Sheltered Islander: ‘God Bless America’ and Hostess Cupcakes

God bless Hostess cupcakes!
God bless Hostess cupcakes! Photo: rrbancod/123RF

Gersh Kuntzman, who writes for The New York Post, has declared that the song “God Bless America” should be banned from baseball because “it offends everyone.” Yeah, well, some people need to be offended. I’m sick of the Thought Police, aka political correctness, insisting that the majority is free to think as long as they agree with the minority—in this case, atheists. There are more believers than there are of them and I say we can take ’em.

Throughout history, a firm moral compass, provided by a belief in a form of God, has been key to the survival of many cultures. Example: the Jewish people, God bless every one of them. The Laws of Moses, which they believe came from God, are the core of their morality, and their laws form the foundation of western societies.

In the absence of God, the state can become God (see North Korea), and morality becomes relative to who’s in charge this week.

I, for one, need a moral compass based on God because of the many times I would have lapsed if I didn’t believe in an ultimate accounting.

I was grocery shopping and my cart stopped in front of the Hostess cupcakes. I saw that one of the packages had been sliced open by a box cutter and was in danger of bleeding out its creamy filling. If I left it there, it might get tossed, so I tossed it into my handbag. In a godless society this would be easy to do. I got as far as the canned peas when years of Catholic indoctrination kicked in and I could see the neon arrow with the word “thief” over my head pointed at me. I put the cupcakes in the cart and I continued to shop, secure in the knowledge that I had just saved myself 15 minutes in purgatory. Had I been an atheist, would I have stolen the cupcakes? Hell yeah.

New problem: now I have open cupcakes staring up at me. I can eat one and pay for both at the checkout, or eat both and hide the wrapper under the avocados. The waft of the cream broke though my minimal resistance. I reasoned I could always use the “I’m a diabetic” defense, saying that I just had to eat one. I ate one and paid for both and headed out.

In the parking lot I saw a shiny new two-foot scratch on my van with a note that read, “I’m writing this note because people are looking, but I’m not paying for this scratch on your old van.” I was angry. The perpetrator’s moral compass was either turned off or on “pause” that day. I always have red nail polish with me, so I painted over the scratch and you can only see it in a certain light—such as daylight.

But even with a moral compass, I falter. I can’t turn in a family member for bass fishing off-season, largely because I served the evidence for dinner. The best rationalization here is that bass have free will too, and if they happen to run into a fishhook, it’s not my fault. If I’m this wicked with a fear of God, imagine how wild I’d be without it. I’d be driving without a seatbelt, slashing tires to get ahead in the ferry line, drinking red wine with fish—just a complete reprobate.

This Island supports four houses of worship. I’ve spent a lot of time at the Quaker meetings. Just spending an hour with my mouth closed is one of God’s small miracles, supported by all the Friends willing to lend me duct tape.

Everyone on the Island has a spiritual facet. It’s hard to dismiss God in the face of nature.

Stop singing “God Bless America” because it offends you, Mr. Kuntzman? Well, your request offends me, so lets call it a draw.


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