Sunday, February 3, 2013

“When we cheer for our team, do we have to cheer for America, too?”


Washington Post,Op-ed piece, “When we cheer for our team, do we have to cheer for America, too?” by Tricia Jenkins, January 31,2013, wrestles with this alarming, cultural merge of coliseum sports and the nationalism that has historical markers that should alert us to its danger.

Think about it! Coliseum sports plus nationalism equals empire, which presumes the need to unify a people (although more subtle in the U.S. because of our constitution vs. historical versions of government) and support its interests: e.g., a military that is funded ten times greater than any other country in the world (yes! China). Why is this?

So here we have a giant worship service with football, a sport now known for accelerating brain damage, and the military of which twenty vets per day commit suicide. What’s to cheer about? Where’s the good news? It’s time to lament and complain in Hebrew fashion and follow the lead of the real heroes fighting day-to-day combat with the American myth that numbs and blinds. In the words of Walter Brueggemann, “That script of military consumerism cannot make us safe and it cannot make us happy. We may be the unhappiest society in the world.”

[Added] See "Local Opinions" article 'Why I sit out "God Bless America"'

'Asking for God’s blessing for “us” or “me” ignores greater needs in our world. We should ask a bigger question: How can we get this blessing to all? I want God walking with and standing beside every single person on this Earth — and every country.' - James P. Marsh Jr., Published: May 31