I Canít Sing "The Star Spangled Banner" in Church This July 4th
morning, like every Sunday when Iím in town, Iíll attend Church.
I generally enjoy the service, each Sunday of the year but not on
July 4th weekends.
is the one Sunday, every year that the congregation always sings
the "Star Spangled Banner."
want to sing, just like I always want to sing at ball games and
other sports events but I canít bring myself to do it.
always stand up, trying to look inconspicuous ,which one can get
away with at a sports event with 2,000 people in the bleachers,
but you canít do it at Church being 6í3". 180 people attend,
more or less and my wife and three daughters will be staring at
me, and I know what they are thinking. "Oh God, will he do
this again this year and embarrass us all."I always say to
myself, "this year, Iíll sing the song, after all, its not
a big deal, everyone does it." The song is announced and everyone
including me will stand up. Iíll open the hymnal like last year
but no sound will come out.
family will stare me down, there will be a few giggles behind me
and my daughters will give me that "youíre so weird" look
but I canít help it! Finally, the song will end and Iíll quickly
sit down in the pew like last year.
canít I bring myself to celebrate July 4th or sing "The
Star Spangled Banner"? I would love to celebrate our July 4th
1776 holiday when the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 225 years ago and issued the historic Declaration of
Independence for the original 13 colonies. We all know how it starts.
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 Natureís God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that
they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
problem is another July 4th holiday weekend, 138 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 Confederate defeats
at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. When I read the words of the song describing
the battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor;
the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air"
think of the 10,000 civilians in Vicksburg living in caves and eating
rats because of Grantís Union Army bombardment against the innocent
civilians of Vicksburg, Mississippi.When the congregation sings;
where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war
and the battleís confusion A home and a country should leave us
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
canít help but dwell on what America lost in this two Southern defeats.
Our original government celebrated in this song, a limited constitutional
republic established by our nationís founding fathers like Jefferson,
Washington and Madison was sacrificed in Lincolnís unconstitutional
war against the Confederacy. We lost what we claim to celebrate
in "The Star Spangled Banner". Frankly, we went into Lincolnís
War with two republics, the United States and the Confederate States
of America and at the Southís defeat, both were lost and consumed
by an American Empire that continues until this day. I also think
of my home Dixie, our occupied country and ask "will there
come a day, when our country should leave us no more."
conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust";
the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
the land of the free and the home of the brave"
this Sunday, I will again, upset and embarrass my wife and family.
I will not sing "The Star Spangled Banner", nor celebrate
Washingtonís July 4th holiday until the day comes when
this great anthem about freedom and independence is again a true
statement about either a Free America or a Free Dixie.
pray for the day when I can live again under a constitutional republic,
where our leaders trust in God and we are again the "land of
the free and home of the brave."
that day, I am standing quietly this Sunday morning, until the song
is over wishing it were different!
Holland [send him mail]
is a financial and political writer and investment consultant living
in Asheville, NC. He is the editor of Dixie
Daily News on the web.