrifices among America’s founders were legion. But they are forgotten today by smug ingrates who seem to denigrate America at every turn.


Dr. Jerry Newcombe is the executive director of Providence Forum, a division of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air contributor. He has written/co-written 33 books, including (with D. James Kennedy), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? and (with Dr. Peter Lillback), George Washington’s Sacred Fire. 

The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

Originally posted here.

Image: Adapted from: Jamie Smed from Cincinnati, Ohio – Megan Rapinoe, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=102411916

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