Welcome to Asshat of the Week, where I find an asshat and let everyone know that this person is an asshat. Because asshats don’t know that they are asshats; they are not all that self-aware. This week’s asshat is none other than Todd Starnes.
Now, according to Starnes, as he posted on his website–which I will not link to, for very obvious reasons–the trouble started like this:
There is outrage from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee after a Methodist church in Vermont rewrote the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s beloved song, “God Bless the USA,” and turned it into a “bash America” anthem.
“I look around this America but not everybody’s free. And I won’t forget all those who died beneath our fear and greed,” a singer crooned during Sunday “worship” at the First United Methodist Church in Burlington. “God forgive the USA.”
The singer went on to ask forgiveness for ripping families apart at the border and taking land from the Native Americans and the way we treat LGBT citizens.
“For the native tribes we conquered – Sioux, Lakota, Cherokee – for the slaves we beat and tortured for the interned Japanese,” the singer warbled. “For the women and the children for the lesbian, gay.”
The confession of America’s alleged sins went on and on and on and on.
“Mr. Greenwood’s song is emblematic of pride in and prayer for blessing of our country,” Pastor Mark Demers told me. “Changing the words to make it also a prayer for forgiveness and healing served to expand the meaning, thus reflecting with the anthem the theme of our worship service.”
So, a church basically wrote and performed a parody of Lee Greenwood’s
pile of utter trash well-known country anthem, “God Bless the USA”. No big deal, right?
According to Starnes, it’s a BIG FUCKING DEAL, YOU GUYS. Because no one needs to know that the great country of America has done shitty things to brown people, LGBTQ people, women, etc. That’s just plain un-Murican!
He did not seem at all bothered that the church had desecrated a beloved patriotic anthem.
Todd, you blithering dipstick, this isn’t desecration. Desecration involves showing a lack of respect to something that is considered holy or sacred. Trust me, there are a shitload of people who can’t stand that stupid song and have said–and sung–worse about it.
Jeez, clutch them pearls any tighter and you might end up strangling yourself, Todd. I’d pay real money to see that.
The pastor put it best:
“Confession is a central part of Christian worship, as is prayer for healing. The lectionary text and sermon for the day told of two healings requested of Jesus – one a person of power in the community and the other a person impoverished by her illness,” the pastor told me. “The text lends itself to the idea that all, of every station in life, individuals and communities alike – including churches – stand in need of forgiveness and healing.”
But Todd wasn’t done, because an asshat of his magnitude just absolutely has to double down on the bullshit:
I reached out to Mr. Greenwood’s publicist who told me the church did not seek permission to alter the copyrighted song. Nor did the church let Mr. Greenwood know in advance they would be taking great liberties with the lyrics.
“It’s illegal to do that,” Greenwood told One America News.
Actually, no. It is not. Because this can be considered parody. Also, the church hasn’t made a recording of this song and is not trying to market or sell it for a profit. If you’re going to do so–even with parody–you need the artist’s permission. Don’t believe me? Just ask Weird Al and he can explain it to you in terms you might be able to understand, Todd.
Don’t ask me how, but Todd manages to get even dumber with each passing word:
However, the United Methodist Church pastor defended the atrocities they committed against Mr. Greenwood’s song.
“A change of lyrics such as was done does not violate copyright law, falling under the category of parody,” he said.
It’s bad enough they desecrated a beloved patriotic song, but parody in a worship service? God forgive the UMC.
Atrocities? Are you fucking serious here?! This was a parody written about an overly dramatic, ridiculous to the point of bullshit patriotic “song”–Can you tell I can’t stand the one hit wonder in question?–not a crime against humanity! (Though I might argue that Greenwood’s song is a crime against humanity but I digress.)
Seriously, Todd, get a damned grip and not on that string of pearls you happen to be sporting. It’s just a parody song. Either get a sense of humor or clutch the pearls tightly enough to cut off the oxygen to your brain. Trust me, the way you’re acting about this, someone else could use the atmospheric gases.
Guess what, Todd? If the hat fits…