Ban “God Bless America” at MLB Baseball Games!

God Bless AmericaThings have changed since September 11th. Security at airports is more of a pain in the ass in the ever. For some reason, we still have to take off our shoes, as if the terrorists are really that dumb to put C4 in their shoes anymore. The United States is set at a constant state of Orange Alert, whatever that means. Countries can be attacked even without doing anything to the U.S. Our government can spy on us without a court order. However, we’re still looking for WMDs in Iraq.

But what pisses me off almost as much as having to take my shoes off at airports is listening to the song “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch of Major League Baseball games. The policy was implemented the day baseball returned to the airwaves after the attacks, and that is fine. The policy continued through the playoffs and World Series. OK.

Then “God Bless America,” if memory serves, played during the 7th Inning Stretch of every MLB game in 2002. A big baseball fan, I go to a lot of games. Maybe not as many as some, but I’d say 25 games a season is more than most people go to. That’s a lot of times to hear “God Bless America,” and think of the players – they have to hear it at least 162 days a year. Sure, the National Anthem and Take Me Out to the Ballgame are played every game, but one is our national anthem, and other is a pure baseball tradition. “God Bless America” is just something Bud Selig added to appeal to patriotic sensibilities, and presumably NASCAR fans.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m patriotic. Yes, I’m liberal AND patriotic (I don’t view the two as being mutually exclusive, at all). No, I don’t wear American flag underpants or burn Dixie Chick records or take everything (or anything) our President says at face value; in fact, I question most things our government tells us, and even what the national media tells us. But I love America and am proud to be an American, despite everything we do to the world.

So, when I say I hate the song, “God Bless America,” I am not being unpatriotic; I am simply saying that it is an overly used, annoying, biased and ultimately offensive piece of music.

Why should MLB not play “God Bless America” at its baseball games anymore? Here are a few reasons:

  • As an atheist, it mildly offends me. OK, in reality, I just don’t like hearing the song, but being forced to listen to “God Bless” stuff is just nauseating.
  • On that note, though, whenever I hear, “God Bless…” I think Christian. Which is fine, except baseball is a sport for all people and all religions, not just Christians. What do Muslims think? Hindus? Buddhists? Most don’t care; they live in a country based on Christian principles. Fine. But in an age of political correctness, shouldn’t the MLB be a little more… politically correct? (see, I actually suggest being PC when it’s in my best interest)
  • Furthermore and foremost, “God Bless America?” Isn’t that a little self-centered, a little pre-globalization. Patriotism and a little bit of nationalism is fine, but how about “God Bless the World?”I’d find that a lot less offensive, as we shouldn’t be concerned about whether God blesses this country but rather the world as a whole? “America” implies the United States, but a good chunk of baseball players are from other countries.

Why this random post? It has nothing to do with movies, though arguably it has to do with entertainment. But really, I just got really annoyed when, after listening to “God Bless America” at the baseball game, the Gasworks Park fireworks show on 4th of July (the biggest show in Seattle) did their finale to Celine Dion’s version of the song. Isn’t Dion a Canadian, for starters? And two, really? That song of all songs to do your finale to? No!

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Miscellaneous
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