Goddamn "God Bless America" is ruining baseball. It used to be that a visit to the ballpark was an escape to a better world—until right after 9/11, when the jingoistic jingle elbowed aside "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." I understand why fear drives people to wear their flag and religion on their sleeve (even though the other guys are killing for God, too). But get over it! The world has always been a dangerous place—anarchists tried to blow up Wall Street in September 1920. It's no excuse to shove your religion and patriotism (the last refuge of tyrants and scoundrels) down my throat and the throats of my children in a Faustian bargain for a day at the ballpark. "Don't be an asshole," you say. "'God Bless America' isn't any more religious than 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'" Okay, we'll compromise. I'll be happy with equal time for John Lennon's "Imagine" over the Safeco Field loudspeakers. What's that you say? Too political? Atheistic? BINGO!