Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gosh(en) Doesn't Everyone Do It?

There was an historic event that occurred Wednesday in Goshen, Indiana.  For the first time since 1957, the national anthem was played before two sporting events at Goshen College.  After the playing of the anthem, the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi was read.  The anthem was played before a baseball doubleheader against Siena Heights University and a softball doubleheader against St. Joseph's College at 3 p.m.

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition.  There are approximately 1.5 million Mennonites in the world, and their faith is rooted in the mission and ministry of the Jesus Christ and as such, Mennonites are a peaceful church committed to living their lives in non violence.

The school's President; Jim Brenneman spoke to reporters at the event:

"At Goshen College, our entire learning process is framed by a commitment to address complex problems, no matter the discipline, and to do so with academic rigor and civility. Playing the national anthem or not before our games is one such complex issue for us.

"The crux of the matter has to do with our relationship with God and with our country. We are asking ourselves such questions as: how should faithful Christians order their allegiances? How do we celebrate the freedoms and opportunities of this country and still challenge injustices that also exist in our midst? And how does a church college retain its historic peace heritage while welcoming an increasingly diverse student body from other traditions?

"On our campus, we have students from many backgrounds. Among them, we have students committed to pacifism whose parents or grandparents were conscientious objectors and who grew up with a deep suspicion of patriotic observances. We have students raised as pacifists who have no objection to flying the flag or playing the anthem, particularly as part of a pre-game sports ritual. We have students whose relatives served in the military and who are proud to fly the U.S. flag in honor of their service. We have students who are children of new immigrants who love this country for the freedom it has given their families. And we have international students for whom the Star-Spangled Banner has no personal meaning.

"All of these students are a vital part of this community, and I had them in mind when I led in the decision to play the national anthem before games. I am committed to retaining the best of what it means to be a Mennonite college, while opening the doors wider to all who share our core values. And I invite others to join us at Goshen College as we make peace in all of its forms, even with the national anthem."

Baseball Song of the Day 3/24/2010: The National Anthem of the United States of America

To watch the President Jim Brenneman speak about the decision of whether or not to play the National Anthem before sporting events, click the videos below.  There are 3 parts in total.

No comments:


Bookmark and Share