Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

Take Your Hat Off (part 1)

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Pastor Bill, “There are two songs that bring tears to my eyes every time I hear them. One of those songs we just sang, God Bless America, and the other is the Star Spangled Banner. The first time I heard God Bless America, Kate Smith sang it. She reached me like no other singer ever has.”



I understand what Pastor Bill was saying about the Kate Smith singing God Bless America. It is that feeling that moves a person deep within their very soul; that brings tears to your eyes so deeply it is like acid rain falling down your face. Yeah, that feeling that renders you speechless for fear that the emotions will become a sob of epic proportions. You need a moment to regain your composure, yet you don’t know if you ever will again.

Pastor Bill, “Then there are those that refuse to remove their hats during these most patriotic of songs, and the emotions that stir within me are as fighting as the positive voice of Kate Smith. It is about showing respect. You take off your hat and you show respect. Pretty simple, don’t you think?”


But is that all there are to these songs?
The act of showing respect to a song about our country?
Or hearing the words sung in such a way that our very being is shifted?



That would be far too simple.

There is so much more that exists in the presence of these songs, and it starts with a symbol, two flags mirrored as one, and a word, God.

I hear the “but” fluttering through the wind as a balloon released into a storm.


What two flags?
How do these songs really honor God?
What does wearing my hat have to do with anything?
What does our independence as American’s have to do with God?
What about the people who fight for our country?

Our very freedom?

The Fourth of July is in recognition of the independence of America from Britain. And here you want answers too all of these questions, and maybe more that have not been asked; each question just as valid as the one before and the one after.

Maybe, just maybe, finding a different way at looking at “independence” will help guide you to your own answers. As we take this journey please know that nobody, including me, will ever discount what our soldiers, our emergency personnel, or what we as American citizens have done, and continue to do to protect our civil rights. The reality of the amount of blood that has been shed on our soil is so vast that not a square inch of land lays untouched by someone’s lose for those they loved and that they believed in as our inalienable rights.

It is here, in the midst of their historic blood, which we begin our journey. A simple and humbled start to a nation as complex as the universe, and as questioned as God in Heaven Himself, we are going home to the most simple of times – a symbol and a word.




Author: bkbites

Stay at home Mom of 3 boys, 1 goofy dog, 2 wickedly crazy cats, and a traveling husband. Ah, what can be better? It's a full life without a doubt.

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