Wednesday, February 19, 2014

America Is Beautiful in More Than One Language

RANT ALERT: You may not like what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway.

One particular Coca-Cola ad during the Super Bowl went by quickly enough that I didn't pay that much attention to it.  Nice, undertstated, better than their polar bear ads, and in my view, affirming of America and its historic embrace of immigrants.  But the reactions against it were swift and harsh.  You see, it was "America, The Beautiful" being sung by people in different languages. You can see the ad below.

"English only!" or "Speak English!" was the basic theme on Twitter, and at Coca Cola's website--down with this nod to "multi-culturalism."

Really?

Is America so fragile that our societal framework will be undone by people praising it, in a song that is in a real sense a prayer for it to maintain its values, in a different language?

Christian, would you say the same thing to brothers and sisters in America singing praise to God in a language other than English?  Are you showing a greater concern for your country's unique linguistic identity than you are people created in the image of God who don't always speak your language?

By the way, do you think those singers don't know English?  Would it surprise you that more non-English native speakers know English (and perhaps even more languages) than native English speakers knowing other languages?  Do you think that we face a threat from the non-English speaking world, even as the rest of the world is in a race to teach English so that their people can participate in the world economy?

Is was a TV ad, for Pete's sake!  And responses that show anger toward a non-English rendition of a patriotic song are inappropriate for Christians, who seem to want non-English speakers in Heaven, but not to want them in America.

OK, I'm done.  I'm going out to get a Coke--Zero, but I don't do the real thing.