Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Goshen College decides not to play the national anthem at sports events

From the Glad that Goshen College Won't be Playing the National Anthem Facebook page:
Goshen College is a Mennonite college in northern Indiana.

Because Mennonites have historically understood loyalty to Christ and loyalty to country to be often in conflict -- especially when Jesus' call to nonviolence conflicts with the nation's call to war -- the college has traditionally not played the national anthem at sporting events.

For a year, it reversed that practice. However, on June 6, 2011, the college board of directors returned the college to past practice. This is their statement:

“As a result of a thoughtful, thorough, prayerful period of listening, learning and discerning, it is the Board’s judgment that continuing to play the national anthem compromises our ability to advance the vision together. As a result, the President should find an alternative to playing the National Anthem that fits with sports tradition, that honors country, that resonates with our core values and that respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

This group is for those who are against Goshen College playing the national anthem.

Those who disagree with the purpose of this group and would like to debate/discuss the issue are invited to use the group "Discussion of Goshen College and the National Anthem." There is also a group called "For Goshen College Honoring Our Country with the National Anthem." Posts and comments challenging the purpose of this group will be removed. There are other groups for those comments.

Having lived around Mennonites and having a limited understanding of their tradition, I'm not sure why they should feel obligated to play anything at all; but if the tradition of playing patriotic music before a game is just too strong to resist, I would suggest "God of Our Fathers, Who in Ages Past," sometimes known as "National Hymn."

Blind loyalty to a country is nationalism, not patriotism. In America, patriotism is loyalty to the principles on which the country was founded. When the government of a country betrays the principles on which the country was founded, the true patriot will work to alter or abolish that government. Thomas Jefferson said so, July 4, 1776; reaffirmed by the Ohio Constitution (Article I, Section 2), March 10, 1851.


Grantman said...

My sincere hope is that Goshen College will opt to replace the national anthem ceremony by displaying the Indiana Flag and Playing the Indiana State anthem: On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding. Now we've gone way too far! Restore the National Anthem for God's sake! What are you people thinking? I am truly ashamed and embarrassed by some attitudes in our country. There's nothing wrong with our National Anthem!

Harold Thomas said...

I do not understand the mindset that one should be obligated to sing the National Anthem.

The Mennonite faith is deeply pacifistic. A Mennonite who is drafted into the service can request exemption as a conscientious objector. For a Mennonite college to perform a national anthem as militaristic as ours is deeply offensive to their religious beliefs.

What you are suggesting is a violation of Goshen College's First Amendment rights. Far from being ashamed of them, you should be proud to live in a country where people can hold unpopular opinions. After all, you may hold an opinion on a different subject that others would find repugnant.