The Seventh Inning!?
They've Gone Too Far!
I'm not sure if you are a baseball fan but I'm personally bothered by Major League Baseball lately. Ever since the terrorist attacks, they have replaced the 7th-inning-stretch's theme song (Take Me Out To The Ball Game) with "Gaud* Bless America." Not only that, they televise it (I don't think they usually televise the 7th-inning-stretch). I find this very offensive for three reasons:
1. Propaganda. It's forcing Christianity down our throats at an event which has never promoted religion (as far as I know)
2. Non inclusiveness. It's giving the illusion of inclusion where in reality, it only unites Christians. What about all the others in the stadiums? If they don't stand-up and sing, are they considered "un-American"? There are approximately twenty-eight million atheist in the U.S. or ten percent that are left-out during the singing of this Christian song. Twelve percent of the nation is African-American. Can you imagine a song being sung that only included non-African-Americans? I'm sure that would cause a serious uproar. It's just a shame that it doesn't cause an uproar as it is now.
3. Tradition. "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is part of the tradition that is baseball. It's one thing that most baseball goers look forward to. It's been done for about a hundred years. Why mess with tradition (especially in the name of religion)?
Am I the only one bothered by this?
*Note: Although I've been using "Gaud," a form of gaudy, for years, this is how the letter came! I promise! -- cw
From: "Positive Atheism" <email@example.com>
To: "Hector Lopez"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: October 23, 2001 12:07 AM
I'm with you. They're not government, but we can respond to them and to their sponsors and to the teams. We can write to the sports pages (and we don't have to be fans to do that). Can you let your sense of patriotism override your love of the sport? This will be a tough one for some, to be sure.
Restore Baseball to its American Roots!
Give the 'Pastime' Back to All the People!
We are offended to the core that Major League Baseball has now become, in part, a sectarian religious service with the replacement of the Seventh Inning's "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with "God Bless America." Even more disconcerting than being shown Baseball's "Exit Door" because of our religious beliefs (or those of our Fathers), the religiosity connected with today's use of "God Bless America" sends the clear message that unless one is religious, one cannot be patriotic. Although Vice-President Bush made a statement to this effect in 1988, it is nonetheless patent falsehood: American patriotism harkens from a respect for the United States Constitution -- not from the slandering and desecration of that precious document.
Unity is something that has already happened to us by means of the mutual danger that we all face and the mutual grief that we all feel. None of us need to be told this; none of us need to be reminded of this. Talk of "unity" based upon anything more than that (including religion) raises the suspicion that we're being sold a line of -- something.
For the government and the schools and the businesses -- and now America's Favorite Pastime -- to align themselves with religion at all send a strong message to over ten percent of Americans that we're not patriotic. To determine our patriotism by our religious affiliation? That is not what America has ever been about -- George Bush, Sr., notwithstanding!**
The insincerity of this blatant commercialization of "God Bless America" (not to mention the commercial and political advantages to be had by riding this admittedly popular tide), is obvious to the point of being transparent. Setting aside this hollow emptiness for a moment, be aware that non-Christians aren't the only ones who take offence to this phoniness. Many devout believers, particularly the quieter, non-Evangelical Christians, are likewise offended by it. You won't hear them say this in front of the kids, but you can be sure that the Positive Atheism Inbox isn't the only place we hear this opinion from devout Christians who also consider themselves patriotic Americans.
Thus, for these and many other reasons, we call upon Major League Baseball to return to its American roots by restoring the Baseball Game to its former standing of being something that everyone may enjoy!
**Note: In 1988, vice-president George Herbert Walker Bush told a reporter, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."
Here is the address of Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig:
Bud Selig grieves
I'm not sure if you are a baseball fan
I'm not a baseball fan, per se, but am what I call a Cubs Fan fan: I am a fan of Cubs Fans. They're the greatest fans I've ever seen anywhere. Just look at what they got to root for and just look at how loyal they are anyway! Can you beat that? No-o-o-o! So I got my yCubbies' hat and I wear it to keep the sunshine out of my eyes and I wear it to keep the rain and snow off my face.
The reason this means anything to me is because I grew up in San Diego, where the teams only ever had fans on two days: First, they usually had fans when they were winning -- unless they were winning by three or four games' worth of points: fans would then settle their bets at half-time and go to the beach. Secondly, they had fans when it was raining (which, in San Diego [rather, Insane Diego], was not very often).
This caused me to reject sports as phony at a very young age. But later I kept meeting Cubs fans, and realized that had I grown up in a place such as Chicago, I would probably be an avid sports fan today. Instead, I got very heavily into music and certainly do not regret that decision.
Anyways, I have put this question up to the inner sanctum of separationists in America: Exploiting Baseball!? This is definitely the secular equivalent of blasphemy!
Positive Atheism Magazine
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