College bans national anthem because of too violent lyrics
|A 1,000-student college in Indiana State has banned ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at all sporting events because the school’s president considers the US national anthem’s lyrics to be too violent and glorifying war.
On 26 August 2011 NBC Sports reported that Tiny Goshen College — a liberal arts school and an affiliate of Mennonite Church USA with basketball being the school’s largest sport — had decided to cease playing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ before its athletic events. They report made headlines all over the United States, sparking howls of protest from people who feel that the college is being disrespectful to the nation.
The college’s vision statement says its objective is to offer “every student a life-orienting story embedded in Christ centered core values: global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking, servant leadership and passionate learning.”
”In keeping with its stated vision and beliefs, the school never played the national anthem before athletic events until 15 months ago when it began playing an instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner to be “more inviting” to visiting teams.
But the school’s board of directors, after complaints from students, faculty members and alumni, recently asked the school’s president, Jim Brenneman, to discontinue using The Star-Spangled Banner as the peace-oriented school felt Francis Scott Key’s composition glorified war, which runs counter to Mennonite beliefs.
The decision brought home the true dichotomy in the debate of freedom of religious expression and paying homage to the nation that enables such freedoms.”
The lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner come from a poem entitled ‘Defence of Fort McHenry’, written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after he had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in the War of 1812.
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Search: “Tiny Goshen College”
News & Eagle – 27 August 2011:
‘Tiny college delivers a powerful message’
Fox News – 26 August 2011:
‘College Bans ‘Too Violent’ National Anthem’
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