Rare is the Church of England worshipper who needs a pew copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern in order to sing No. 578, which is often performed with great pomp -- trumpets and all -- in the rites that symbolize the old glory of Great Britain.
The first verse: "God save our gracious Queen, long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen! Send her victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us: God save the Queen."
That works in England, which has a state church. However, some flashy church-state rites at the Kennedy Center recently raised lots of American eyebrows, inspiring online shouts of "Idolatry!" In particular, critics focused on an anthem performed by the First Baptist Church of Dallas choir and orchestra during the "Celebrate Freedom Rally."
The first verse, sung before a speech by President Donald Trump, proclaimed: "Make America great again! Lift the torch of freedom all across the land. Step into the future joining hand in hand. And make America great again."
The Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist, Dallas, was just as blunt during his remarks during the rally in Washington, D.C.
"God declared that the people, and not the pollsters, were going to choose the next president of the United States and they chose Donald Trump," shouted Jeffress, an early Trump supporter. "Christians understood that he alone had the leadership skills to reverse the downward death spiral our nation was in."
Jeffress later defended the anthem, which was based on the Trump campaign slogan. It was not "sung in a church as a worship song on Sunday morning," he told The Christian Post.
However, others were just as offended by the fireworks, flag-waving and political sermonizing during this year's "Freedom Sunday" services in First Baptist, Dallas. A typical response came at the "Ponder Anew" blog in the Patheos public-square forum.