Friday, August 29, 2008

Patriotism, or else

Most of us put up no resistance when it comes to standing and showing respect during the playing of the national anthem, and we'll dutifully recite the Pledge of Allegiance if called upon to do so, but at Yankee Stadium, mindless displays of pseudo-patriotism apparently are a requirement. A Yankees fan says he was tossed from the stadium the other day when he tried to use the bathroom during the playing of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. Bradford Campeau-Laurion told news outlets that a police officer blocked him from leaving the seating area. When he explained that his immediate priority was taking care of his biological needs, two NYPD officers allegedly pinned his arms behind him and threw him out of the ballpark. A police department official claims that Campeau-Laurion was removed because he was drunk and disorderly, but the fan and the person he was attending the game with are vehement that the police are lying. What kind of country are we living in if we force a person to stand for the anthem, stay in their seats during a patriotic song or recite a pledge of allegiance? Sounds a lot like the regime in Beijing, to me. The playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning of ballgames is a tradition, but I don't think it moves many people to feel patriotic. It's just part of a routine. And if it's so important, why is it that just about the only place we hear the anthem or "God Bless America" is at a meaningless sporting event?



Blogger Bob said...

I am leaning toward this guy being drunk and unruly... Sure, the cops that hauled him out could have been spazzy, but I don't think it's endemic. I could be so unfortunate as to be abused by an authority figure who is acting on his own behalf without that speaking toward institutional abuse.

Occam says that the guy was drunk and unruly.


August 29, 2008 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

crap... that damn account keeps giving me away!

-ellipses... bob

August 29, 2008 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

There is more to this story. Why bother to make an issue with a man that was most likely unruly? E has the right take on this, ... most likely drunk. The story isn't worth the paper on which it is printed.

While on the subject of patriot songs, why aren't these songs being taught in the schools these days? I speak of songs such as the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless American, Battle Hymn of the Republic, to name a new. These were commonly taught in the school in past years, but I think nobody teaches them to the kids these days. Why?

August 29, 2008 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I learned the star spangled banner and god bless america in school... Granted, I don't know about "today" but I was in the public school system from '91-'02... so that wasn't really all that long ago.


August 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

This story notwithstanding, patriotism in our country is waning after enjoying a tremendous upsurge in the months after 9/11. I don't know if the schools have "banned" these songs or if they're just not mentioned because of the PC craze that will be the ultimate demise of our country.

I did some substitute teaching for a while in elementary schools. These songs were never mentioned. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance now is optional. I know that we weren't allowed to discuss Christmas, but Hannukah and it's cheesy, ripoff cousin, Kwanzaa, enjoyed celebratory displays throughout various schools, but mentioning Christmas was taboo and it became a "winter celebration."

On a related note, one year, on the day before Thanksgiving, my daughter's special education class had a Thanksgiving dinner for the parents and students. All of us have special needs children and we interacted closely with the teachers and aides, so there was a bit of a familial bond. Before dinner, the teacher said, "Normally, we would say grace, but we're not allowed to since we're on school property." Ridiculous, I say, but she was following the rules. She went on to say, "But we all know why we're here and what we're celebrating, and we can't deny that maybe we ought to say a prayer...even though we can't." What I mean is Christianity is all but denied in public schools, but other religions can be mentioned and discussed freely in the interest of diversity. And woe be unto anyone who complains to the school boards. You'll be branded as racially and religiously intolerant, and the ACLU will be on your ass like a pit bull in a butcher shop.

August 31, 2008 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

I actually hate the playing of God Bless America in the seventh inning of ball games.
It's not the national anthem. I've also been in stadiums when they've played God Bless the USA and have asked people to rise for that. It's ridiculous.
For that matter, I only think the anthem should be played on special occasions -and to me – a ball game isn't one of them.
There's something special about the Olympics when they play the anthem of the gold medal winner's country.
There's nothing special about playing it before a junior high volleyball game.

August 31, 2008 at 2:23 PM  

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