Mennonite College Bans National Anthem

School should look to "Christ rather than country," says board

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 16, 2011 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Mennonite college will stop playing the national anthem at sports events, after some complained that the song violated pacifist ideals; the Indiana school’s board of directors said the college’s “allegiance should be to Christ rather than to country,” the Religion News Service reports via Huffington Post. Goshen College sports began playing the Star-Spangled Banner only last year, but after a “thoughtful, thorough, prayerful period of listening, learning and discerning,” the board decided that playing the song “compromises our ability” to pursue the school’s vision.

Goshen had banned the anthem for decades, but in February 2010 approved the playing of an instrumental version. Largely non-Mennonite backers of the tune said it “honors our country and improves community relations by welcoming and respecting the views of non-Mennonite students.” The board is on the hunt for an “alternative” song “that fits with sports tradition, that honors country, that resonates with our core values and that respects the views of diverse constituencies."

Members of the Goshen College baseball team bow their heads in prayer following the singing of the national anthem in Goshen, Ind., Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
Members of the Goshen College baseball team bow their heads in prayer following the singing of the national anthem in Goshen, Ind., Tuesday, March 23, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Goshen College students painted their bodies to represent an American flag for a Goshen College baseball game in Goshen, Ind., last year.
Goshen College students painted their bodies to represent an American flag for a Goshen College baseball game in Goshen, Ind., last year.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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