Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 5, 2009

Instrumental anthem could be played at GC

After innumerable years of discussion among individuals and attracting national media attention late last year, Goshen College is considering the inclusion of an instrumental version of the national anthem before select sporting events.

In the past, the college has chosen not to play the anthem due to the school’s affiliation with the Mennonite Church. That policy received national attention last year on the radio show of conservative Mike Gallagher, which prompted a flurry of calls and e-mails to the school from across the country.

In the spring of this year, the president’s council formed a national anthem task force to consider some sort of compromise, whether it be the playing of the national anthem or another song, such as “America, the Beautiful,” which had been used in the past for a short time.

The task force came up with a draft proposal, which was reviewed by the council in May. The council then asked the task force to continue the process in the fall, during which the second and current draft of the proposal was created.

According to the proposal, the school would “allow the practice of using an instrumental version of the national anthem prior to Goshen College varsity sporting events. Spectators would not be asked to ‘honor’ or ‘give allegiance’ but simply be invited to respectfully stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

The proposal goes on to note that attendees would be free to show whatever form of respect they chose, from standing silently to singing the words and placing a hand over their hearts. It has also been noted by some on the task force that sitting silently would also be acceptable.

The council, after reviewing the second proposal, suggested a period of campus conversation, during which comments will be collected from students, faculty and staff.

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