Don't Ask Me To Sing 'The Star Spangled Banner'

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This
upcoming July 4th holiday weekend Sunday morning, like every Sunday
when I'm in town, I'll attend church. I generally enjoy the service,
every Sunday of the year but not on July 4th weekends.
This is the one Sunday when the congregation always sings the “Star
Spangled Banner.” I really want to sing it, just like I always want
to sing at ballgames, but I can't bring myself to do it.

I
always stand up, trying to look inconspicuous which one can get
away with when there are thousands in the bleachers, but you can't
do it at church if you're 6’3; 180 people, including my wife and
three daughters, will be staring at me, and I know what they are
thinking. “Oh no, will he do this again this year and embarrass
us all.”

I
always say to myself, “this year, I'll sing the song, after all,
it's not a big deal, everyone does it.” The song is announced and
everyone including me will stand up. I'll open the hymnal like last
year but no sound will come out. My family will stare me down, there
will be a few giggles behind me and my daughters will give me that
“you're so weird” look but I can't help it!  Finally, the song
will end and I'll quickly sit down in the pew like last year.

Why
can't I bring myself to celebrate July 4th or sing “The
Star Spangled Banner”?  I am a proud Southern American and
there is much in our American history I am proud of and wish to
herald.  I would love to celebrate our July 4th
1776 holiday when the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and
issued the Declaration of Independence for the original 13 colonies.
We all know how it starts.

When in the
Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to
dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God
entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

My
problem is another July 4th holiday weekend, 139 years
ago, when the fate of an independent Confederate States of America
which had also declared its independence based on the same reasons
as the above document was sealed in the twin Southern defeats at
Gettysburg and Vicksburg. When I read the words of the song describing
the battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor:

O'er
the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air

I
think of the 10,000 civilians living in caves and eating rats because
of Grant's Union Army bombardment against the innocent civilians
of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Lincoln's war against Southern independence
made a mockery of the original Declaration of Independence.
I also think about the gallant defenders of Charleston, South Carolina,
as the federal fleet offshore poured salvo after salvo not just
into the former federal tax collection office at Fort Sumter out
in the harbor, but also into the city itself killing hundreds of
civilians in a three year siege that lasted longer than the German
assault on Leningrad.

When
the congregation sings:

And
where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?

Here
I think of Pickets Charge up Cemetery Ridge, the cannons and havoc
at Little Round Top, as our forces melt away in the confusion of
battle. I can't help but dwell on what America lost in those two
Southern defeats. Our original government celebrated in this song,
a constitutional republic established by our nation's Southern founding
fathers like Jefferson, Washington, and Madison, was sacrificed
in Lincoln's unconstitutional aggression. All Americans lost what
we claim to celebrate in “The Star Spangled Banner.”

We
went into Lincoln's War with two republics. At the South's defeat,
both were consumed by a US Empire that continues until this day
now in an undeclared war with much of the Moslem world abroad and
attempting to steal our wealth and control every aspect of American
life at home.  I also think of my region, Dixie, for a short
while independent and ask “will there come a day, when our country
should leave us no more.”  A time when Robert E. Lee’s prayed
asking the Lord “to hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and
sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and place
among the nations of the earth.”

The
song goes on.

Then
conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

No,
this Sunday, I will again embarrass my wife and family. I will not
sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” nor celebrate the Empire's holiday
until the day when this great anthem about freedom and independence
is again a true statement about a restored America and a free South,
when our leaders trust in God and follow the wise foreign policy
advice of George Washington.

The
great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is,
in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little
political connections as possible. It is our true policy to steer
clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign
world.

When
we are again a republic and the “land of the free and home of the
brave,” as established on July 4th, 1776, I will proudly
sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Until, that day, I will be standing
quietly on Sunday morning, until the song is over.

June
24, 2002

Ron
Holland [send him mail]
is an Asheville, NC, investment consultant, financial and political
writer, and former president of a national investment firm. He is
editor of several alternative websites and the author of two books
and over 60 special reports and articles. His personal website is
www.ronholland.com.

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