Goshen College in northern Indiana is a small private school founded on the traditions of the Mennonite Church USA. That's important because it means the school is pacifist. That's also important because it helps explain why the school has just banned the National Anthem.
"The Goshen College Board of Directors announced today that it has asked President James E. Brenneman to find an alternative to playing the 'Star-Spangled Banner' that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College's core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies," the college said in an announcement on its website.
"I am convinced that Goshen College is on a challenging and rewarding journey toward becoming a more diverse institution that serves an increasingly diverse community," Brenneman added. "I am hopeful that this resolution will help Goshen College move forward together, and focus on finding new ways to welcome students from our local and regional community."
"Goshen College has been and remains a ministry of Mennonite Church USA with an enduring peace tradition," Carlos Romero, executive director of the Mennonite Education Agency and an ex-officio member of the Board, said. "The Board's decision reflects a belief that faith and honoring country can co-exist without disturbing higher allegiances to God and that Goshen College will become increasingly diverse and will welcome diverse viewpoints."
According to the release, the school has not played the National Anthem before sporting events since 1957. However, it was never officially banned. In fact, last year the school did allow for some renditions of the song to be played at certain times. But now, that's been halted.
Reports say some at the school were upset that the song contains references to war and military might.