It didn't generate much in the way of media attention this week, but a bunch of religious right groups co-sponsored the first-ever "Values Voter" debate a few days ago for the GOP presidential field. The top four (Giuliani, Romney, McCain, and Thompson) stayed away, but seven other Republican presidential hopefuls cozied up to luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly, Paul Weyrich, and Don Wildmon.
There were plenty of bizarre questions and answers, but one of the elements of the debate that stood out for me was, oddly enough, the song that got things started. Event organizers invited the Church of God Choir, from Springfield, Ohio, to sing "God Bless America" -- except the lyrics were rewritten. Instead of a song about "the land that I love," and "home sweet home," this version condemns the country, saying we've all turned against God, and that He won't bless us. It was a big hit among the conservative Republicans in the room.
(The lyrics are here.)
I'm trying to imagine the response if, say, Yearly Kos hosted a Democratic presidential candidate forum, which started with a rewritten version of "God Bless America" that disparaged the United States.
It's the kind of thing Fox News would jump all over -- and every Democratic candidate on hand would be asked whether they agreed with the song's lyrical condemnation of the country. Bill O'Reilly would tell us that "God Bless America" is fine the way it is, and it doesn't need to be rewritten by liberals to serve a radical political agenda. Admittedly, it gets tiresome to hear "if this were a Democrat..." but in this case, I think it's appropriate.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
America Stinks, America Blows, America Is Bad - Do I Sound Unpatriotic?
Steve Benan Writes: