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Wakeup Call: Indiana college bans National Anthem … too violent

Aug 25, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Members of the U.S. swimming team listen to their national anthem at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai Reuters

Goshen College (Ind.) is a Mennonite institution, and as such, committed to nonviolence. Its sports mascot, in fact, is the least threatening item found in nature — the leaf. But even some of its alumni must have been taken aback last year when college President Jim Brenneman banned the lyrics to the National Anthem at sporting events.

It was actually March 23, 2010 when Goshen played an instrumental-only version of the National Anthem before two sporting events — the first time since intercollegiate athletics began at the college in 1957 that the anthem was played. This month the college has taken it a step further, banning the Anthem altogether and choosing a new song.

The school’s board told Brenneman to “find an alternative to playing the National Anthem that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

“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,” Brenneman said. “And I invite others to join us at Goshen College as we make peace in all of its forms, even with the national anthem.”

Now let’s get out there and win!

Of course The Star Spangled Banner is a violent song, glorifying the bombardment of one of our forts in the War of 1812. I suppose we could have followed the example of the Mennonites and simply fled, giving the nation back to the British. But then we’d all be playing cricket.

“What kind of message did it send to them about hospitality?” Goshen spokesman Richard R. Aguirre told the Chicago Tribune last month. “We thought it was inconsistent to the entire message we were trying to send.”

Anyway, after careful consideration and many hours alone with his iPod, Brenneman chose a replacement song: America the Beautiful, which will be played before every sporting event from now on.

Of course Brenneman fumbled this. Since the college is located in Indiana, the choice is clear: Their new anthem should be this:


What you missed while attending bouncy castle church

  • Headline of the Day: Charles Jock begins competition at IAAF World Championships friday night.


“Oh, I’ll just come out and say it, Sgt. McQueen: I love you.”

  1. guypatsfan - Aug 26, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    America more and more resembles the Roman Empire!

  2. paladin1953 - Aug 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    My God, do the board members of the school involved listen to the radio? Violence, there´s enough violence on the radio to make you puke! This is a song of victory, of persistence and finally victory as our flag flew over the battlefield(s), it´s cotton-pick´n patriotic written by someone who was there at the moment while our freedom was being forged by our forefathers.
    The anthem doesn´t promote violence, it is actually a documentary of an event that terminated in a victory for the colonists in their quest for liberation from oppression from their contemporaries in Europe.
    Why don´t these guys “put some pants on” and be AMERICANS instead of caving into the wishes and views and desires of those who don´t give a proverbial “darn” about America. My kids are both off in the middle east fighting for these songs, for our way of life supposedly supporting our anthems, our pledges, our wishes and desires…and now the desires are theirs, and get this, they weren´t even born in the USA! But they are both citizens, been to Iraq, and Afghanistan, and here, what they believe they are fighting for is being diluted by weak-kneed, yellow-bellied , and probably never fought for their country, let alone gone overseas for at least our ideals.
    I suggest that everyone leaves this school until they re-admit OUR National Anthem.

  3. mikerrr2 - Aug 26, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Who cares? I grew up in Indiana and I know where Goshen is and I’ve never even heard of Goshen College.

    So they’re pacifists. Big deal. I think it’s stupid to associate a song about a historic event with the promotion of warfare, but maybe there’s a reason nobody has ever heard of Goshen College. . .

  4. doodad69 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Huh…the school is steeped in pacifist dogma, but they still play sports…huh. To each his own, but since this is as private school, by some accounts, I couldn’t care less. Just wait for some genius in a state school, that typical white, America (self)-hating liberal university regent, to do the same thing.

  5. daskjo - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    The NCAA should then pull Goshen’s charter and suspend them from all further participation in NCAA sanctioned events. With a few exceptions, Sports are violent, History teachings extrol violence, Religion is Violent and Science in itself is violent! So when these students get out of Goshen they will be propelled into a world of VIOLENCE!

    Because the US National Anthem is vocalized in a PUBLIC forum, Goshen wants to BAN IT? If it weren’t for the AMERICAN VICTORY of that VIOLENT EVENT, which inspired this, Goshen would not have the RIGHT or worry about playing this country’s VIOLENTLY WORDED Anthem! We could be singing…God Save the Queen!? Maybe they should re-read England’s Anthem…with “victorious”, “Scatter thine enemies”…”Rebellious Scots to Crush”!

    • thepoetstar67 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      We’ll be propelled into a world of violence? You act like the students at Goshen are a bunch of sheltered five year olds with no sense of what the world is. For your information, there is a very large percentage of students at Goshen who aren’t Mennonite; some aren’t even Christian. Also, not all Mennonites are pacifist. It’s just that the school is affiliated and funded by so many Mennonite churches and groups that they’d lose their funding and have to raise tuition for incoming students even higher than the already ridiculous amount it’s at right now; IF they didn’t remove the anthem. But they did, and the community at Goshen is fine. The world didn’t end, and we’re not a bunch of America-hating liberals. Mennonites are generally conservative, by the way. We’re not a bunch of tree huggers.

      Get your facts straight before you start to hate.

  6. fred1369 - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    has he ever listened to La Marseillaise, the French national anthem?
    Arise, children of the Fatherland,
    The day of glory has arrived!
    Against us of tyranny
    The bloody banner is raised, (repeat)
    Do you hear, in the countryside,
    The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
    They’re coming right into our arms
    To cut the throats of our sons and women!

    To arms, citizens,
    Form your battalions,
    Let’s march, let’s march!
    That an impure blood
    Waters our furrows!

    Now that’s a national anthem, by golly.

  7. margaretdm - Aug 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    What is wrong with you at Goshen College…don’t you realize that the blessing of living in America and influencing our youth is your God-Given right to respect our NATIONAL ANTHEM? If you want to make a point…take your college officials and MOVE TO SOMALIA. Maybe then you will realize the blessing that this exceptional country allows you…and that the singing of the National Anthem is a RIGHT in this fair country. You are sending a VERY BAD MESSAGE to our wonderful youth and SHOULD BE ASHAMED of your SACRILAGE! What is wrong with you Anti-American choice? May God remeber you in His prayers…what you’re doing is OUTRAGEOUS….and if I was a parent of ANY OF YOUR STUDENTS….I would have my child transferred in a HEART-BEAT! ! ! Correct Americans will do so with their students…and I wish you a wonderful DEMISE! ! !

  8. margaretdm - Aug 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    You MUST BE realy ATHEISTS! Exactly what is YOUR POINT?…to be ANTI GOD as well?…and ANTI-CHRIST? as well? God will bring down his wrath upon all of you Academics…that would look to deny your students and faculty their rights as being AMERICAN CITIZENS. God Bless you…for if he doesn’t….you’re TOAST! ! !