Sunday, March 1, 2009

born again american

I love my subscription to USA Today because I often run across things I otherwise would have missed. An example is the article I read about a patriotic song and video, Born Again American. (Maybe you caught it around the time of the inauguration and this is "so six weeks ago" for you.)

Anywhooo, it starts out with a guy in a cowboy hat sitting on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial singin' 'bout the hard times and you can't help but think, "Yeah, I know where this is going." But if you hang in there, it gets interesting. As the scenes shift, there's the inclusion of an Asian-American woman playing a cello by the Golden Gate Bridge, an African-American gospel choir on a ferry by the NYC skyline, a man in a Muslim robe from the Islamic Center and a woman cantor from Temple Ahavat Shalom singing together at the base of Mount Rushmore, etc. WooHoo! Diversity!

If you haven't seen the video and have 6 minutes, take a look:



The story behind the video is that Norman Lear (TV producer of hits such as All in the Family and liberal activist) asked Keith Carradine to write a song for him called Born Again American to "reflect a revitalization of the faith of all Americans in their country". (As an aside, I've liked Keith Carradine since the movie Nashville back in the day.)

I'm not totally comfortable with the term "born again American" because "born again" has so much baggage. I'm also not sure if I'm comfy with linking the Bible and the Bill of Rights (even though I understand the history) if this is to emphasize an interfaith vision. But I do like the idea that not just one party or group has a corner on patriotism -- liberal, progressive people are patriotic too! And rather than focusing on what divides us we need to focus on things that unite us including our shared history and belief in the founding documents, etc. It's a good thing to send the message that we're all in this together, and we'll need to work together to solve our current problems.

7 comments:

Rev SS said...

I love this song ... especially with the video, which I saw during election coverage ... and I think I heard that it was written and produced on very short notice (like 24 hours, maybe?)

Rev SS said...

P.S. And, I totally agree with your comments in the last paragraph

mompriest said...

Indeed...enough of this divisiveness let's have some unity...Every once in awhile I have some real hope for that possibility.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I haven't seen this before! It's wonderful. Thanks. I'm gonna put it on my Facebook thinga majggie.

Purple said...

I had the same reaction to the "born again" wording but maybe this is a way to re-define all of that. Great post.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

i did not watch the clip... yet. but "born again" i inwardly groan... i know it's a full fledged biblical term... but the baggage with language is hard to get past.

Jan said...

We do have to work together. I'm worried about this DIVIDE that seems to be coming back to our country.