Tag Archives: God Bless America

We Sing America

By Bobbie Kirkhart

I think it’s like­ly true that the peo­ple of all nations love their patri­ot­ic songs even when they don’t agree with their message.

I love Amer­i­can patri­ot­ic music, although some of the lyrics are much too bel­li­cose and vir­tu­al­ly all of it is much too reli­gious for this athe­ist to embrace. And the music itself may or may not be Amer­i­can. Indeed, the music of one of our most promi­nent songs, “My Coun­try ‘Tis of Thee,” is the British nation­al anthem “God Save the Queen.” This ren­di­tion is sung by Aretha Franklin at Barack Obama’s inauguration:

Per­haps more iron­ic is the fact that our nation­al anthem, “The Star Span­gled Ban­ner,” a poem writ­ten in praise of our efforts against the Eng­lish in the War of 1812, is set to the tune of a British drink­ing song, “The Anacre­on­tic Song.”

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Politics and Religion in a Secular State

By Bobbie Kirkhart

It is iron­ic that, as the world’s first sec­u­lar democ­ra­cy hav­ing scorned all state reli­gion, we soon became and have remained, social­ly and polit­i­cal­ly, pre­oc­cu­pied with god. Cam­paign speech­es end with “God bless you.” The song, “God Bless Amer­i­ca,” which Irv­ing Berlin wrote as a par­o­dy sung by a com­i­cal­ly chau­vin­is­tic char­ac­ter, is now per­formed as a patri­ot­ic hymn.

“God Bless Amer­i­ca” by Joelk75 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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