The National Anthem: Symbolic or Sacred

So the world is up in arms over Nuestro Himno, a Spanish version of the National Anthem. Forgive me if I find this to be one of the most idiotic debates I’ve ever witnessed. A couple of Google searched rendered any argument against the Spanish version mute.

Shall we take a look? Well, before we do that, why don’t we see what the leader of the free world had to say about this issue.

"And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English," Bush added. "And they ought to learn to
sing the national anthem in English."

What Bush did was play into the infectious racist undercurrent and simplistic symbolism that plagues American society. This debate also underscores our lack of appreciation for other cultures and how they interpret what it means to be an American. We’ve narrowed the meaning of what it means to be American into rigid, easily indentifiable acts and traditions. But that’s not what it means to be American. That’s not what it means to be free.

America means that I am free to become and express whatever my heart’s desire as long as I don’t infringe on the rights of others. The National Anthem is just a song symbolizing that. And it is why many have interpreted the National Anthem in a way that showcased their appreciation for being an American. Marvin Gaye, Jimmi Hendrix, Whitney Houston and countless other artist presented their own rendition. Some we loved and others, like Rosanne Barr’s version, we hated.

Immigrants form all over the world have supplied their own interpretations of the National Anthem.
german, french, polish, yiddish, pig latin, and samoan versions exist. There is even Arabic version. Source

The fact of the matter is that the words to the National Anthem are symbolic, not sacred. For those that think otherwise, I can’t wait to hear you recite the Ten Commandments in Hebrew.

Other Sources
Google Resultes

Discussion Starters:
1. Are you offended if immigrants sing the national anthem in thier native tongue? Why or Why not?


18 Responses to The National Anthem: Symbolic or Sacred

  1. Rashid Z. Muhammad Says:
    What? You expected sane and informed discourse between partisans on hot-button political issues?

    You must be new around here...
  2. Rell Says:
    I'm with you (and I consider a moderate) this debate is one of the more stupid things I've witnessed in my adult (that's really only be five years since i'm 23) life.

    So many other important things to deal with -- like say IRAN!
  3. Roderick Says:
    "And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English," Bush added. "And they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

    This from a fool who can't compose a coherent sentence in either English or Spanglish. God help us.
  4. James Manning Says:
    Rod, The irony of it all, huh?

    Rashid, sometimes I do get naive but I'm back.

    Rell, keep living... politicians never cease to amaze me.
  5. The Best [ Ghostface ] Says:
    TO Jay,

    Prez Bush is just playing a game he is pretending to be angry when he really is not. This just a game BUsh is not angry Bush has hispanic relatives because his brother married a hispanic lady.

    By Chance
  6. James Manning Says:

    Bush just put his foot where it feels comfortable. I don't even think he beleives what he said, he just said it because he thought it would get him a few points in the poll.
  7. Neil Says:
    While I'm all for Spanish speakers learning English (for their kids sake), this national anthem issue is just plain dumb. I think it's great if it's translated. Doesn't that just make more patriotic people? The Bible is translated into hundreds of languages and no one complains. The illegal immigration issue is an important one, especially in a city like Los Angeles where the schools and hospitals have to care for them, but the national anthem -- nonsense!
  8. Bullfrog Says:
    I would be offended because it should be a requirement to have at least a working knowledge of a countries native language before citizenship is granted to anyone.

    Neil: It is unpatriotic to live in a country and refuse to assimilate, so I think you are DEAD wrong that this will "make more patriotic people".

    The key word in the phrase "Melting Pot" is MELTING meaning to become part of.
  9. Diane S. Says:
    Sorry to go off topic, but you know the web mag I'm always pestering you to publish? May I offer as a model The Green Muse published by Wren. While this is a literary mag and not a political mag, I'm hoping you might find some practical application to pursuing your own dream of being a magazine editor. I think you could do it James. I think you could hire choose own staff of writers, have your own column as editor, sell advertising, and eventually even make it to print.

    I'm a big believer in dreams. I'm especially a big believer in yours.


  10. Diane S. Says:
    I think America ought to consider it high praise that immigrants and would be immigrants across the globe have chosen to invest the time and energy to translate our national anthem into their language.

    I find the immigration debate to be a thinly veiled excuse for a flagrant display of racism, and as such I find myself ducking under the covers at the mere mention of the subject.

    While neo-cons are quick to point out the need for securing our borders against terrorists, I am yet to see anything on the immigrant reform measures that addresses this issue and not keeping more brown skinned people from permeating our white borders.
  11. Shavonne Says:

    What is America's native language? English is not native to the Americas!!!!

    Do you not realize how retarded your comment made you look?
  12. The Best [ Ghostface ] Says:
    To Jay,

    Jay said: Chance, Bush just put his foot where it feels comfortable. I don't even think he beleives what he said, he just said it because he thought it would get him a few points in the poll.

    Chance: Jay man I agree 100% with your statement.

    By Chance
  13. Timmer Says:
    Great analysis, Manning. Stupid, stupid debate to be having.
  14. PartyOfLincoln Says:
    The National Anthem is not simply being sung in Spanish... that is not the issue. In "Nuestro Himno" the words are significantly changed:

    You want to sing it, fine. I couldn't care less. But don't try to pass it off as the National Anthem.
  15. Bullfrog Says:
    Shavonne: I will choose to ignore the "retarded" comment, mostly because I graduated high school and left that sort of debate tactic long behind, but good luck with that. Instead of "native" language, let me change it to "official" language, feel better now? Do you care to attack the premise of my argument or would you like to continue to go after the syntax (which is a red herring, congrats!).

    Diane S.: You and Shavonne should be on the same bowling team, you could call yourselves, "Americans Against America Having Any Culture of Their Own, Which Will Ultimatley Destroy Us As a Country".
  16. James Manning Says:

    I did listen to it and I know they change the words so it would rhyme. But I don't think there was some evil agenda behind it at I think it's one of those 'no harm, now fould' type bits.


    I saw the web page. I think I could do something like that. I just have to find the time to think how I would put it together.
  17. Diane S. Says:

    I'm a strong proponent of multiculturalism. I believe it is America's greatest stregnth and the existence of it is the proof of American culture.

    What are you so protective of? Are you afraid their might be a place where there is a restaurant that's not part of a national chain? Where the architecture isn't all from "anytown, anywhere, USA?" Are you afraid of ethnicity? Are you afraid of new ideas? Or are you just afraid of anyone who isn't just like you?
  18. cynthia Says:
    This shouldn't be an issue. In fact, it shows the regard that others have this country to recite it in their native tongue.