On a quest to destroy all that is good and holy in America, this time focusing on the 7th-inning-stretch in baseball, Gersh Kuntzman has decided that his opinion of God Bless America is the opinion of all and the song must be “benched”.
An admitted God-hater, (We atheists also hate having “In God we Trust” on the currency and in the courtrooms of a country whose Constitution bars the “establishment of religion” — but that’s a fight for another day), Kuntzman calls the singing of God Bless America fascist.
Part of my outrage stems from ponderous Mussolini-esque introduction of the song, when fans are asked to rise, remove their caps and place them over their hearts.
Reality check, friends: “God Bless America” is not the National Anthem. The only songs Americans should stand for are “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Here Comes the Bride.”
Gleaning his polling statistics from Harvard Professor, Sheryl Kaskowitz's book, “God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song”, he builds his unpatriotic case that “more than 61% of baseball fans — even some who like the song — don’t want it played at games.”
He has a right to his point of view, but certainly, so do the baseball teams who play it at their stadiums. Though Kuntzman has a loud, opinionated mouth, he certainly does not speak for the masses who do stand and sing passionately in one voice, even when their team is losing badly.
“God Bless America” is as divisive as American politics: Kaskowitz’s research found that 83.8% of people who described themselves as “very liberal” dislike the song, while only 20.5% of people who called themselves “very conservative” have a problem with it. And more than 88% of atheists dislike the song.
Cherry picking from those who have stated that they don't like the song, Kuntzman attempts to demonstrate that ‘everyone' hates it, by quoting “believers” and “foreigners” as his proof-text.
Fans of the actual other National Anthem!: Unlike “God Bless America,” the better seventh-inning song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” captures the essential joy of American life: You go to a baseball game and you don’t care if you ever get back. And, sure, you root for the home team, but who cares if it wins or loses? You’re at a BALLGAME! With peanuts AND Crackerjack!
Songs, like… Take Me Out to the Ballgame are wonderfully fun to sing as well, but why must we be relegated to one or the other? Baseball is an American past time and God blessed us with this tremendous game.
So this July 4, join me at the Church of Baseball by not rising and not doffing your cap for a song that is not the national anthem of a nation that is not uniquely blessed by some deity that doesn’t exist anyway.
If you want to thank God for blessing America, you can do it on Sunday in the other church.
Kuntzman, perhaps staying away from the “Church of Baseball” is your best bet if one is so offended. Pull up your knickers, stuff a hotdog in your mouth, and let America enjoy her sport and her song.
Source: NY Daily News
Photo: Keith Allison