New York Daily News writer Gersh Kuntzman wrote an article Thursday entitled “Major League Baseball Must Permanently Retire ‘God Bless America,’ a Song That Offends Everyone,” where he asserts that “‘God Bless America’ should be sent permanently to the bench.”
“Welcome to the July 4 holiday weekend — when once again, baseball fans will be assaulted by the saccharine-sweet non-anthem ‘God Bless America’ at stadia all over this great land,” Kuntzman began in his off-colored column.
Kuntzman says he was initially thankful for Major League Baseball’s decision to play the pro-America anthem after the Islamic terror attacks on September 11, 2001., but says eventually, the “shared heartache” of 9/11 that “provided catharsis” soon “became headache.”
“The Yankees still play it at every game, but most teams, like my beloved Mets, play “God Bless America” only on Sundays or holidays, Kuntzman wrote, adding, “but even that’s too much.”
Kuntzman says the reverential tradition “when fans are asked to rise, remove their caps and place them over their hearts” is a “Mussolini-esque introduction of the song.”
“Reality check, friends: ‘God Bless America’ is not the National Anthem,” Kuntzman spews. “The only songs Americans should stand for are ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and ‘Here Comes the Bride.'”
The song, originally written by Irving Berlin in 1918, Kuntzman says, has become “as much a symbol of post-war patriotism as the flag, the space program and all the white people moving to the suburbs.”
“The song still embodies great things about America, but also our worst things: self-righteousness, forced piety, earnest self-reverence, foam,” Kuntzman wrote.
Kuntzman also casts “God Bless America” as offensive to believers, foreigners, and folk singer Woody Guthrie.
“So this July 4, join me at the Church of Baseball by not rising and not doffing your cap for a song that is not the national anthem of a nation that is not uniquely blessed by some deity that doesn’t exist anyway,” Kuntzman pleads.
“If you want to thank God for blessing America, you can do it on Sunday in the other church.”
Kuntzman took to Twitter and posted a link to his article, writing “First guns, now I take on god: Baseball must permanently retire ‘God Bless America.'”
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) June 30, 2016
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.