Playing the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States, before collegiate athletic events is fairly standard. It helps get fans excited and also reinforces the notion that, despite the fact that it’s a contest, those in attendance are all loyal Americans first, or something.
But apparently there will be no more national anthem at Goshen College sporting events. The tiny liberal arts college in liberal arts college in Goshen, Indiana announced Monday that it was canceling the tradition:
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.
Some alumni protested that the song glorified war and conflicted with the college’s pacifist, Mennonite tradition.
They’re nothing if not consistent. Mennonites have opposed all American wars, including the War of 1812, which the national anthem references.
One wonders what song the school will play instead.