The national anthem has again sparked controversy. Goshen College, a Mennonite school in Indiana, has banned the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at its sporting events because the lyrics of the song conflict with the school’s pacifist values, reports Fox News.
Although the Mennonite Church does not stand in express opposition to the anthem, the school believes their “Christ-centered core value of compassionate peacemaking” to be in conflict with the anthem’s lyrics, which exalt military might.
The ban comes after the college first introduced the anthem at its sporting events in instrumental form just one year ago.
The decision has created a rift between Goshen College and its surrounding community. Students at Goshen supported the administration’s decision, but other community members question whether the move was based on authentic theological principles or merely petty politics.
Goshen City Councilman Harland Lantz told Fox News Radio, “It really hurts. [The national anthem] is the American way.”
With the Navy Seal's famed military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan fresh in the minds of Americans, a surge of patriotism and military pride still reverberates throughout the country. Goshen College, though, has — whether inadvertently or not — seemingly checked that cherished national sentiment. Isn’t the military might championed in the anthem’s lyrics the very means by which the right to establish a school like Goshen College was, and continues to be, secured?
“[Professors] should just teach and let kids make their decisions on their own as to what politics are and what they believe,” Goshen City Councilman Donald Riegsecker told Fox News Radio. “People are disappointed.”
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