The pacifists’ choice of ‘America the Beautiful’ over the National Anthem is causing controversy on a Mennonite campus:
The Star-Spangled Banner may yet wave over Goshen College in Indiana, but no one’s going to be singing about it.
The Mennonite campus is dropping the national anthem in favor of “America the Beautiful” before all sporting events, saying the latter song better represents the college’s religious values and pacifist tradition.
The rockets’ red glare and those bombs bursting in air — lyrics honoring an obscure naval battle during the War of 1812 — seemingly proved too violent for a college whose motto is “Healing the World, Peace by Peace.”
The school had never played “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games until last year, when it began using an instrumental version of the anthem. Administrators opted to end the practice in June, however, after some students and alumni expressed concerns about the militaristic imagery and the effect the song could have on foreign students, a school spokesman said.
Although I have serious theological disagreements with pacifism, I can respect their decision. At least they’re attempting to be consistent with their religious beliefs.