Stand Up for God Bless America… Or Else

A while back a man sued the New York Yankees because they wouldn’t let him go to the bathroom during the singing of “God Bless America.”

Now, three teenagers are suing another baseball team — the minor league Newark (N.J.) Bears — because they were forced to leave the ballpark after not standing during the same song.

The boys say their constitutional rights were violated when they were asked to leave Newark’s Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium in June by Bear’s president co-owner Thomas Cetnar.

Cetnar confirms the boys were asked to leave but declined to elaborate.

The boys — Millburn High seniors Bryce Gadye (gah-DEE’) and Nilkumar (NIHL-koo-mahr) Patel, both 17, and junior Shaan (shahn) Mohammad Khan, 16 — sued in federal court Friday seeking unspecified damages.

The Ledger reported that Mr. Cetnar had yelled, “Nobody sits during the singing of ‘God Bless America’ in my stadium,’” and “Now the get the (expletive) out of here.”

If this story is accurate, then good for the boys. I hope they win their case.

No one has to stand up for that song. I can understand an argument that it might be more polite to do so, but it’s not mandatory by any means. Anyone who overreacts about it needs to relax.

If you think the boys are overstepping their bounds here, just think about those students who are coerced into standing for the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day — but who don’t want to make any oath to an imaginary god. If they were kicked out of the classroom for not standing, I suspect atheists would be almost universally in support of the students’ actions.

(Thanks to Joe for the link!)

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