Message to Mennonites at Goshen College in Indiana, who have banned the The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem, as “too violent.” Your ancestors came to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1775, when new Americans-to-be were fighting for our sovereignty, Mennonites were, what? Sitting on your thumbs? Even so, those who believed in the tenants of the coming Declaration of Independence, understood your pacifism, and were ready to die for your freedom – you with the “peaceful postures.” How many died to keep you free and thriving in America, while you stood in open protest? Now a poem, later set to song, in celebration and joy that our flag was still waving on that morning, as the bombs were still bursting in air, is offensive to you?
It is one thing not to go to war due to a deeply held conviction, but it is another thing to spit in the face of, and on the traditions of, those who fought for you and yours. Banning the National Anthem for violence? Shallow, petty, mean-spirited, and frankly disgusting.
At dawn, [Francis Scott] Key anxiously peers into the distance [off Ft. McHenry] to see if the flag still waves, proving the battle for God and country has not been lost. And indeed it was waving. Could there be more poignant words to describe our flag than “a star-spangled banner?”
He sees her broad stripes and bright stars, still waving over a perilous battle.
At twilight, the bombs are still raining down, the glare of the bursts again show proof that the symbol of freedom, the Star-Spangled Banner, is still waving over the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
The 1,000-student school had already banned the words last year, but the band could still play the music for patriots in attendance. Now, the school has banned the song entirely, according to NBC Sports.
The school’s board of directors told college President Jim 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.”
A Goshen Art professor says the school still retains national pride, but doesn’t have to “blindly accept what the country does.” Well yes, there’s that. Rick Chandler at NBC Sports said we could let the British have us and been playing “cricket” today.
Really, Mennonite leadership – parents of these Goshen children, you must do the right thing, restore the National Anthem as a beloved celebration of our country, and teach the children at Goshen the truth: others fought and died for you, and held no animosity towards you for it, and they will likely have to do it again.