Tuesday, September 15, 2009

But Were They Wearing Flag Pins?

Check out this news report.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Newark, three Millburn High School students contend Newark Bears president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar berated them, cursed at them and then booted them from the ballpark after they failed to stand for the song during the seventh-inning stretch.

"Nobody sits during the singing of 'God Bless America' in my stadium,'" Cetnar bellowed during the June 29 incident, according to the suit. "Now the get the (expletive) out of here."

Why do we play 'God Bless America' during the seventh inning stretch? Simply put, it's jingoism. Jingoism is the epitome of the "He who is not with us is against us" nationalist mindset. Under the guise of loyalty it promotes unthinking conformism and intolerance for those who dare to not do so.

It has brought us to the point where we determine someone's love of their country by lack of a flag pin, the lack of a flag flying at their house, the lack of a flag bumper sticker, as well as sitting or leaving to go to the bathroom during 'God Bless America' at a baseball game. From this we advance the canard that anyone exhibiting these behaviors hates America and doesn't support the troops. There is no room for discussion or criticism.

You go along to get along or suffer the wrath of those who are blind to the freedoms they are determined to show their love for so dearly by declaring that you hate them so much. Often that declaration begins with the question, "What's wrong with doing [insert patriotic activity] at [insert gathering of people]?"

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