Christian College Bans National Anthem

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Flag Waving

LONG MAY SHE WAVE - Waving the flag is exactly what the freedom to not wave it is all about.

In a bit of a twist, a Christian school has banned the National Anthem. “As a result of a thoughtful, thorough, prayerful period of listening, learning and discerning,” the Goshen College Board of Directors said, “it is the board’s judgment that continuing to play the national anthem compromises our ability to advance the vision (of Goshen College) together.”

What? None of the usual insistence that not wearing a flag pin makes you a traitor and not placing your hand over your heart is tantamount of crapping on Old Glory? Nope, because Goshen is a Mennonite college, a religion that is vehemently pacifistic and probably more devout than your run of the mill spaghetti dinner fund-raising crowd.

Many Americans conflate flag waving and God-fearing so I suspect many of them will look at Goshen’s decision as “politically correct” or an attempt to inflame the delicate sensibilities of the “true Christian” majority of conservative Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, et al.

(In fairness, that hasn’t happened on a wide scale yet even though one Catholic athelete seems a put off by it as are several of Goshen’s city council members. However, I suspect the story will gain traction soon.)

This is as a legitimate decision based on strong Mennonite religious beliefs, applied to their religion’s school, and in line with the belief that not singing about rockets glaring and flags still being there is a choice. In this case, a choice that doesn’t impinge on anyone else, secular or non-secular. The school even supports the ball player’s right to speak his mind.

It’s also in line with another important American value: Freedom. Being forced to sing the national ditty doesn’t perfectly symbolize respect for the country, nor does it diss the sacrifices of others. It exercises the free speech to say no and celebrates that freedom.

I’m an atheist and a veteran who does sing the anthem and put my hand over my heart, but I’m with these Christians on this one.

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4 thoughts on “Christian College Bans National Anthem

  1. The national anthem is so pukey, we should can it and whip up a deathmetal dirge with no melody, just savage barks about ripping out the hearts of our enemies and eating them.

  2. My entry for national anthem is also very American written by an American admired by millions, Woody Guthrie: “This land is your land”.

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
    And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
    A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
    This land was made for you and me.

  3. Good for Goshen College…but for different reasons. The National Abomination is neither an anthem nor American. Musically, it is banal, trite, unsingable (even by trained opera singers), un-harmonizable, ugly, and at best, turgid. Its origins are questionable, but a fair amount of research has shown it to be of British origin (a tune called ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’). Francis Scott Key provided some remarkably blood-thirsty and appropriately war-like words, which are as trite as the horrid tune used as the setting. Further, this was not an anthem created, approved or fostered by the Much Vaunted Holy Founding Fathers…it wasn’t even adopted as the ‘national anthem’ until 1931. Personally, I won’t try to sing it, nor will I stand in honor of it (nor the flag and flag waving that accompany it, but that is another rant). Frankly I wish it would die. If we wanted a true anthem (like many of the lovely anthems other countries seem to be able to write/choose) we have one that is wholly American, easy to sing, lovely to harmonize, easy to arrange and lyrically extols the virtues (whatever might be left) of America and its natural beauty: ‘America the Beautiful’ – music by an American composer, text by an American (PC bonus points…the words were by an American woman) and not a single damn bomb going off to dismember or kill in our names.

Give Us Some Choice Words