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(9,395 posts)
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 04:17 PM Jul 2022

Patriotic music in church

…I HATE patriotic music in church. As a female, *especially now.* Can’t think of a time I’ve felt less like celebrating this country and our so-called freedom.
I belong to an ELCA church and most of the congregation is pretty liberal-minded that I can tell, and we have a woman pastor. But there’s a long tradition there of patriotic music on the weekend closest to the 4th. We get the weekly bulletin via email…yup. This Sunday.
I hate missing church 2 weeks in a row and I wasn’t there last week. I have no “obligations” (bell choir, lector, etc) this week and I honestly think no one will miss me. I might even tell the choir director, who’s a good friend and will probably agree with me (he doesn’t have final say on the hymn selections) why I’m sitting out this week
What say you, DU churchgoers? Do I have permission to play hooky on Sunday?

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(22,953 posts)
2. I would if I were you. I grew up in
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 04:33 PM
Jul 2022

the LCA, before it became the ELCA. I don't remember patriotic music in church for holidays like the 4th. We did sometimes sing the Navy hymn, as simply a hymn, not as a patriotic music choice.

I now split my time between a Presbyterian and an Episcopal church. A couple years ago, during the summer, the Presbyterians selected hymns from congregational requests at the beginning of the service, after announcements. Somebody chose America the Beautiful on the Sunday before the 4th. The pastor was visibly surprised and he frowned, but honored the request. As we sang it, I thought about the contrast between the words and the Trump administration and my eyes filled with tears.

I am surprised that a Lutheran church would use patriotic music. I remember in LCA confirmation class discussing Luther's principle of separating the spiritual from the temporal as a result of the Peasants' Rebellion.

I think that I would skip that service, but let a few people know why. Find another service to watch online.


(9,395 posts)
4. I grew up LCA also
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 04:45 PM
Jul 2022

I wish they’d remove the patriotic songs from the LBW. Except the Navy hymn, which I like. I think I will just mention to the choir director that I can’t deal with the patriotic stuff right now. He will definitely understand.


(32,916 posts)
3. I don't blame you for feeling like that.
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 04:43 PM
Jul 2022

We are supposed to have separate church and state. (Although nowadays it’s getting blurrier and blurrier)

I’m glad you brought this up, though, because back in the days when I used to attend Catholic mass, they would sing patriotic songs around this time of year and even way back then, it seemed wrong to me.

And after Orange Idiot was elected, I would cry, too, thinking of how I was no longer proud to sing about my country.


(9,395 posts)
5. Unfortunately I think it's a local tradition
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 04:48 PM
Jul 2022

For all the churches around here. My husband’s brass group always plays at a Presbyterian (PCUSA) church on the Sunday near the 4th, same crap. Playing the trumpet he doesn’t have to sing the words. (He’s as mad as I am about all this).

Backseat Driver

(4,490 posts)
6. Ah - boundaries, boundaries...
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 05:13 PM
Jul 2022

You owe no one an explanation. If they should possibly ask, and since you had no service responsibilities to fulfill, save maybe remembering it is the Sabbath day, smile and say "I missed you too" and change the subject.

Think you've had it with the separation of church and national politics--I grew up in a very, very small Missouri Synd Lutheran church, but no longer attend even an ELCA's congregation that has more liberal leanings about Biblical admonitions about what I MUST believe, most of which is a guilty trip concerning the fear of God - I'd rather believe that "God is good" and forgives our transgressions and helps us in amazing ways to withhold judgments we need not own about others' actions so we can have a fulfilling life, and yes right now it's difficult to practice what one preaches. If staying home will help your thoughts of peace and values about relationships in which you believe, just do it! We have enough of our own all too human ways to cope with our anger and its consequences. Then, too, I'm not your confessor. Ultimately, you have choice.


(22,953 posts)
9. Good point that no explanation is necessary,
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 05:38 PM
Jul 2022

but it might start a discussion about the practice.

In my very early years, my family went to a Missouri Synod church, but only because my German born great aunt lived with us then. It was a German congregation and she had friends there. After she moved into a nursing home, my family switched to the LCA church of my cousins. I was amazed at the difference. No more literalism. Much more emphasis on fellowship and love. It was like escaping a ghetto of the mind. For me, it came at a good point in my life, just before entering my teens, when more logical and critical reasoning was starting to develop.


(43,204 posts)
7. Yep. We haven't gone to church since Covid,
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 05:33 PM
Jul 2022

but long before that we always skipped the Sunday closest to the 4th of July. Even after we found a couple liberal churches that we really liked. All I want to observe on any given Sunday is whatever day it is in the liturgical year, not Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/Boy Scout Sunday/Blessing of the Backpacks/Christmas in July or any other silly gimmick they come up with.


(22,955 posts)
8. Sorry, your church is completely wrong here. St Paul said in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no man
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 05:36 PM
Jul 2022

or woman. Belief in the christ and soul means one strives to see beyond physical, limiting, separating identifications and recognize that we are all connected as the offspring of one divine energy source at the soul level.

Also, playing patriotic music is pretty well giving the raspberry to the idea of loving your enemy.

Can you share these replies.with your pastor?


(9,395 posts)
10. I might but her hands may be tied trying to please people
Fri Jul 1, 2022, 05:58 PM
Jul 2022

There’s an awful lot of white hair there - I’m not young myself (65) but I feel young there - and the older folks absolutely expect this. Ugh. I’ll definitely stay home though. In past years it didn’t really bother me but this year, nope. I cannot celebrate a country that just made me, my daughter and granddaughters second-class citizens.


(2,577 posts)
11. Guess what! We did the exact same thing
Sun Jul 3, 2022, 05:20 PM
Jul 2022

Our church was featuring patriotic music today, so we went to brunch--not church. I am in no mood for patriotic music in my place of worship this week.


(9,395 posts)
12. In part because of the guidance of the great people in this group
Sun Jul 3, 2022, 07:36 PM
Jul 2022

I stayed home too. Hope you had a nice relaxing morning!

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