USA: College bans national anthem because of too violent lyrics




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.”

Peace-oriented school
Dave Ruthenberg, sports editor at the News & Eagle, wrote in a commentary:

”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.

Click to read more about 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

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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’

Click to read more about 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

The Star-Spangled Banner

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
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!

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