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FIRST-PERSON: The PC crowd might go for a ‘National Affirmation’

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–Gratitude, pride and appreciation are emotions I experience whenever I hear “The Star Spangled Banner.” Once again, I found myself awash in these familiar emotions as I gathered with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day.

Francis Scott Key’s lyrics, set to John Stafford Smith’s music, motivated me to once again pause and thank God for the privilege of being born and reared in a country abounding with freedom. My chest swelled with pride as I reflected on America’s many positive contributions to the peoples of the world. I also experienced a deep, profound appreciation for the sacrifice so many men and women have made for the cause of America’s most cherished ideal – liberty.

I have long been a flag-waving, anthem-singing, red-white-and-blue-wearing American. I am unapologetic and unabashed in my patriotism. In the words of Lee Greenwood, “I’m proud to be an American….”

Not all who dwell in the land of the free and the home of the brave share my Yankee-Doodle enthusiasm. In spite of the patriotic fervor that emerged in the aftermath of Sept. 11, the specter of political correctness has never diminished and is ever-present.

Political correctness as a philosophy has its roots in the postmodern idea that there are no absolute, transcendent values. Thus, if no ideals or principles are sacred, then no culture or society can be deemed more noble or better than any other. Value judgments on an individual’s behavior are declared taboo. After all, that person’s conduct is in keeping with their particular culture.

In America, political correctness has led many to condemn overt displays of patriotism. The assertion is that any showing of pride on the part of Americans at being American will somehow offend those from different cultural and geo-political backgrounds. Even after Sept. 11, there were a significant number of people who denounced the singing of patriotic songs and flag displays as jingoistic.

Political correctness in America has jumped the curb of culture and now confronts any speech or activity that infers a value judgment. A recent application of political correctness in Santa Monica, Calif., declared the childhood game of tag as out of bounds because it damages the self-esteem of “slower” children.

Purveyors of PC see the childhood activity of cops and robbers as too violent. Many sports mascots are now viewed as demeaning because they are said to be insensitive to ethnic groups. Criminals and even treasonous traitors are not bad or evil, they are simply misunderstood.

In light of the clamor for a politically correct nation, I think it is a good time to consider a new national anthem. “The Star Spangled Banner” must make many of the PC crowd want to puke when they hear it. Composed during a battle, it is oh so violent with its rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air. And the bold assertion of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave is nothing short of arrogant.

In place of the National Anthem, I propose the National Affirmation. The word anthem must be ditched, because an anthem conveys the idea of pride. Of course, to the PC police, American pride equals arrogance. No more saluting or placing the right hand over the heart while singing. Saluting is too militaristic. Instead, a hug will be instituted. Any type hug is appropriate. Hug a group, hug a friend, hug yourself, hug a non-human animal or hug a tree – just embrace your fellow earth dweller.

And now, the National Affirmation of the United States of America:

(Sung to the tune of “Feelings” recorded in 1975 by Morris Albert.)

Feelings, we must respect all feelings,
if we are to maintain tolerance.
Offensive phrases are forbidden,
in order to insure sensitivity.
Feelings, politically correct thoughts
dictate public policy, because we really care.
Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
w-o-o, we will not offend.

Emotions, feelings of compassion are all that really matter,
and if you will empathize, and express your feelings you will be superior.
Feelings, I will pledge allegiance,
and I will let my emotions dominate my judgment.
Emotions, feelings of compassion are all that really matter,
and if you will empathize, and express your feelings you will be superior.
Feelings, wo-o-o, feelings,
wo-o-o we will not offend.

Feelings… (repeat and fade)

Makes you misty, doesn’t it? Politically correct America, what a country!
Boggs, whose column appears in Baptist Press each week, is pastor of Valley Baptist Church, McMinnville, Ore.

    About the Author

  • Kelly Boggs