April 5, 2012
Parents at a Massachusetts elementary school are outraged after school officials first removed the word "God" from the popular Lee Greenwood song "God Bless the U.S.A." and then pulled the song altogether from an upcoming concert, Fox News reports. Students at Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham were reportedly instructed to sing "We love the U.S.A." instead of "God bless the U.S.A." -- and after parents complained, the principal removed the song entirely from the school assembly concert, stating that the school hoped to "maintain the focus on the original objective of sharing students' knowledge of the U.S. states, and because of logistics, will not include any songs." Greenwood said in a statement: "The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word 'God,' which is also in the title. ... Maybe the school should have asked parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song. They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course, would have said you can't change the lyrics at all or any part of the song." He added, "If the song is good enough to be played and performed in its original setting [at military and naturalization ceremonies], it surely should be good enough for our children." A poll taken by a local TV station indicated more than 80 percent of viewers were outraged by removing God from the song.