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Indiana College Shelves "Star-Spangled Banner" in Favor of "America the Beautiful"

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Aug 24, 2011 9:00PM

Photo by Flickr user taygete05.
Goshen College in northern Indiana has decided to play "America the Beautiful" at its sporting events instead of the national anthem, after the school's board of directors decided the war imagery used in the "Star-Spangled Banner" was not in line with the school's pacifist ideals. For over a year, the school has played an instrumental version of the national anthem. In June the board of directors charged directed the school with finding a new song to play that “fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

The official change was announced in a letter [PDF] from the school's president, James E. Brenneman:

Conclusion: Though some may or may not agree with the alternative recommended here, I call now on each one of us to move beyond this decision and turn our attention to other important matters before us. May God help Goshen College become one of the most welcoming places on earth for all who come to our campus.

The small school has ties to the Mennonite Church, and it only started playing the national anthem before sporting events in March 2010.