As many of you know, I consider myself a patriot. Yes, I know there is a contingent of atheists who see the whole patriotism thing as a form of idolatry. I get it, but I disagree. I display the flag, sing the National Anthem, and of course, I sit for God Bless America.
It’s the patriotic thing to do. We have lots of patriotic songs in America, but only one National Anthem for which we are supposed to stand. The National Anthem is a special song, and just because a different song may be patriotic, we are specifically NOT supposed to stand for them.
Ever since the faith-base attacks of 9/11, God Bless America has been played ad-nauseum as a sort of “other National Anthem”, for which many Americans stand, in ignorance of the fact that it is unpatriotic to do so.
I consider it my duty as an American to educate them. So I sit, and do something obvious other than sing (I do not disrupt or protest; I text, or read, or talk quietly to my family).
To those who question, I ask: “if I wrote ‘America is Great’ or even ‘God Bless America’ on a flag, would you salute it”? Most say ‘no’ quite emphatically. Then why are they standing for GBA, as if it were the National Anthem? Would they stand for all patriotic songs? Oh Beautiful? This Land is Your land? A little education goes a long way!
It’s getting better, by the way. Last night, they played GBA over the loudspeakers at a local fireworks display, and most of the people joined me in sitting for GBA, and then standing for the Star Spangled Banner.
So have a seat, send a text, and speak to each other during GBA tonight. Then sing the National Anthem like you mean it. Make a statement to those watching. It’s the patriotic thing to do, and the right way to do it.
Happy Independence Day from American Atheists.