Thankful for God’s blessings, indifferent to the curses of millionaire football players

Can God bless America? Why would God bless America and not bless all the other nations?

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There is a story behind the story of today’s news.

I quote Performing Songwriter on the story of the Irving Berlin song made famous by singer Kate Smith: God Bless America.

In 1940, both the Republican and Democratic parties adopted the song as their theme. Realizing that it would look improper to collect royalties on a patriotic ode, Berlin established a trust, the God Bless America Fund, which distributed all proceeds to the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

The song wasn’t without its critics. Certain Democrats called the song jingoistic, questioning why God should bless America and no other country, and what about separation of church and state? Others griped about Berlin’s pedigree. As a Russian Jew who immigrated to the U.S. in 1893, why should he speak for America? A prominent pastor in New York, Edgar Franklin Romig, grabbed headlines by calling the song a “specious substitute for religion.”

One songwriter who didn’t like Berlin’s anthem was Woody Guthrie. It’s said that he got so fed up with hearing Kate Smith on the radio, he wrote a rebuttal in “This Land Is Your Land.” In the original version of Guthrie’s classic, he painted pictures of a desolate, corrupt country, ending each verse with “God blessed America for you and me.” Learn the full story behind the story from this link: http://performingsongwriter.com/god-bless-america/

Regarding millionaire professional football players who hold disdain for our nation, a poem by Sir Walter Scott comes to mind: ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel’, Canto sixth.

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

Yes, it is God who blessed America. Our greatness comes not from ourselves but from the One who formed us and set us as a shining city on a hill.

As for the unthankful, disrespectful millionaire football players, despite their boundless wealth, titles, power and pelf (look it up), they shall pass into the dustbin of history unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung. They will no doubt meet up with Woody Guthrie someday.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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