Sunday, May 29, 2005

Freedom From Religion

I was taught that our Constitution not only allows us freedom of religion, it also allows us freedom from religion. So, I'm exercising my patriotic duty by calling for an end to playing God Bless America at Major League ballgames.

The recent practice of playing this song started in New York after 9/11. It was played in every ballpark at every game, for the rest of the 2001 season. Now, most, if not all, MLB teams play the song on Sundays in the middle of the 7th inning. The Yankees (and Mets?) present the song every freakin' game.

Even a cursory review of the lyrics reveals this song to be not a patriotic song, but a religious one. And, as is typical of much of religious sentiment, this Irving Berlin-penned tune implies that America deserves to be "blessed," as if it isn't already. In the post-9/11 context, it's obvious that's meant at the exclusion, if not the expense, of other countries. If you believe in the concept of any "god," and all that religion purportedly stands for, why wouldn't you want to "bless" every country on the planet?

We already hear The Star Spangled Banner, and often America The Beautiful before baseball games. That's more than enough "patriotism" at a sporting event. If you want to hear and sing religious songs, you're free to do so at the church of your choice. Stop forcing it on baseball fans!

Let's give the 7th inning back to the stretch. If you want to hear a song about god and America, I could live with a sing-along of Bob Dylan's With God On Our Side.

© 2005 Douglas T. Dinsmoor


At March 6, 2007 at 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to that, brother...uh...I mean, ya, I agree completely.

Thu Jun 02, 06:58:00 PM MDT


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