Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama, Wright, and the Republican Debate: Double Standards Watch

Did you know that at this year's Republican Values Voters Debate, they had a choir sing a song, in front of all the candidates, that started like this:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land


Watch the whole thing:


I didn't know that either. One wonders why the media loops Obama's pastor saying "We should say 'God damn America'" but never mentioned the above incident.

Can you imagine if, at a Democratic debate, they had sung a similar song, to the same tune, saying things like, "Why should God bless America when we let the poor go hungry?" Cable news would be wall-to-wall outrage.

"Why should God bless America? God have mercy on America/Forgive her sin and heal her land." No, no double standard at all.

9 comments:

Theresa said...

There is quite a difference between saying "Why should God bless America?" and "God damn America". I'm sure you see the difference. And I do find Obama's wife's comment more disturbing than his minister's.

You are writing a lot more posts about this than I am hearing from the conservative media.

tommy said...

Theresa beat me to it. I partially agree with you on this one, JA: I don't care for this type of stuff either and it does strike me as a little disrespectful and incredibly petty. I probably would have booed loudly if I were there. People should leave "God Bless America" alone and stop dropping contemporary political references into a patriotic classic. If you can't sing it the way it was meant to be sung, then just shut up.

I also believe that some people on the Christian right do indeed place their allegiance to the anti-abortion cause well ahead of their patriotism. Some of them veer too close to calling for America's damnation for my comfort. Needless to say, as an atheist, nationalist, and race realist I don't have much nice to say about such dirtbags, especially Mammon-worshipping TV charlatans like Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell.

That said, saying America has proven itself unworthy of God's blessing is different than praying for God to royally bitch-slap America. This is clearly a call for America to change its ways to once again get back in God's good graces rather than a Wrightesque "fuck you, genocidal USKKK of A."

Holy Hyrax said...

There is a clear difference. The pastor is calling for America to be damned for the "evils" it is doing, while the singers are singing for God to have mercy on American for a country they feel has gone down the incorrect path.

Also, the media is not hovering over that part, but basically everything he has been saying. Just watch the youtube videos

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks for posting this -- I was hoping someone would. Back in September of 2007, Ebonmuse of Daylight Atheism wrote the following about that song:

The non-response to this event in the mainstream media showcases the shameful double standard of the country's pundit class. If a Democratic debate featured an altered version of "God Bless America" denouncing America for its misdeeds, Republican spokesmen blast the party to high heaven on every media outlet in the land, and the chattering sycophants of the press would have a field day over how this proves that the Democrats are too radical and extremist to be elected and how badly this will damage their political fortunes in 2008. Instead, from the conventional media, there has been silence. This does not excuse the Democrats for their own lack of fortitude in standing up to George W. Bush so far despite an enormous popular mandate, but it does show how progressive politicians must fight an uphill battle in a media landscape that is still strongly tilted against them.

Thanks, Conservative media, for proving Ebonmuse right. We'd be better off, though, if he'd been wrong...

Jewish Atheist said...

Obviously, they're not identical. But do you guys think the Dems could have gotten away with such a song?

tommy said...

Obviously, they're not identical. But do you guys think the Dems could have gotten away with such a song?

They most certainly could have. I don't think the media would have even touched Wright if he were simply saying America doesn't deserve God's blessing because of X, Y, Z and had merely called for America to change that.

Furthermore, the Dems wouldn't be hurt by Wright nearly so much if he weren't associated with a particular Democrat. Individual associations are always more damning (no pun intended) in politics than general ones.

Tigerboy said...

I'm fine with them singing these questions. God is fiction, so I'm not all that concerned with him withholding his "blessings." Just keep it out of the schools and courts.

Why should Zeus bless America?
She’s forgotten Thor exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should Apollo stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
Aphrodite have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

These cranks can sing to whomever they like.

Jack said...

That song is ridiculous and wrong.

Anonymous said...

Its just not as offensive. Posing the question of "why should God bless America?" is different from asking God to damn America. Like any of this matters.