Just about any public expression that contains the word "God" has become ammunition for college professors and those on the left. The latest to be targeted is Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," which Ithaca College's Stephen Mosher has labeled as a "warmongering" song.
Mosher's op-ed on his college newspaper's website has caused quite a stir this week.
In light of the recent controversy surrounding NFL players kneeling for the national anthem prior to games, Mosher, who teaches in Ithaca College's Department of Communication Studies, wrote:
"Most of the present additions to our pregame patriotic rituals arose in 1991 to 1992 during the first Gulf War. The nation was about to engage in its first serious shooting war since Vietnam. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 201, the expressions of hyper-patriotism took hold. Irving Berlin's warmongering song 'God Bless America' became our second, unofficial national anthem at the ballpark. All of these events changed our 'philosophy' about what it means to be an American. They serve to minimize what real patriotism looks like."
Sunday night, the country music duo of Big and Rich led concertgoers in Las Vegas in singing "God Bless America" only an hour before a shooter opened fire on them, killing more than 50 and injuring over 520 more.
Fox News reported that officials at the Library of Congress says Berlin wrote "God Bless America" in 1938 to commemorate Armistice Day as "a peace song in response to the fascism and war threatening in Europe in 1938. But, Mosher says, the meaning of the song has been lost on modern-day society.
"Regardless of Berlin's intentions, 'God Bless America' was used to motivate the U.S. population to enter World War II," Mosher told Fox News.
Mosher clearly is not a supporter of President Trump or many NFL owners. He criticized the president and said he could learn more from the Boy Scouts, to which he belonged, than Trump.
"To address the present assault the president is directing at athletes utilizing their right to free speech to shine a light on social injustices in our society, I thank the Boy Scouts for teaching me the actual U.S. Flag Code and the ways to treat it with respect.
"Never use the flag as advertisement—Trump should take off all those MAGA hats that use the flag. Never display the flag horizontally except to cover a person's coffin—all sports organizations that displays those flags on the field should cease and desist. Never apply the flag to athletic uniforms—the only organizations permitted to do so are the military, police officers, firefighters, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America and Little League of America."
Little League of America is an athletic organization, and their uniforms are athletic.
Mosher told campusreform.org that the national anthem and songs like "God Bless America" are "not appropriate for sporting events."
"Playing the national anthem before a sporting event is a political statement," Mosher said. "If we insist that sport and politics shouldn't mix, then stop playing the anthem."
Mosher told Fox News that perhaps "America the Beautiful" would be more appropriate for sporting events, but he said even that has issues for 21st-century citizens.