benchwarming for jesus

I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t happen to go to Sunday games, or because I generally didn’t have bleacher seats and thus wouldn’t show up early, but it took me until this year to notice that at Sunday games since 9/11, the PA guy at Wrigley will ask you to stand not only for the national anthem, but also for God Bless America.

Regular readers of my blog can probably tell how I feel about that.

For new readers, let me say that I don’t like the progression:

World where we don’t sing God Bless America
Terrorist Attack
“Please stand for God Bless America”

I don’t see how that’s a logical progession. God Bless America is not, to my knowledge, the national anthem. Please note that I am not against the playing of God Bless America in general. You are entitled to sing the song, you are entitled to hope that God does in fact bless America, you are entitled to hope that God damns America, or you can just hum along with the smug knowledge that even if God existed, he would be too busy using His powers to watch Rachel McAdams undress to bless any particular sovereign nation or autonomous territory.

Long sentence. Sorry.

So my objection is that I am asked to stand for God Bless America, which is immediately followed by the Star-Spangled Banner. So I don’t do it, although I am pretty sure I am the only person in the ballpark who doesn’t. I sit through God Bless America and I stand for the national anthem. I suppose if you are a real die-hard asshole, you can protest W, the military-industrial complex, the war in Iraq, etc., and not stand for the national anthem either. But I’m not that big an asshole, and for all its problems, I love my country and the principles it stands for, which are symbolized by the flag that the anthem celebrates, so I stand.

Those principles, by the way, include those embodied in the Constitution, which prohibits laws establishing a religion. So this Sunday, when I’m back at Wrigley, I’ll be sitting again during God Bless America, because it’s not my anthem, and to my ears is completely meaningless, and nobody can tell me to stand.

Shalom, bitches.


6 Responses to “benchwarming for jesus”

  1. Beau Says:

    In SF they play it during the seventh inning stretch after Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Since you’re already standing and hopefully buzzed it isn’t as bad.

    I still think it’s a silly practice though.

  2. Deutlich Says:

    I’d do the exact same thing. I used to skip the pledge too ’cause of the part about God.

    I’m a rebel.

    Or something.

  3. Pete Says:

    Beau – That is surprising. I thought that in SF they would sing the Internationale and then chant Beelzebub’s name thrice.

    Deutlich – I can’t recall the last time I was faced with the pledge. I suppose I would just keep my mouth shut for those two words, which as you probably know, were added during the Eisenhower administration after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus.

  4. Lola Says:

    At least you only have to sit through a song. They actually do invocations at some sporting events here, which is much more offensive in my opinion. And of course, as a proud American, I avidly exercise my right to not particiapte in any form of prayer or acknowledgement of God other than the occasional “Oh God,” “God-damnit,” or “Jesus Fucking Christ!”

    As for the pledge, I gave that up entirely when they stopped allowing Christmas and Halloween parties in Elementary School. I mean, Halloween, seriously?


  5. Me Says:

    You can just home along, huh?

    I think you just wanted to make a post where you could say “logical progression”

  6. Beau Says:

    We are having a Lesbian, Gay and Transgender day at the ballpark in the next week. I’m not sure if it’s on a Sunday though.

    The music should be great.

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