Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forced Patriotism

Let me start by saying that I am as patriotic as the next guy and I stand respectfully during the playing of the National Anthem before sporting events.

I also like the policy embraced by all the Major League Baseball teams following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks of playing God Bless America at the start of the 7th inning stretch.

But patriotism, like faith, is a personal issue. And while fans should be encouraged to stand during the playing of both, it is beyond the authority of the ball clubs and the police to force anyone to participate.

A federal lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union alleges that a fan was forcefully ejected from Yankee Stadium by uniformed cops when he decided to go to the restroom rather than remain in his seat for the playing of God Bless America.

Apparently the Yankees force this new tradition on their fans. And they use uniformed cops to enforce the rule.

What the Yankees, and the police, are doing, is actually unpatriotic. And runs contrary to what this nation is about.

Those who founded the United States of America did so because others imposed their will on them. If the facts in the lawsuit are true, the Yankees and the NYPD should be ashamed of themselves.

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Anonymous said...

I gotta admit, I would have to know a little more about the details. At ballgames, I tend to drink enough beer to spend quite a bit of time in the men's room, even using the sink if the lines to the toilets are too long. That being said, how did anyone know that he was going to the restroom to avoid standing for the Star Spangled Banner? He must have loudly announced it, and drawn the attention of the klingons? Could be they removed him for his own safety, last thing you want to do is stir up the sentiments of a bunch of Americans at a Baseball game. Bebe_zilla

Andrea said...

The issue would be truly be unpatriotic if the allegations in the lawsuit are true. Based on why this country was founded - personal freedoms - it would appear to be "an abuse of authority and a violation of the constitutional principles that our country is founded on" as the article cited quotes. But as this case was just filed and we have yet to know both sides, I reserve my judgement on this issue until more facts are known. The "facts" outlined in the article just don't seem very maybe there is more to this story? I guess that's the skeptic in me when it comes to articles published by any of the Civil Liberties Union. Personally I do believe the ACLU has a justified place in our country and culture, I just don't always agree with the tactics and issues they decide to support.

Anonymous said...

Freedom only comes from free will. That can never be imposed.

Anonymous said...

Forcing Anyone to listen to God Bless America or be ejected from the stadium makes a mockery of OUR liberties, and if they had Any Patriotism before, they certainly probably have much less now. To not even take into consideration he had bodily functions to attend to also dehumanize him. I agree Gary, Shame on the NYPD and the Yankees policy. I praise the New York Civil Liberties Union for their work.

Anonymous said...

“I don’t have an issue with the Yankees playing the song. My issue is with the Yankees forcing people to stay in their seats and participate in it. Forcing people to participate in an act of patriotism really devalues the freedom our country fought for in the first place.” ~Campeau-Laurion

To begin with, this has been done to honor 9-11 for the past eight years at Yankess games. Laurion, whom articles say was a long-time attendee to Yankess games, should have known this.

Secondly, I suppose we all have the "right" to be disrespectful to the memory of those who died on 9-11. But let's face it, the song takes a whole 4 minutes. Supposedly he's a beer drinker. Surely our little frenchman knew you only "borrow beer" and could have accomodated his need to "oui oui" by drinking less, and thinking more?

read a larger story covering this issue:

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

I hope the fan gets millions. Mandatory patriotism smacks of fascists and empire and sadly we are a long way down that road.

Anonymous said...

I hope they sue the pants off of them for that. That is the most fascist thing I've ever heard. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Yikes...for a song? Patriotism is a song!!!Eeek....!

Anonymous said...

Gary, what a shame for the poor guy. I hope they refund his ticket (least of all apologies).

Obviously, there are two types of calls of duty: One to stand up and honor old glory, and one we all know: Biological in nature. "Gotta go gotta go gotta Go Right NOW".

Max Weber was right about the dangers of rationalizing everything in our existence, including: Patriotism, the Flag, Baseball, and the need to Potty.

Since when was it going to a ball game for entertainment a costly proposition? One of being thrown out by the police? Unless of course one committed a bad act, like ummmmmm going to the bathroom while the national anthem was being played?

After 911, patriotism has become a misdirected pretext that infringed on peoples freedoms and liberties.
It is a shame to even remotely hear a "political frame of thought" of forced connection between patriotism and going to the bathroom.

The fella felt the need to bailout out of that crucial moment. His timing required that his belt be loosened, instead of tightened. A sure unforgiving sign in these lean times in America: Thou shalt not eata or drinka lotta before you go to a ballgame, or you will enda being thrown outa the game.

I blame the guy's mom. She never taught him good manners. Now we taxpayers pay police to enforce those "bad" manners.

Let's send him to Guantanamo. Bush and Dick would be proud fellas.


Anonymous said...

Oh my God. I don't stand for the national Anthem, I have not done the flag salute for years. I AM very patriotic but not pathologically so, nor do I believe this country is a song or a flag, they are mere representations and what they represent ( including the Freedom to NOT rise!) is far bigger and more encasing and encompassing than a sing along!

RonAnthony said...

I feel that it goes against anyone's constitutional rights to have any religious beliefs or ceremonies imposed upon them. How Yankee Stadium have gotten away with this since 2001 astonished me.

Anonymous said...

The fan was a black-out drunk and is trying to make money the easy way: a lawsuit in America.

Deborah Young

Anonymous said...

While I might consider what the fan did rude, the treatment from the cops was a bit much. And most definitely ironic.

Kevin Lee

Vandenplas84 said...

I remeber when obama didnt bother putting his hand on his heart when the anthem was played and refusing to wear an american pin. A pity the cops didn't throw obama in jail.

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