Pacifists on parade: Indiana college bans national anthem because it’s too militaristic

by editor on June 9, 2011

This story irks the hell out of us. So may we suggest that you let out a big sigh before you read it. There. That’s it. Let it all out. Relax. Calm yourself.

OK, now it’s probably safe to read about the lunatic pacifists in the Midwest:

goshen college students

Oh, say can you see that not all the students at Goshen College agree with banning the National Anthem

A small northern Indiana college has decided to stop playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events after starting to do so for the first time last year.

Goshen College’s board of directors says it will find an alternative that honors the country and the Mennonite Church-affiliated school’s pacifist traditions.

The 1,000-student college has been playing an instrumental version of the national anthem, followed by a peace prayer, before games and other events. Some were upset with the school’s decision last year because the song’s lyrics contain references to using war and military might to defend the country.

Art professor John Blosser tells The Goshen News that there is much national pride at the school, but that most people aren’t going to blindly accept what the country does.

Wouldn’t you just know the whole thing would be explained by an art professor? It’s never a professor from the business schoool nor someone from the athletic department. It’s always an art professor.

Source: WTHR.com

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50 Comments on "Pacifists on parade: Indiana college bans national anthem because it’s too militaristic"

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Randome-11
Guest

“Some were upset with the school’s decision last year because the song’s lyrics contain references to using war and military might to defend the country.

Heck no, professor sheepskull. This is VERY different from “not blindly accept what the country does”, this is naught but rampant treason and if it was up to me, those treachers would have to GET OUT or have some much better reasons to be upset.

Sven Waring
Member

As a proud liberal Democrat, I applaud the empty gesture of the staff, faculty, students, and jazz band members of Goshen College.
I often say things like “I support the troops, but not the war.”
Essentially meaningless. But I feel better about myself.
I, too, am a pacifist. As long as my personal interests are not at stake, I don’t think violence is the answer.
And, that, my Repooplican friends, is the soul of liberal thought.

whiskeyriver
Guest

All of us who have served, and fought for, our country are pacifists too. We understand the stupidity of war people like you will never understand.

But, we understand something else too. Until the rest of the world understands the stupidy, we must be able protect our country. This nonsense going on in the middle east should have ended years ago. We had no business sending troops into Iran, Bush should have concentrated on Afganistan and Pakistan, the strongholds of Muslim terrorist organizations, then kicked ass until everyone threw their weapons down and their hands up, saying we quit. Instead, we have wasted billions of dollars and thousand of lives all in the name of “politically correct” bullshit on how to fight a war.

One thing to remember Coddy. If not for us who are willing to fight, right or wrong, you would not be able to be a liberal pacifist. You would just be another slave to the government, unable to say what you want, live where you want, buy what you want with your money, or do what you want in your life. And, because of people like you, that is where this country is heading. Down the road to socialism which has been proven over and over to not work in all of history.

KimmyQueen
Guest

I think you meant Iraq. I agree with you. Ideals are nice but they aren’t always realistic nor practical. It takes the sacrifices of others to allow ideals to exist.

perlcat
Member

I dunno. The Mennonites as a whole are a performance-based religion, and have their issues — ostracism of family members that leave, etc…

BUT

Regardless of their initial reasons for abandoning violence, they have been consistent about being nonviolent ever since. While they will not fight, they have proved time & again, even in the face of massive discrimination, hostility and abuse, very willing to support our country in non-violent ways. They may never pick up a weapon, but there are many other ways that they can serve, and that they have done, willingly.

Call them what you will, they’re neither weenies nor hypocrites. While I may disagree with their theology, I cannot dispute (and therefore have to respect) their ability to put their money where their mouth is, and that alone proves they will never be liberals.

The flap over the Star Spangled Banner is a bit weird, though. I’d have to say that they got inflicted with a lefty art teacher. As a matter of fact, art classes are uncharacteristic of the Mennonites I know — free & leisure time activities are pretty much just not done.

KimmyQueen
Guest

If that is true that is all good, however they need to choose when the going get rough. IF not for their own selves for their children’s survival.

Now as someone said maybe it is something is going on with the school professors and things of that nature. The school could be less true mennonnites than thought.

perlcat
Member

If you put the choice to them as “fight or die, no other choice”, they’ll choose to die.

It is a far cry from inflicting hurt and misery on others in the name of religion, especially when compared to another religion that says “convert or die”.

In a sense, they are reminiscent of the early Christians, who faced similar choices, but with one notable exception. (Early Christians, being mostly slaves, had no choice to speak of except to die)

If the choice of “fight or die” is augmented with a third — “move to a less hostile place”, they have moved, which is why they are even in the US in the first place. In other words, they have sought the benefits of freedom without assuming ALL of the obligations that come along with it. In effect, they are reducing the freedom of others by avoiding their duty. After all, plenty of non-Mennonites have to go, fight, & die for freedom. To say they will serve ONLY in a non-combat role reduces the number of non-Mennonites in those roles, forcing other people into harm’s way for their benefit.

So, while I respect their non-violent beliefs, I think that at some point, they have to take up arms or be guilty of inflicting harm on others by avoiding the duty they assume as citizens of this country. Just another one of those situations where there is no easy answer, I guess, as few Mennonites living were involved in moving to the US.

KimmyQueen
Guest

I do think is selfish. Okay so maybe I am willing to give up my life, but if my not taking up arms to defend myself in order to save the life of another especially a child that I think is selfish. Yes they reap all benefits without necessarily give up anything of consequence for the priviledge.

YT
Member

What money? Its a liberal arts college.

I mean, I suppose SOMEONE needs to cook my fries but I’d rather teenagers do that so they know not to go to a liberal arts college.

whiskeyriver
Guest

“I cannot dispute (and therefore have to respect) their ability to put their money where their mouth is, and that alone proves they will never be liberals.”

I do business every day with the many Mennonites living in my little town and I have to agree, they are a very conservative group of people. Although they do not vote and have no interest in how things are being run whether local, state or country, I do not know of one lazy person in the group.

While it’s true they will not fight to protect themselves, they have no problem with supporting those who do fight to protect them. There has not been one parade held to honor our soldiers who have came home that they have not attended. There has not been one funeral for the fallen where they have not paid their respects to the family.

Buck O'Fama
Guest

“Art professor John Blosser tells The Goshen News that there is much national pride at the school, but that most people aren’t going to blindly accept what the country does.”

Sorry Art, but until the day comes when slimeballs attack us using only rude criticism of our pastels and shading, we NEED folks with guns and tanks and stuff to keep them at bay.

Larry
Guest

I for one am amazed that this story is getting so much national attention. This school, Goshen College, is Mennonite and so liberal that some more conservative Mennonites won’t send their kids to GC but to Heston College instead. At least that is what I’ve been told by some Mennonites I know in Goshen.

The school advertises heavily, locally, for students and I am sure as a result that there now are more non-Mennonite kids attending GC than in the past, thus the lead in picture above with students protesting the recent decision.

I have lived in Elkhart county since 1984 where all this is going on and was really shocked when GC started to play the National Anthem before sporting events. This catalyst for this was that the school had joined some athletic conference which required all member schools to play the NA before sporting events. Up to that time I believe that the school never played the NA, ever.

I was surprised that the decision makers at the college caved, but they determined to only play a instrumental verion of the NA and not have anyone sing it because of the militaristic words used in the NA.

It was only a matter of time before the school gave into it’s pacifist minions who are students and alumni which considering the school history is very sizable. I believe that any school which has a religious tradition such as GC does have the right to decline playing the NA but I agree that it bothers me to have pacifists getting a free ride on the USA freedom train so to speak.

The core problem I’ve had with GC is the blatant advocacy for virtually every liberal cause out there. I was definitely bothered by GC flying the Palistinian flag next to Old Gory several years ago. Pacifists seem to make strange bedfellows all the time to support their wacky ideology.

As for pacifist, I have little use for them since my son is a US Marine.

KimmyQueen
Guest

I love peace as much as the next person, but I live in the real world. The price for peace is high and the payment many times is blood and flesh. People need to realize this and stop playing the I am a pacifist game, because when Sharia (or anything else) comes knocking that whole thing either goes out the window or you get decapitated. It is time to choose.

hisham
Guest

Right on KQ, right on!

hisham
Guest

“Interestingly, the Anabaptists at the time of the Reformation participated in the Peasants’ Rebellion and were put down savagely. After that, they decided to become pacifists.”

So what you’re saying is once they fell off the bicycle, they got so skinned up, they never triend to get back on the bicycle again. How typical of weenies and quitters and all they do is set a precedence for some other asswipes to come along and use their example as a reason to make the National Anthem illegal!

RKae
Member

I don’t know where you people learned history! I happen to know that America was created when George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and the rest formed a drum circle at a love-in and sent “peace vibes” across the ocean to King George.

KimmyQueen
Guest

I heard that is how it happened too. Then King George exchanged love letters with George Washington and made cute George and George monograms on their towels.

perlcat
Member

Didn’t they braid each others’ ponytails, too?

KimmyQueen
Guest

Yes they put them on their wigs, but they really liked to paint each other toenails.

RKae
Member

They later toured the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit as “George and George.” Straw boater hats, canes, white spats, candy-striped jackets; it must have been delightful.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Interestingly enough I HAD to take art classes, but I really didnt HAVE to take biz classes or economic classes or something more useful like that…

Okay so they are morons and please pardon my ignorance what is a mennonite that is a US religous sect or something? Is this like the Amish?

and.. why are they so stupid?

and yes it is ironic that someone somewhere at some point died for their freedoms to be idiots.

Jay
Guest

Hi Kimmy, I usually love your posts.
The Mennonites take their name from Menno Simons, an Anabaptist of the 16th century. Anabaptist means “rebaptizer.” One of their doctrines was that baptisms of infants had no validity. Old Order Amish is one of the Mennonite sects, the most retrograde, who eschew any technology or fashion post-1700. Interestingly, the Anabaptists at the time of the Reformation participated in the Peasants’ Rebellion and were put down savagely. After that, they decided to become pacifists.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Thank you I have no idea who they were. I just disagree with their contention that they shouldn’t play the lyrics to the anthem for being too militaristic when the same military is one of the main reasons that they are able to live here in peace. I am sure mennonnites would have a hard time living in Iran.

hisham
Guest

What, soccer is a sport, I didn’t know!

nonkenyan
Member

Yeah, soccer. Really fun to watch, too. 2 hours later the score is tied 0-0. How famous do you think Kobe (the rapist) would be if he dribbled the ball up and down the court for 2 hours and his team never scored a point?

KimmyQueen
Guest

It is fun to watch and zero scores or tied scores means that both teams are aggressive. To see one team beat another team 8-0 or something like that is rather pathetic. The loosing team is weak and it is boring that way.

perlcat
Member

I dunno, a double no-hitter in baseball would absolutely rock.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Yep it is a sport. A very graceful and active sport.

gnjaxon
Guest

KimmyQueen I grew up in the Mennonite tradition and am a member of a Mennonite church. I have friends who have attended Goshen College and I attended a Mennonite university.

The tenets that were the principle basis for the Revolutionary War came from Anabaptist Mennonite traditions that have been around for 500 years. The Mennonites have supported separation of church and state since their origins. They believe in freedom of speech, judgement by their peers. They were influential to getting conscientious objector status and civil service established as an alternative to still allow individuals to serve their country but do so without taking up arms.

The Peasants’ Rebellion was one branch of Anabaptist origins. The others were a Dutch/Russian group and a Swiss/Amish group outlined by J. Denny Weaver in The Nonviolent Atonement. The Mennonite history is not linear as was outlined before. Coincidentally the same group that was involved in the Peasants’ Rebellion were involved in nudism and anarchy. The Dutch/Russian and Swiss/Amish groups follow a peaceful nonviolent tradition.

Mennonites typically don’t believe in self defense either. They believe in building communities as opposed as part of their peace tradition. They are usually some of the first people on sight after a disaster happens and stay their long after the feds and others leave. They have many active projects still going on along the gulf coast in support of rebuilding that area after Katrina. They are involved in community building projects throughout the country and in many cases they have interdenominational involvement. They have schools and service projects setup in some of the worst areas of the country. Places where people should not be out after dark. They have Christian Peacemaker Teams (not always 100% Mennonite) throughout the world and have lost members of those teams overseas in Iraq as a result of their service there. They were some of the first people in service in Haiti and had people on the ground there working in aid and relief on the same day the earthquake happened. Mennonites serve their country constantly and consistently. They just refuse to take up arms.

I grew up in the Mennonite tradition and I had a hard time at one point with the pacifist notion. I did not register for the draft as a CO and had thoughts about enlisting in the military. Eventually the conclusion I came to is that community and relationship building is more effective than violence in achieving a peaceful world. That includes following a path of forgiveness. The example below is an illustration of what I mean.

A few years ago there was an Amish School that was attacked and held hostage in Pennsylvania. Several young girls and their teacher were killed. A fund was setup in the name of the girls to help with funeral costs and other family expenses as well as a college fund for the girls’ siblings. One of the girls’ grandfathers insisted that a similar fund be setup for the family of the perpetrator of the crime.

KimmyQueen
Guest

That is all very nice. Thanks for the information. I do not agree with some of what you say, but the beauty of the world is that everyone can believe whatever they like. The other things about the world is that there will be always someone there to protect others even those that chose not to protect themselves. If this country did not have the military or people who were willing to be militaristic we would still be under English rule or else worst under Japanese (and or German) rule. It is very nice to be a pacifist, all I am saying is that it is not always realistic nor practical.

I am aware of what happened at the school several years ago. I did applaud the ability to forgive. We all should forgive even if the perpretator of a crime does not want it or doesn’t ask for it. Not necessarily for their sake, but for our own and our own relationship with Christ. However if someone could have done something to prevent what he did or to stop him from killing all of them, even if it meant being violent I am sure that family and friends of those who died would have appreciated having their family members with them a little longer. However we all die of course and it is comforting when we know we have a Savior and we shall see the departed in Christ again. I just don’t think that when we have the chance to save our lives and the lives of others from evil forces, that He would have an objection to it.

YT
Member

fun fact of the day: The amish don’t eschew technology, just being tied to a grid. I have seen amish wearing nikes with their homade clothes, and cell phones and have been told the younger ones have computers running off car batteries.

source: guy I knew grew up in a heavy amish area. He also said they threw some crazy parties.

perlcat
Member

Yeah, it descends into silliness — even the ones that stick with horse-drawn equipment are beneficiaries of steel technology, ag technology, and other benefits of the industrial society they pretend to avoid.

I figure it is more masochistic posturing and less actually avoiding the evils of technology. I’d be more likely to believe them if they mined their own iron and forged their own steel.

There’s no way to avoid technology — so why not do it on less atavistic terms? After all, if batteries and computers are OK, why pick the grid as the line in the sand?.

Liz
Member

Can we get a little bit deeper into this story? I’d like to know what sports they are not playing the National Anthem before. Football, rugby, lacrosse or tiddlywinks. If the first three, I call them hypocrites. If the last, I doubt that there is anyone there to listen.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Most team contact sports are violent. Unless their sports are track and individual sports like disk or jumping and things like that. It would be intresting to know that too.

brm
Member

I checked and the athletics program does seem to be true to their non-violent roots.

Baseball
Basketball – Men’s
Basketball – Women’s
Cross Country – Men’s
Cross Country – Women’s
Golf – Men’s
Soccer – Men’s
Soccer – Women’s
Softball
Tennis – Men’s
Tennis – Women’s
Track & Field – Men’s
Track & Field – Women’s
Volleyball – Women’s

KimmyQueen
Guest

Thank you for that. Then if they stay away from contact sports I guess they live by what they say.

RockingHorseGuy
Member

Soccer isn’t a contact sport?

KimmyQueen
Guest

It shouldn’t be. It is not like rugby. You get heavily penalized if you voluntarily use force to take the ball from someone or hurt someone in order to prevent them from moving forward. So if they are such pacifists their soccer games must be dull.

KimmyQueen
Guest

ok? sorry if I offended you? but soccer really shouldn’t be a contact sport per se… just stating facts.

brm
Member

“Soccer isn’t a contact sport?”

No, it’s not a contact sport. What you see as “contact” are the most blatant flops seen in sports. Basketball is jealous.

RockingHorseGuy
Member

Well, not being a fan of any of the popular sports, I just seem to remember seeing lots of soccer players writhing about on the field, holding onto some body part or another, in obvious pain. I guess I just assumed that some other player inflicted that pain. My mistake.
Now that I think about it a little more, my favorite sports, motorsports, also has it’s share of injuries, most of them much more serious than anything in ball sports, and they’re not supposed to be contact sports, either. Sometimes it just works out that way.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Well most of the time they are faking like ahem Italians ahem… In any case, some players do fake in order to get another player thrown off or for them to gain an advantage in the field. However yes sometimes it can get violent because it gets fast and people get desperate when the clock starts ticking to the end of the game. However it is not supposed to be a contact sport, but like I said if they are avoiding violence their soccer games must be pretty dull overall. The best players are the ones that can steal the ball from the opponent with minimal contact though.

nonkenyan
Member

Of course, soccer players get hurt easily. That’s why they never played football.

KimmyQueen
Guest

Ouch! LOL Soccer IS Football…

Soccer is actually football all over the world except the US and even the US makes a distinction by calling it American football.

The interesting thing is that “soccer” players play with their entire bodies without much protection other than shin guards and maybe cups. American Football players however have all kinds of protective gear on them. So if we are going to talk about who has more mojo, I am thinking “soccer” players do.

So let’s also talk about stamina and gameplay. Soccer players are fast, graceful and light, American football players are heavy and with some exceptions not necessarily very graceful on the field. Soccer is a fast continuous game, american football stops every five minutes for some reason. I would like to see those husky football players run around continuously for 45 minutes at a time. Soccer players are known for their stamina.

Sorry if I seem combative, but I am a big (real) football aka “soccer” fan. 😀

RockingHorseGuy
Member

I guess the only place at a soccer game where violence is sanctioned would be the stands.

KaylaKW
Member

This make sense except basketball. That can be an EXTREMELY violent sport. And I speak from experience.

nuke
Member

I agree with Ruben. If it weren’t for the militaristic United States, these Mennonite’s wouldn’t enjoy the freedom of not playing the National Anthem. Being against violence, in of itself, is not a bad thing, but at the same time you have to live in the real world (with people who want to do you and your family harm).

RockingHorseGuy
Member

People with a little brains, (and they’ve got as little as any), don’t consider self defense to be violence. Maybe we should have just talked to the English.

Ruben
Member

The irony, to me, is that these folks enjoy constitutional freedoms that arose out of a revolutionary war. Wonder if they’ve ever thought about how contradictory that is to their religious beliefs.

YT
Member

Well mennonites are like amish that can drive….so probably not.

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