Thursday, April 16, 2009

God Bless America?

What is the line of patriotism past which it becomes jingoism and blind nationalism? When does honoring your own religion turn into the exclusion of all other viewpoints?

And when you get to that point, do you realize you are not representing the things this country stands for any more?

I think we've gotten to that point. From the Dan Patrick Show (ESPNRadio) and NY Daily News:

A baseball fan is suing the NYPD for kicking him out of the old Yankee Stadium last summer because he tried to use the restroom during the playing of "God Bless America," lawyers said.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion, 30, a lifelong baseball fan, claimed he was the victim of religious and political discrimination on Aug. 26, 2008 when police officers booted him from the ballpark.

"The role of police officers is to enforce the law," NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said.

"New York's finest have no business arresting someone for trying to go to the bathroom at a politically incorrect moment," Lieberman said. "That is an abuse of authority and a violation of the constitutional principles that our country is founded on."

Besides the cops, the lawsuit names the Yankee Partnership, for a policy that restricts fan movement during the playing of "God Bless America."

Campeau-Laurion said his clash with cops began when he decided to use the bathroom at the start of the seventh-inning stretch. He got up and made his way down the aisle as the song began playing.

A police officer blocked his path and told him he couldn't leave during the song, the lawsuit alleges.

I got that "God Bless America" was played during the 7th inning stretch of some ballgames after 9/11. I didn't agree with it, but I at least understood it ... for that year. It's 8 years later and most teams are still doing it at one point or another. It's time to move on. Get over it. We are not honoring anyone by continuing to play it. We're trivializing that people died and instead making them into a recruiting poster for the military and police. I used to be halfway patriotic and more respectful of law enforcement, but the things I've seen and heard over the last few years make my blood boil. If you think 9/11 is about the need to make the country more patriotic and more religious, then you haven't a clue and haven't learning a thing.

I don't mind standing for the Star Spangled Banner at the start of games. Though some would have you think that the Banner has always been played before games, it didn't start till after WWII. But, OK, that's fine. I'm not going to make a big deal about that. But let's cut out all the extra BS. Baseball games are not indoctrination meetings.


Scott said...

Well Lance, this is probably a topic that we could get together over a coupla beers and talk for about 6 hours on. Though I don't really drink much so maybe just a diet coke for me.

We have rights in name only. We are expected to answer any question, and ask for permission for almost everything we do. The worst part is the country is packed full of people who support this sort of behavior. Obedience to the State and its agents first and foremost. It's gonna get a lot worse before it gets better, and who generation of people has to get old and die first as well. Maybe even two.

Scott said...

Also this.

dbackdad said...

Scary stuff. A bit more on the case:

ABC 15

Phoenix New Times

dbackdad said...

The Border Patrol and DPS were wrong, and there's no excusing that.

But, the pastor's (and his church's) views on certain things:

Doctrinal Statement
are inexcusable also. God punishes homosexuality with the death penalty? Justifiably this pastor will get some pub for the Border Patrol incident, but I hope he's prepared for the pub he'll get for his neanderthal views.

dbackdad said...

Hi sermons are unbelievable. He doesn't make it very easy to see him as a sympathetic character.


Scott said...

Haha, yep looks like he's a full fledged nut. Fortunately that's not the type of thing that gets you pulled from your car and beaten by police in this country. Unfortunately asserting your rights to officers is.

dbackdad said...

Yeah, I'm in no way implying that your personal views make you have any less rights as a citizen. And certainly the Border Patrol and DPS would have no knowledge of that information.

CyberKitten said...

*Totally* weird!

Dan said...

Hey, remember my friend John Shore who wrote the book, I'm OK-You're Not and I did a review of his book on my blog and then he showed up o engage me about his book and then my weird relatives came and kind attacked him for his "liberal Christian beliefs"? Well, John Shore and I are still buds--I kind of love some of his liberal Christian beliefs and you should ready his little .com website
He did a cool post on Homosexuality to which I am the 23 comment--
I don't know how to make those cool links like you guys so here is the URL

Jeff said...

This doesn't exactly relate to the topic but deals with sports and patriotism. After 9/11 people were looking for an outlet to forget about the devastation, and it's certainly understandable. Hell, I was happy that they continued to play the game not too long after. But people began to take the relation between sports and nationalism a little too seriously. Anytime Derek Jeter or Mike Piazza hit a home run in NY it was as if they did it for their country and for the FDNY. If you use that same frame of mind you would think Mariano Rivera would hate his country for giving up that blooped single in the 01' series (I know you'll be forever indebted to Gonzo for nicely placing that over Jeter's head.)

And with the Olympics, do we honestly believe that when Michael Phelps is on the podium winning his gold medals he's thinking about America? No, he's thinking about which company will come crawling his way next. I think there's a huge misconception with the Olympics and its for that reason why it's able to garner such great attention, especially of those who couldn't care less about sports on any other day of the week.

And please stop singing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch of EVERY Yankee home game! It just creates less time for people to use the bathroom without missing the game...

dbackdad said...

Jeff - I totally agree.

And, yes, Gonzo's single is forever etched in my brain. My wife was working and I was sitting up watching the game and had my 6 month old son nearby. At the point that I saw that Gonzo's hit was going to clear Jeter, I screamed and hollered and jumped around and quickly silenced myself after remembering that my son was sleeping. Amazingly, he didn't wake up. But, that hit (and the whole series) was my fondest sports memory I've ever had. And that doesn't mean I hate my country. :-)

Scott said...

Sounds like how I felt when Konerko hit the slam to put the Sox ahead in game two of the '05 series. as memorable of an event as I've ever had. I remember my exact reaction, which was jumping and shouting. If Pauly goes 0-for-the rest of his career I could care less, he'll still be one of my all time favorite players.

Laura said...

DAMN, I should have gone to get a beer during God Bless America in Atlanta... Had I known it was coming, I would have!