A recent article in the New York Daily News, written by Gersh Kuntzman, calls for the complete elimination of “God Bless America” from baseball games. He claims that the only songs we should be standing for are the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Here Comes the Bride”. He also claims that “God Bless America” “offends everyone.”
Does Mr. Kuntzman’s list of two exclusive songs meant to be exhaustive? Should American’s not stand for our Pledge of Allegiance or “Hail to the Chief” while in the presence of the President.
Mr. Kuntzman also uses a current argument employed constantly by the modern left, the elimination of traditional American elements by saying it “offends.” Mr. Kuntzman wants us to stand for our “National Anthem”. Does this not offend people as well? It’s a song talking about our wartime victories. If you actually go and read the lyrics to our National Anthems, you can see that it has many violent themes: discussing “blood”, “terror”, and “refuge.” Does this violence not offend the pacifists, the Buddhists, perhaps people that originate from countries we have met on the battlefield?
When you use offense as your argument, you have to keep in mind that there are things you love and cherish that also offend others.
Mr. Kuntzman also claims that it offends people who believe in God because it calls for God to put the priorities of America over other nations. Now, I think it would be foolish for people to believe that this is the intended connotation of the song.
When an athlete for instance thanks God for a victory, they are not implying that God favors them any more than anyone else. What they are thanking God for is the ability to even compete in such a way. God doesn’t arbitrarily favor people over another, he loves all of his children equally. Athletes are just thanking God for the chance to win, not the victory itself. The same is applied to “God Bless America.” We’re not saying God favors us over someone, but merely praising God for life, love and hope.
Baseball clubs have the autonomy to decide whether they want to have such a song played during the 7th inning stretch. If they do and you don’t want to stand–that’s fine. It’s your right as an American to decide to participate in such an activity. Just remember that by standing you aren’t tacitly acknowledging the existence of a Judeo-Christian God, you are merely showing your respect for our country and that you hope the best for it.