The sacred and patriotic

I get it. It’s almost the 4th of July, and this year, the 4th of the July falls on a Fast Sunday, so your ward has 3 options:

1) Do a patriotic themed Sacrament meeting today
2) Do a patriotic themed Sacrament meeting on July 11th (which feels kinda lame, kinda like singing Christmas Carols at New Year’s)
3) Do an patriotic opening and closing hymn, and call it good.

The ward I attended today...chose option 1. The speakers didn’t follow a patriotic theme (which can go either way. I’ve heard patriotic talks that were stellar, and others that were um, not so much), and then the choir had a little show. They sang 2 songs: Give me your tired and your poor, and Battle Hymn of the Republic, which was ambitious, to be sure, but decently done. Kinda fun, really. They had a little poetic reading thingie in-between songs, which was sort of odd, but hey, it’s the 4th of July, so it was easy to just go with it.

My problem, however, came with the closing hymn. Now, I’m not unpatriotic. Really. I recognize that America is a cool place to live, and I’m fine singing something from the hymn book that says “Yay! America!”. But the closing hymn was “God Bless America.” Sung by the choir.

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