[Caveat lector fortis: If you’re a card-carrying member of the Christian Right, or if you feel your brand of patriotism is the only authorized brand, or if you have close ties to the military, or if you’re otherwise annoyed by people who take unpopular opinions (why read this blog?), you might want to skip this post.]
This all began with commentary on the “Star Spangled Banner,” and it began on Facebook, not on WordPress. I was just blowing off steam, but the steam blew too high, and in too many directions. The meat analogies are to be saved for the end, by the way.
PART TWO (probably the most substantive of the three, and also the most succinct)
Back up a step. My intent in the first rebuttal had been to give two reasons why I think it’s a stupid/bad national anthem: 1) it’s hard for most people to sing, and 2) it “senselessly glorifies war.” Here’s my FB friend’s reply to that:
Go to your nearest Veterans Hospital the next time they have a music presentation, request the National Anthem be sung. Then when finished stand up and say it’s a stupid song because it glorifies war and then see what happens to you. You’ll see how America feels about it I’m sure…
So I’ll find out how “America” feels? Really? One particular, war-mongering president rather preposterously used to presume he was speaking for all Americans when spouting opinions, and other presidents have done the same. If this is my country (and it is), then to say “America” feels this way when I don’t is tantamount to saying, “Pack up and leave this country” … which is something I was once told to do by someone a lot closer to me than the above interlocutor, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, here’s my next reply, after expressing regret that all this was rather public on Facebook:
What veterans in a veterans’ hospital might think of my statement or the national anthem is merely their opinion (not America’s as a whole). Mine, too, was merely an opinion. I don’t have to like the song, and you don’t have to like the fact that I don’t like it. But neither do you have the right to call a brother an idiot.
My reply amounted to a rebuke, and its bold statement stems from my belief that Christian relationship transcends all others. In other words, no matter what the friend thought of my opinion, and no matter how wrong I might have been, he was in the wrong for calling me an idiot. This relates to my view on Christians and government, Christians and military, Christians and sports, Christians and entertainment, Christians and work … Christians and just about anything: essentially, in whatever sphere you’re thinking and operating, the Christian element or aspect must supersede all others. If a (perceived) conflict arises between philosophies, it’s no trouble for me to ditch the other one in favor of what I see as the Christian one. This is not to say that I enact these priorities perfectly. Far from it. But my human inability to be consistent does not change the reality. On some level, no matter how much one might disagree with my particulars, any Christian worth his salt will have to agree here. This über-significance of what one sees as God’s principles could be said to may be seen to might be analyzed as principles that must win out.
Aside, but obviously related, if you think about it: are you aware that there are believers out there who question the Lutheran notion of sola scriptura (only scripture)? For centuries the Roman Catholic institution asserted its traditions and practices as superior to the Bible. Some examples: prayer to “saints” and to Mary, the immaculate conception (which refers to the supposed sinlessness of Mary herself), indulgences, the authority of popes, and infant baptism.
If one finds human tradition to be on equal footing with scripture, lots of problems come into play; it’s a whole different ballgame!
Oh, and we will get to the anthem and baseball, but not for a bit yet.
To be continued …