This column originally appeared in the November 2017 Bulletin. We thought its relevance today makes it worth re-sharing.
If Shinran were alive today and happened to be on the playing field (or basketball court or baseball diamond, you get the picture) as the National Anthem played, do you think he would take a knee?
Shinran would probably take a knee; he was a radical in his own way. He was definitely not a political person, but he would be annoyed by the U.S. president trying to make political points at the expense of a racial minority.
Not standing for the National Anthem is not about disrespecting the flag and not about showing disrespect to the principles of democracy. Rather, it is about remembering that justice has not always been equally practiced.
He was definitely a person of the ordinary people and would have empathy with Black Lives Matter.
Gassho (with palms together), Rev. Ron