Current anthem is right banner for this nation In her...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 27, 2001

Current anthem is right banner for this nation

In her column "Let's dump `Banner' for `Beautiful'" (Opinion*Commentary, Oct. 19) Ellen Goodman proposes that we officially replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful." I could not disagree more.

As a Maryland native, I am certainly biased, since the national anthem was written here. But I feel there is another strong reason not to adopt "America the Beautiful" - the fact that it invokes God to do certain things for our country, such as "shed His grace on thee."

Need I remind Ms. Goodman that not every American worships the God in this song? Some worship Allah, some Buddha, some the Hindu gods and some none at all. Does this make them less American?

Our country was founded on freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state is a basic part of our Constitution. We cannot impose one God on everyone and make them sing about it. That would truly be un-American.

In this time of crisis, the American flag is everywhere, and nothing brings the image of our country's symbol to mind more effectively than "The Star-Spangled Banner." So, I say, sing out, America, even if you can't hit the high notes.

Kathleen Affeldt Shelor

Woodstock

By all means, in this time of national crisis, let us abandon just about the only public symbol of Americans' sense and understanding of our history, our profoundly stirring national anthem, and replace it with the trite, sophomoric sentiments of "America the Beautiful."

In this happy land of goose-stepping political correctness, it would be heresy to acknowledge, let alone proclaim, that this nation was born out of war and suffering.

But our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," reminds us that America didn't emerge from some infantile Oz, but from the sacrifice and, yes, bellicosity required to sustain our national dream.

Replacing "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful" would be analogous to the French replacing "La Marseillaise" with "Frere Jacques."

Anne T. Booher

Baltimore

`America the Beautiful' reminds us of our blessings

If in her column "Let's dump `Banner' for `Beautiful'" (Opinion*Commentary Oct. 19) Ellen Goodman is recruiting supporters for establishing "America the Beautiful" as America's national anthem, count me in.

When I hear "America the Beautiful" it reminds me of all the good that is America. I hear in it an implicit acknowledgement of the abundance that God has given us, and gratitude to Him for this bounteous and beautiful land and its people.

Maybe if we sang it more often we'd get a fuller appreciation of "crown thy good with brotherhood..."

S. Joseph DeMarco

Baltimore

Treasonous `Boondocks' proves deeply insulting

Aaron McGruder's cartoon "Boondocks" is nothing short of treason. He uses the American flag and a ribbon to mock America's current pride and resolve.

How can anybody depict America's patriotism as a joke? He even mocked the phrase "United We Stand." I don't think our Founding Fathers ever meant that phrase in jest when their lives were on the line, and I don't think we Americans use that phrase lightly now.

I thoughtfully considered America's reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, and I believe we are doing the right thing. We cannot sit back and let ourselves be terrorized.

Mr. McGruder's cartoon is deeply, deeply insulting, and I am ashamed The Sun has published a series of cartoons that is nothing short of treason.

I hope Mr. McGruder is drafted and learns that freedom is not free, nor is it easy, and that it's only because people before him have defended his right to free speech that he is able to desecrate our emblems and our nation's brave actions.

Peter Olsen

Pasadena

Fire cartoonist and editor who insulted the overweight

I live in Western Maryland, but as a frequent visitor to Baltimore I was a daily reader of The Sun. That changed because of the Oct. 12 editorial cartoon depicting overweight people as terrorists.

I will never buy another Sun until I receive a written apology and a guarantee the cartoonist and the editor who approved publication have been fired.

I will also make a note of any advertisers in this edition and notify them that I will never patronize them or any affiliated business or franchise.

Michael E. Taccino Sr.

Cumberland

Dropping food and bombs must confuse Muslim world

Our foray into Afghanistan seems to reflect the ambivalent, if not inconsistent, policies we have had with the Muslim world over the years.

The American planes cruising above are a simple metaphor as the anxious Afghanis look up to the sky and ask, "Are they dropping food or bombs - or both?"

Arthur Laupus

Columbia

Right-to-work laws make labor unions accountable

Contrary to a union official's assertions in the letter "Right-to-work laws only weaken unions" (Oct. 14), state right-to-work laws do not weaken unions.

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