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Hate monger says baseball’s post-9/11 use of “God Bless America” saved us from terrorist attacks

Oct 8, 2011, 3:33 PM EDT

Bryan Fischer

I’m not a big fan of the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at baseball games.  Yes, I know why it started and it was a sweet and even beautiful thing for a short time after 9/11. But it soon ran its course and became yet another exercise in empty patriotism. Now it just crowds out “Take me out to the ballgame,” ices the road team pitcher and more or less intrudes upon the vibe of a perfectly good ballgame.

I realize not everyone agrees with those criticisms, but even if you don’t, how about trashing “God Bless America” on the grounds that a hate-mongering nutjob believes that that song being sung in ballparks caused God Himself to spare the United States from further terrorist attacks post-9/11?

The hate-monger is Bryan Fischer of the Christian group the American Family Association. Being a Christian is not what makes him a hate-monger, of course. Being a man who routinely accuses Muslims, Native Americans, African Americans, gays and Hispanics of causing the world’s ills is what makes him a hate-monger. Seriously, Google this guy.  Even run-of-the-mill bigots look at him and go “damn!”

Anyway, he has a theory. The video of it is below, but here’s a transcript. Note that he doesn’t say “terrorist attack.” He says “Muslim attack.”  Thinking that all Muslims are terrorists are one of Fischer’s many, many charms:

“By God’s blessing, we have not been hit by a Muslim attack since 9/11. I suggest that in part, we have Major League Baseball to thank. You remember that the week after 9/11 Major League Baseball converted the seventh inning stretch from the singing of ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ to the singing of ‘God Bless America.’

“Now ‘God Bless America’ is not just a song, it is a prayer. When we sing that we are inviting God to bless America, to stand beside her and to guide her through the night with a light from above. So for one brief, shining moment every night, Major League Baseball has converted our stadiums into cathedrals in which tens of thousands of ordinary Americans lift their hearts and voices as one and ask God to watch over and protect the United States. Ladies and gentleman, I think that those prayers have been heard and they have been answered.”

If you want to believe that a little ditty that Irving Berlin wrote for a vaudeville revue called “Yip Yip Yaphank” — seriously — is truly a prayer, hey, I’m not going to stop you.  But I’m going to go on record as saying that if Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said that the sky was blue I’d fight to the death for the proposition that it was red.  Enjoy the video:

134 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    @ mrcubs

    By you speaking out against gay marriage you are telling others how to live their lives. Yet you complain about those who support it as telling you how to live your life.

    My advice, if you don’t like gay marriage don’t get gay married.

    • JBerardi - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      If I’ve learned anything from following our pathetic national discourse, it’s that conservatives are always, always, ALWAYS the victims. Well, at least to hear them tell it.

    • Old Gator - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:52 PM

      I can’t wait to see how the Church deals with gay divorce….

    • mrcubs73 - Oct 9, 2011 at 4:43 AM

      By telling me that I am telling others how to live their lives, you are telling me how to live my life. The difference in me and you, I am a Christian and I am not ashamed to admit it. When you are liberal, every belief is ok, as long as it agrees with yours. Well, I don’t. Its not just gay marriage’s I disagree with. Seriously, biology 101 tells us something is wrong with the gay life style. I learn before kindergarten that if a piece of a puzzle did not fit, it was the wrong piece. Now lets go back to biology101, the pieces don’t fit, so it is clearly the wrong one. I don’t hate the gay, I just don’t agree with the life style. Take the gay agenda away from my TV and all media outlets, and stop telling me its ok. Who are they trying to convince, me or themselves?

      • bigmeechy74 - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        you bringing up biology is comedy. you disregard science on every level but now you are trying to use it for your argument.

  2. 23yankees - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    From one Christian to another, Fu.

  3. schlom - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    The mind of a liberal:

    Pastor says something kind of dumb while trying to praise American values – “holy shit, freak out time! Republicans want to stone gays and bring us back to the Dark Ages!”

    Favored presidential candidate attends chuch for 20 years where pastor says “God damn America” – “hey, that’s just an opinion, no big deal”

    I haven’t a clue how you rationalize the two.

    • jamaicanjasta - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      Wow, I haven’t seen a post riddled with so many terrible assumptions in quite a while. Just because someone disagrees with you or makes a point you don’t like, does not mean you need to paint broad brushstrokes that are disingenuous at best and ignorant at worst.

      If we want to deal in facts (since you decided to make this about associations and liberal vs conservative) would you say that the conservative crowd booing a gay solider asking about the repeal of DADT at one of the GOP debates speaks to the mindset of the entire conservative philosophy? That’s the equivalent of what you’re claiming about liberals.

      I’m tired of this guilt by association stuff being spewed all over the place. Or assumptions made about someone’s motives because they don’t happen to agree with your political, religious or economic positions. It doesn’t make them a bad person and I dare not deign what a person is thinking just based on their political affiliation.

      Besides which, this pastor has said many other things that I would consider beyond ‘kind of dumb’. He and his group of flunkies have made outrageous claims about the lack of prayer being the reason for the Virginia Tech and Columbine murders, called mosques in America “monstrosities”, supported sexual orientation ‘reprogramming’ in which the person is literally tortured and psychologically abused to ‘cure’ their sexual urges, AND they’re considered a hate group among many other things.

      TLDR: The pastor and his group are dangerous ideologues who have made a career of making ‘kind of dumb’ statements and actions.

      • schlom - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:52 PM

        “I’m tired of this guilt by association stuff being spewed all over the place. Or assumptions made about someone’s motives because they don’t happen to agree with your political, religious or economic positions. It doesn’t make them a bad person and I dare not deign what a person is thinking just based on their political affiliation.”

        Isn’t this basically the entire point of this post? This guy says something that Craig finds objectionable and there is a huge freakout. If anyone dares contradict this, they get totally ripped.

        It’s irrelevant what this guy says in the past as we’re only talking about his state about God Bless America and baseball. I also don’t find anything particularly objectionable in his statement – what’s the harm in thinking that God has watched out for America and kept us safe from attacks? Sure it’s not true but it’s not like it’s harming anyone.

      • jamaicanjasta - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:12 PM

        Schlom, I posted earlier what I felt the intent of Craig’s comment was. It’s not just about a case of “God Bless America”, at least not to me, it’s a case of someone who has made a career of twisting words and dividing people trying to usurp something for his position.

        In a vacuum, yes what he said could be seen as harmless but this is not a good guy, and in THE SAME SPEECH that he made this comment about baseball and “God Bless America” he also said:

        “Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same God… I believe it’s important that we have a president who understands that Islam is not a religion of peace, but a religion of war and violence and death”

        IN THE SAME SPEECH. You can’t claim that his past is irrelevant to this conversation when [b]in the same speech[/b] that he mentioned “God Bless America” he also says that about Muslims AND says the 9/11 attacks were ‘Muslim attacks’. He’s also the same guy who RIGHT before this speech said that Mormonism was a cult and they weren’t protected by the First Amendment. Along with Judaism and Islam.

        Out of context, his remarks seem innocuous enough, but read the entire speech >.>. I mean come on, the guy has an agenda and only mentioned “God Bless America” to later denigrate non-Christians later in his speech.

  4. dukesanuch - Oct 8, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    It is amazing how different the baseball comments are from the football ones. I wish Al Davis owned the Cubs.

  5. Bar None - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    I have been opposed to singing God Bless America at ball games because it has nothing to do with baseball. Not to mention half of MLB’s players are from outside the US. The only thing worse than GBA is Wayne Mesmer singing GBA. Worst part of going to Wrigley post 9/11.

  6. ghirdorah - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    The definition of a true patriot is someone who is willing to defend the Constitution with their life. Anyone who does not support the establishment clause without question can not call themselves a patriot in any sense of the term. For too long people in power in this country have put allegiance to their book of fairy tales (popularly know as the bible) over allegiance to the Constitution, and yet they have the utter gall to call themselves patriots.They make me sick and there is NO defense for their hypocrisy. None.

    • mrcubs73 - Oct 9, 2011 at 4:51 AM

      Our founding fathers believed in these fairy tales! I support our country and would fight to the end for it, but I will also fight to the end that Jesus Christ was major part of the foundation of this country , that has long forgotten that fact. People often forget because of some radical Christians, no one is without fault (sin) so whether are person is Christian or not, they should never point fingers at another. If they were a Christian, to paraphrase they would know the bible says first remove the plank from your eye, before you attempt to remove the splinter from another. All I am saying, our country was founded on these principles whether we choose to believe it or not!

      Samuel Adams
      Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Father of the American Revolution

      “And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace.”
      –As Governor of Massachusetts, Proclamation of a Day of Fast, March 20, 1797.

      James Madison
      4th U.S. President

      “Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.”
      –America’s Providential History, p. 93.

      James Monroe
      5th U.S. President

      “When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.”
      –Monroe made this statement in his 2nd Annual Message to Congress, November 16, 1818.

      John Quincy Adams
      6th U.S. President

      “The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ‘bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’ (Isaiah 52:10).”
      –Life of John Quincy Adams, p. 248.

      William Penn
      Founder of Pennsylvania

      “I do declare to the whole world that we believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God in and to those ages in which they were written; being given forth by the Holy Ghost moving in the hearts of holy men of God; that they ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day; being used for reproof and instruction, that the man of God may be perfect. They are a declaration and testimony of heavenly things themselves, and, as such, we carry a high respect for them. We accept them as the words of God Himself.”
      –Treatise of the Religion of the Quakers, p. 355.

      Roger Sherman
      Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution

      “I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. That God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, so as thereby he is not the author or approver of sin. That he creates all things, and preserves and governs all creatures and all their actions, in a manner perfectly consistent with the freedom of will in moral agents, and the usefulness of means. That he made man at first perfectly holy, that the first man sinned, and as he was the public head of his posterity, they all became sinners in consequence of his first transgression, are wholly indisposed to that which is good and inclined to evil, and on account of sin are liable to all the miseries of this life, to death, and to the pains of hell forever.

      I believe that God having elected some of mankind to eternal life, did send his own Son to become man, die in the room and stead of sinners and thus to lay a foundation for the offer of pardon and salvation to all mankind, so as all may be saved who are willing to accept the gospel offer: also by his special grace and spirit, to regenerate, sanctify and enable to persevere in holiness, all who shall be saved; and to procure in consequence of their repentance and faith in himself their justification by virtue of his atonement as the only meritorious cause.

      I believe a visible church to be a congregation of those who make a credible profession of their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, joined by the bond of the covenant.

      I believe that the souls of believers are at their death made perfectly holy, and immediately taken to glory: that at the end of this world there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a final judgement of all mankind, when the righteous shall be publicly acquitted by Christ the Judge and admitted to everlasting life and glory, and the wicked be sentenced to everlasting punishment.”
      –The Life of Roger Sherman, pp. 272-273.

      Go to Page 3: Christian Quotes of the

      • Kevin S. - Oct 9, 2011 at 6:16 AM

        Whether they actually believed them isn’t relevant. That they refused to codify those believe into the document defining who we are as a country is.

      • ditto65 - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        Talk about twisting words – William Penn opened his colony to anyone, regardless of religion.

        What one believes is personal; how one governs is dictated by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of their state, and the laws established by precedent in our courts.

        One can be influenced by their personal beliefs; one must act within the law.

        Here is a quote, in its entirety, so we can see what the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence really thought of the separation of church and state:

        “Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
        The Final Letter, as Sent
        To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

        Gentlemen

        The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

        Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

        I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

        Th Jefferson
        Jan. 1. 1802.”

  7. dasher521 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    What protects between the last pitch of the World Series and the opening of Spring Training?

  8. yournuts - Oct 9, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    You should only comment on baseball and leave your politics out of your columns.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Nah, sorry. Gonna write about whatever the hell I want, than you. And this guy started it anyway by using baseball to make his religious/political point, so screw him.

      • aaronmoreno - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Write about what you want, Craig. I’ve been reading you since THT. I’m also an evangelical. Reform Baptist, you’d probably call me a real hardliner. However, this guy makes no sense. Thinks he’s a prophet.

        Happens all the time everywhere and anywhere. We’re not all like that, Craig. I would say even most of us aren’t like that. Guys like him only confuse things. Sorry.

  9. spudchukar - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Next up. Passing around the collection plate during the 7th inning stretch.

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