As you may have heard, a New York principal canceled a kindergarten class's planned performance of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A", saying she feared it could offend "other cultures" because of its religiosity. Instead, she had proposed "Baby" by Justin Bieber, which she's now also decided against since it's age-inappropriate (and might offend ALL cultures, I would add). She's got support from the city but of course is being targeted by social conservatives as well as a lot of average patriotic joes who think the decision is stupid. I get that—songs aren't that big of a deal.
And yet, not helping matters is Greenwood himself, who told The New York Post, "I don't think it's a religious issue to salute the flag," but whose own general statement to the media contradicts that:
"I wrote 'God Bless the U.S.A.' about the love I have for this country and the struggle we have gone through to remain free. Our country was founded on the principle that it welcomes all cultures and gives them the same rights we have as citizens. However, I feel compelled to echo the faith of our forefathers who all believed in God and a respect of a higher authority. Personally, denying the children of PS 90 to sing 'God Bless the U.S.A.' offends me as a Christian. My song is about hope, faith, spirit and pride. How could that be wrong on any level?"
He answers his own question. (Underlines are mine.)
All that aside, is it really cool to be listening to a pack of five-year-olds caterwauling lines like:
"If tomorrow all the things were gone/I'd worked for all my life/And I had to start again/With just my children and wife"
"And I'd gladly stand up next to you/And defend her still today/And I won't forget the men who died/Who gave that right to me"
I mean, please.The principal's decision is just convenient in for the people who want children praying in schools and being indoctrinated as future soldiers.
P.S. The same class does the pledge of allegiance every day already. What more do they need to do to express their pride in being Americans?