Anthemic

Does the National Anthem really need its own re-education program? If so, forget about having people like the Oaks sing the anthem in prominent settings. The quickest way to return the anthem to a central place in American culture and life is stop inflicting the insipidly substance-free “God Bless America” on people during the seventh-inning stretch of baseball games. The National Anthem has its problems (namely, it’s virtually unsingable), but it’s a noble sounding and lyrically decent song befitting America’s political and cultural history. “GBA” is jingoistic and vapid (God bless America because we have “mountains,” “prairies” and “oceans white with foam”? Huh?). If we want God to bless us, we better start writing better collective entreaties than this one.

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