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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/11/15

Paying for Patriotism

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On September 11, 2001, God Bless America began a new life when members of Congress sang it on the steps of the Capitol -- supposedly spontaneously -- as they gathered to mourn the terrorist attacks from earlier that day.

Since then, it's become an official part of Major League Baseball games. In several stadiums the tune has replaced Take Me Out to the Ballgame in group sing-alongs during the seventh-inning stretch.

In fact, this former show tune has become mandatory in some places.

In 2008, a fan at Yankee Stadium was restrained and then ejected by police officers for attempting to leave his seat for the restroom while the song was playing. The following year, three minor league fans of the now-defunct Newark Bears were ejected from the stadium for refusing to stand during the song.

If it's freely chosen, standing for the national anthem is patriotic. Forcing people to stand for God Bless America isn't.

This is about more than taxpayer money. The government has no business propagandizing the American people.

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John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)
 

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