NY Daily News columnist calls for striking out ‘God Bless America’ at baseball games

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A New York Daily News columnist is  suggesting that Major League Baseball strike out the singing of "God Bless America" at games.

In an column published Thursday, Gersh Kuntzman proposed that the song be benched permanently.

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The tradition, according to Major League Baseball, started shortly after 9/11 as a healing moment at a San Diego Padres game. It eventually spread league-wide, continuing 15 years after the attacks.

Kuntzman said the group singalong has run its course.

He calls the show of heavenly support of America as a “Mussolini-esque introduction of the song,” complaining that fans are asked to rise and place their hats over their hearts.

Kuntzman, in his column, said the only songs for which Americans should stand are "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Lohengrin's "Wedding March," better known as "Here Comes the Bride."

He said the song highlights and promotes America’s worst traditions: “self-righteousness, forced piety, earnest self-reverence…”

Kuntzman, an atheist, said the song also offends believers, foreigners, fans of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and atheists.

To support his argument, Kuntzman is asking baseball game attendees not to stand and take off their hats to honor the song. He said to save the blessing for Sunday and church.

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