Indiana’s Goshen College Bans the National Anthem At Games
Goshen College in Indiana is a small school that houses only 1000 students and is based on pacifist ideals. They are now facing heat after banning the national anthem from being played before sporting events and replacing it with “America the Beautiful.”
The school’s motto is “Healing the World, Peace by Peace,” and the school’s president feels that the words of the “Star-Spangled Banner” do not correlate with the beliefs and values of the university.
The Northern Indiana school is a Mennonite campus with 58% of the students belonging the religion that is based of pacifist beliefs and global citizenship. Goshen president James E. Brenneman’s reason for cancelling the national anthem was to end a two-year debate between the school’s faculty and staff over whether the song should be played.
Goshen College had never played the national anthem before a sporting event until March 2010 when the school began playing an instrumental version at the urging of Brenneman, according to Yahoo! Sports and was cancelled from playing over the loud speakers in June.
In a lengthy statement explaining the change in policy, Brenneman said. “I am committed to retaining the best of what it means to be a Mennonite college, while opening the doors wider to all who share our core values.”
The part of the national anthem that bother people at Goshen College the most was the parts about “the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air,” which gave the visual of the War of 1812 that the songwriter Francis Scott Key included.
The opposition to Goshen banning the national anthem is calling for the school to be removed from NCAA competition until they include the song before games, but I doubt they’ll get their request.
“Though some may or may not agree with the alternative recommended here, I call now on each one of us to move beyond this decision and turn our attention to other important matters before us,” Brenneman said. “May God help Goshen College become one of the most welcoming places on earth for all who come to our campus.”