Thursday, September 8, 2011

God Bless America

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God Bless America

Words and music by Irving Berlin
© Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund
International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.
Used by Permission
"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

The minister at the church I work for came to my office door yesterday and asked me the strangest question, "Do you suppose I'd get in a lot of trouble if I had the congregation sing God Bless America during the service on Sunday?"   I must have looked at him strangely because he grinned at me and said that it had become politically incorrect to not only sing this song in church, but to have it in our hymnals as well.  I must admit that I haven't paid a lot of attention to the hymnals over the past twenty years or so, and I guess, when I think about it, I haven't heard many of those patriotic songs sung anymore, but I didn't realize it wasn't politically correct.   I just thought someone had chosen not to, or I'd not been paying attention.

Really?  How is it not correct, in a church, to ask God to bless America?  Even now, as I think about it, I cannot process this information.  Try as I might, this just makes no sense to me. 

I am certain that there are an abundance of people in the world who would be happy to try to explain it to me but, you know what?  I don't even want to hear their explanations.  There is nothing that they could say to me that would make this alright in my world. 

The pastor and I decided that we will be singing God Bless America in both church services on Sunday.  We may well face some tongue-lashings over it although I doubt in this small, rural Nebraska town that there will be much adversity over it.  And, just for the record, I brought the music for it.  Thank you, Mr. Berlin!  And thank you, Kate Smith!


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