First, The Blaze reported that a tiny, 1,000-student Mennonite school in Indiana banned the words to the National Anthem, now however, Goshen College has banned the song in its entirety -- melody and all.
According to Goshen's president, Jim Brenneman, the words to The Star-Spangled Banner were "too violent." The reasonable explanation being that the Mennonite faith reportedly endorses pacifism.
While the school band was allowed to continue playing the tune to the National Anthem, even that is now apparently too much.
The school’s board of directors allegedly told Brenneman to “find an alternative to playing the National Anthem that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”
In a June statement regarding the banned lyrics, Brenneman stated, “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."
"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.”
“I am committed to retaining the best of what it means to be a Mennonite college, while opening the doors wider to all who share our core values,” Brenneman said. “And I invite others to join us at Goshen College as we make peace in all of its forms, even with the national anthem.”
Art professor John Blosser told The Goshen News that there is much national pride at the school, but that most people aren't going to blindly accept what the country does.
NBC Sports' Rick Chandler weighed in, saying: "I suppose we could have followed the example of the Mennonites and simply fled, giving the nation back to the British. But then we’d all be playing cricket."
One also wonders why Goshen was not content with just the elimination of the lyrics but had to go so far as to remove any trace of The Star-Spangled Banner's melody from the school.
It could also be argued that the religious freedom afforded by the U.S. is the very reason Mennonites and other "diverse" communities flocked here, and that spurning the National Anthem seems both hypocritical and perhaps even ungrateful.
For in the words of our nation's anthem:
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust;”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!