WATCH What Happened When France Played Its First Game Since The Horrific Attack

Stereotypes are everywhere. For ages, Americans have had certain notions about the French. Often seen in caricatures, those stereotypes have been perpetuated for years. There’s the one about French hygiene. That one gets passed around a lot. There’s another about wine and cheese. Then there’s one about weakness, specifically about French men being weak.

The stereotype that French men are weak when the going gets tough, however, has been obliterated this week, as the entire world has watched the French, and French President Francois Hollande, respond to the horrific ISIS attack on their homeland with an impressive display of solidarity, poise, anger, and action.

Now, with a certain jealousy of French toughness, Americans have watched as Hollande declared war against ISIS and put the French war machine into motion. The French wasted no time in dropping bombs on ISIS heads, either. As early as Monday, French bombs were away, falling toward ISIS strongholds.

When ISIS attacked France on Friday, French soccer fans were filmed singing their national anthem as security was escorting the throngs out of the national stadium, where suicide bombers attempted to kill fans. The singing was loud and boisterous, almost welcoming the attack on their country in a ‘bring it on’ kind of spirit.

That same spirit carried over to this week at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Again, the French soccer fans were not going to be silent, intimidated, or inconvenienced by ISIS’ attempt to disrupt their lives, and the British joined them in solidarity.

Wembley even displayed the French national motto “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) on the exterior jumbotron of the stadium.

And in another display of solidarity, the British and French players and fans all joined in and sang the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” at the opening of the game. Fans lifted signs in blue, white, and red, to display the colors and symbol of the flag of France. It was an impressive display of strength and resolve, and resounded with the anger that is sure to be unleashed on ISIS.

Paying For Patriotism

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at

I go to a lot of Major League Baseball games. I really love the sport.

Yet if you’ve been to a baseball game in the last decade, you’ve probably noticed some changes. National Guard members now perform flag ceremonies between innings. Military recruits are enlisted right on the field. Surprise reunions of deployed men and women and their families play out before an audience of thousands.

The games have morphed into choreographed patriotic events. Who’s paying for this hoopla? As it turns out, the Pentagon.

Arizona Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake announced recently that over the past four years alone, the Pentagon has shelled out at least $6.8 million for Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and other sports leagues to “honor” troops with cheap stunts at sporting events. The details are listed in a new Senate report.

The total tally may top $10 million — and even reach $100 million, if you count the military’s marketing deals with NASCAR.

The senators call this military marketing “paid patriotism.”

For millions of your tax dollars, the Pentagon is buying things like ceremonial first pitches for recent veterans, club-level seats for vets at football games, and airport greetings for returning service members.

If that sounds crass to you, you’re not alone.

“We appreciate if they honor the men and women in uniform, but not to get paid for it,” said McCain, himself a decorated war hero.

“If the most compelling message about military service we can deliver…is the promise of game tickets, gifts, and player appearances,” his report concludes, “we need to rethink our approach to how we are inspiring qualified men and women to military service.”

I’d go further than that.

Patriotism is a good thing. It can be unifying and inspiring. But what we’re seeing at sporting events isn’t patriotism. It’s nationalism — propaganda, even — and it’s potentially dangerous.

The Pentagon even pays for “sponsored” renditions of God Bless America.

Irving Berlin wrote that song in 1918 as a show tune for a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank. Years later, it served as the official campaign song for both Franklin Roosevelt and his Republican opponent Wendell Willkie. In the 1950s, it was adopted by the fledgling civil rights movement before becoming a rallying cry for supporters of the Vietnam War in the ’60s.

On September 11, 2001, God Bless America began a new life when members of Congress sang it on the steps of the Capitol — supposedly spontaneously — as they gathered to mourn the terrorist attacks from earlier that day.

Since then, it’s become an official part of Major League Baseball games. In several stadiums, the tune has replaced Take Me Out to the Ballgame in group sing-alongs during the seventh-inning stretch.

In fact, this former show tune has become mandatory in some places.

In 2008, a fan at Yankee Stadium was restrained and then ejected by police officers for attempting to leave his seat for the restroom while the song was playing. The following year, three minor league fans of the now-defunct Newark Bears were ejected from the stadium for refusing to stand during the song.

If it’s freely chosen, standing for the national anthem is patriotic. Forcing people to stand for God Bless America isn’t.

This is about more than taxpayer money. The government has no business propagandizing the American people.

OtherWords columnist John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

HS Runner Placed 3rd In State Finals- Then Officials Saw What Was On His Headband…

A high school cross -country runner who placed third in a state finals competition was disqualified from the race over the weekend for wearing a headband inscribed with verses from the Bible.

According to Fox News columnist Todd Starnes, the incident took place Saturday at the Georgia 5A cross-country finals, when West Forsyth High School runner John Green was disqualified after finishing the race because of the headband, despite there being no prohibition of headbands on the rule books.

The headband was embroidered with the words: “Isaiah 40:30-31.”

The Bible verses read: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Assistant Coach Scott Griffith said in a statement: “It is hard to understand how an unreadable, inside-out Bible verse is something harmful to our sport and worthy of a post-race disqualification of a student athlete.”

The Georgia High School Association denies that he was disqualified due to what was written on his headband. The GHSA said in a statement: “The fact that it was of a religious nature did not enter the decision whatsoever.”

According to the Forsyth County News, John had worn the headband since the start of 2015 and wore it to last year’s state meet without being disqualified.

Ten minutes before Saturday’s race, an official inspected John’s team to see that they were in compliance with the guidelines, and he gave them a green light.

Another official came by, however, and told John to turn his headband inside out because it had writing on it, and rules did not permit headgear unless it is unadorned.

Finally, just before the race, a third official came by and told the boy to take it off.

However, John’s coaches feared that, with John’s long hair, taking off the headband for the race could prove a hazard under the wet and muddy conditions.

They told him to run the race with the headband turned inside out. This had already been approved by two race officials. Furthermore, there was no rule on the books against wearing headbands specifically.

The Georgia High School Association has no rule regarding headbands, but it does allow race officials to make up rules not covered in the rule book. On Saturday, John’s headband was a considered “uniform violation,” according to the Forsyth County News.

Griffith isn’t buying the GHSA’s explanation, though. He stated: “If John did not break a rule, he cannot be disqualified from the race and his individual result and our appropriate team placing must be reinstated.”

John’s congressman, Republican Rep. Douglas Collins, also thinks that John was disqualified from his third place finish for religious reasons.

He tweeted,”Religious expression being squashed here right in the Ninth District. This is outrageous.”

What do you think? Was John disqualified for wearing a headband with Bible verse references on it?

Praying Football Coach Who Took A Stand For His Beliefs Just Learned His Fate; Many Will Be Outraged

Because he often prays with his players in the school’s locker room or on the field, football coach Joe Kennedy has been under fire from administrators at Bremerton High School in Washington State for some time. But now, it has been learned that administrators have taken the final step and fired the coach for praying.

Coach Kennedy, who is a devout Christian, has been engaging in pregame and postgame prayer circles since at least 2008; and for some time, school administrators have been warning him to stop leading the prayers. For his part, the coach has made sure that his players understand that they are under no compulsion to join the prayers, and they have the option not to participate.

Still, the coach did alter his practice to try and obey demands from school officials. Instead of having a full-blown prayer circle, Kennedy began taking a knee in prayer for some 20 seconds after shaking hands with the opposing team at the end of a game. With this, Kennedy insisted he wasn’t leading a prayer for students but was simply displaying his own religious conviction. The school, though, still demanded he stop.

However, Kennedy insists that he has a First Amendment right to take a knee in prayer after a game, whether he works for a school or not.

Ultimately, the school this month decided to put the coach on administrative leave in preparation for firing him. The move comes after school Superintendent Aaron Leavell demanded that the coach cease the personal prayers by September 17. The coach refused and continued his practice.

So, as Fox News reports, the administration this week sent the coach an official letter informing him of his removal from the school.

“Effective immediately,” the letter read, “pending further District review of your conduct, you are placed on paid administrative leave from your position as an assistant coach with the Bremerton High School football program. You may not participate, in any capacity, in BHS football program activities.”

Leavell’s letter continued, saying: “You violated those directives by engaging in overt, public and demonstrative religious conduct while still on duty as an assistant coach.”

In a statement, the school further explained its decision: “While the district appreciates Kennedy’s many positive contributions to the BHS football program, and therefore regrets the necessity of this action, Kennedy’s conduct poses a genuine risk that the District will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others. For this reason, Kennedy will not be allowed to further violate the District’s directives.”

The coach’s lawyer, Hiram Sasser, said that the district’s move was a hostile action.

The Associated Press reported that Sasser said: “It’s surprising and shocking.”

Sasser also said they plan to file a charge of religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Public Prayer And The Result, ‘Woodlawn’

I don’t have TV, nor do we watch TV in the MacAulay household; but recently, I caught a short clip on of a former TV child star Candace Cameron-Bure on a show called “The View,” where they were discussing the story about a high school football coach who recently defied a lawsuit threat demanding he stop praying on the field after games.

This persecuted assistant coach’s name is Joe Kennedy, and he is claiming the post-game prayer session is not mandatory and is therefore protected free speech under the First Amendment where “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the Free Exercise thereof.”

“The separation of church and state does not mean that we cannot pray publicly,” Bure correctly asserted. “It actually guarantees our free exercise of religion so that if it is voluntary, we are allowed to pray wherever we would like to.”

“But that’s not fair to somebody who doesn’t pray,” Raven-Symone added.

“You don’t have to — it’s voluntary,” Bure said. “If people would actually put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer, you would see a whole difference in this country to see that power of prayer.”

Did you hear that??!! Ms. Raven Symone is offended because this strange delusion of religious prohibition has been allowed to dictate the moral compass of Christianity in America.  

Bure went on to praise the football coach for taking a stand for prayer and said schools need to hire “more men like this who are willing to pray for our students, for our athletes, for protection, for safety.”  The audience, including myself, erupted into spontaneous applause.

I can see Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, abolitionist, First American Surgeon General, and founder of Dickenson College, Dr. Benjamin Rush bursting into this conversation… “I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.” “By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.”

A misguided non-jihadist professor of the religion of Islam is absolutely thrilled to have a country where his or her rights are protected because you aren’t gonna find that in a Muslim-jihadist led country. Atheists, you aren’t going to find the right to Life, personal liberty, or property in a Socialist-controlled government; that is why you are in America.  

I have met both classes of individuals all over the country in my travels who are so grateful our founders perpetuated Christianity as their religion and the religion of America and its citizens.

If we truly want to see the power of healing, peace and restoration to our country, we would follow the examples of men like Coach Joe Kennedy; and perhaps we could have more events like that of Woodlawn High School in 1974, whose spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player of the Woodlawn High School football team, including its coach, Tandy Gerelds. Their dedication to prayer, love and unity in a school filled with racism and hate lead to the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama.

Benjamin Franklin acknowledged: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

I have to ask the question: why do certain splinter groups get so upset over people praying for our children and our nation?


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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by