So I was channel surfing and saw that during the 7th inning stretch the Yankees still play “God Bless America”. Why? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a patriotic song. For one thing, it’s not a song, it’s a prayer (so much for separation of church and state). The lyrics consist entirely of a list of ways God has already blessed America, plus a request that God bless America, as if the singer didn’t just list the blessings God has already bestowed! Regardless of whether it’s a song or not, it’s not patriotic. The lyrics include not one word either praising America, or saying that America is in any way praiseworthy.
You could swap out “America” and sing “Russia” and the song would lose no meaning whatsoever. It would make exactly as much sense if thusly sung. This is not true of most American patriotic songs. They say something specific about America’s particular virtues or ideals, such that the song would become nonsensical if you sang it about North Korea or China.
If a baseball team wants to play an actual patriotic song, any time, I will respect their right to do so. “America the Beautiful,” or the “Star Spangled Banner” (What? They already play that at ballgames? Every one? Then why are we playing other songs?) or even “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” but please, don’t patronize (see what I did there?) me by singing a childish prayer that doesn’t have anything good to say about MY country. Name-checking is not praise. “God Bless America” is no more patriotic than James Brown’s “Living In America”. Now get on down…….witcha bad selves!