Back in January of 2010, Goshen College, a small liberal arts school in
Indiana, decided to allow its college's Athletic Department to play an
instrumental version of the Star-Spangled Banner before sporting events.
But yesterday, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education, in "response to
complaints from students, faculty members and alumni," the school's board
of directors barred the practice.
In a press release, the board said it was a tough decision that took a lot
of discussion. Even so, the board acknowledged it was bound to be a
controversial one. Goshen is a ministry of the Mennonite Church USA, but
the church, the press release noted, does not have a policy on the
"Goshen College has been and remains a ministry of Mennonite Church USA
with an enduring peace tradition," Carlos Romero, executive director of
the Mennonite Education Agency said in a statement. "The Board's decision
reflects a belief that faith and honoring country can co-exist without
disturbing higher allegiances to God and that Goshen College will become
increasingly diverse and will welcome diverse viewpoints."
The board has asked the school's president to find an alternative to
playing the national anthem.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the school first changed its
policy to be more welcoming to visiting teams, "but the decision sparked
resistance from some who believe the hymn glorifies war and distracts from
the college's Christian values."
Speaking to Fox Radio News, Goshen college art professor John Blosser
explained why the song is a problem for people at the school. “It’s
obviously about a battle… It’s about using violence to conquer and that
would be something that many people here would have problems with.”
Now A few observations regarding this story.
1. Why was it not played before 2010? Was it to violent of a song back
then too? This college did not play the anthem before 2010.
2. Without the war that the song portrays, we would not have the freedom
necessary to have a Goshen College. Freedom often requires War, or at least the willingness to go to war.
3. We did not go out to "conquer" anything in the War of 1812. It was
necessary to defend ourselves from the British government so bent on
destroying freedom that it would take us on again, and go to war with us again. They brought on the war, we defended ourselves. IS THAT TOO VIOLENT FOR YOU? The song (it was a poem at first), is about the flag still flying after we were attacked by another country. It is not about the flag, or the U.S. attacking someone to "conquer" them. Goshen College should fire the art professor, or make him take some history classes.
4. Move the college to a country without a heritage of war. If you can
find one, you will most likely also find one that does not have a heritage
of freedom either.
5. Schools are too focused on educating politically correct wimps, and
should be concerned about producing patriotic, productive, strong
graduates who want to do something real with their lives.
6. Are we concerned about playing a song deemed too violent - right before
a football game???? REALLY. 22 guys are about to bash each others brains
out, for sport. But it is too violent to have a song about the flag played
by some kids with a trumpet and a flute?
7. I can't think about it anymore. It makes my head hurt....as well as my
heart. Almost makes me ashamed to be from Indiana, where this "college" is
8. Copy the following link to see more about the great flag sung about
in our National Anthem. I have seen this one of a kind flag several times in the Smithsonian Museum with my own eyes.