Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham, Massachusetts recently decided to change the way they sing Lee Greenwood‘s “God Bless the USA” at their pep assemblies.
First thought: Good! What an awful song.
First, there’s the bad grammar…
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
Greenwood apparently lives in “American”…
Then the next lines:
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
Because no woman has ever given up her life for our freedoms. Ever. (Yeah, yeah, I know. “Men” here is used in a universal way, like “one small step for mankind”… whatever.)
And, of course, there’s the false insinuation that God loves America.
The elementary school didn’t get rid of the song altogether. They just changed the title and lyrics from “God bless the USA” to “We love the USA.”
Of all the problems people should have with that song, the use of “God” is pretty low on the list. It’s not like church/state separation groups are suing schools that sing it. It’s not an overtly Christian song. It’s not a call to pray to Jesus. So who knows why school administrators made that decision.
… By the way, even with the change, the grammar is still awful:
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
We love the USA.
Did the singular voice magically become plural…?
Anyway, as you might expect, when God was taken out of the song, chaos ensued.
Parents complained. The school responded by scrapping the song altogether. But after the media onslaught, the school caved in to the pressure — they announced today that the song would continue to be sung, and with all the original lyrics in tact.
Atheists didn’t start this battle. But Christians seem to have won it for now.
Maybe the kids could actually learn something if they dissected the lyrics in English class and circled all the problems in it.
Side note: If kids in another country were singing, say, “God Bless the Islamic Republican of Iran,” we’d be pissed off. Why is it ok in America (or, should I say, American) to say God loves us — or pledge that we’re “one nation, under God” — when we’d call it indoctrination or brainwashing if other countries did the same thing?
(Thanks to everyone for the link)
Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook: