Monday, June 13, 2011


Gladly, the decision has been made to forego singing the National Anthem at sporting events at GC.  Here is the email that was sent to college constituencies:

Dear Goshen College students, faculty, staff members, alumni and friends,

Good afternoon. Thank you for your continuing interest in the success and future of Goshen College. I am writing today to inform you of the outcome of the Goshen College Board of Directors’ review of the decision to allow the playing of the National Anthem before select athletic events at Goshen College.

Following months of prayerful consideration, the Board, in consultation with President Brenneman, has asked the President to find an alternative to playing the National Anthem 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 Board is committed to advancing with President Brenneman the vision for Goshen College to be recognized as an influential leader in liberal arts education with a growing capacity to serve a theologically, politically, racially and ethnically diverse constituency both within and beyond the Mennonite church. The Board also affirmed the leadership of President Brenneman.

I invite you to read the Board’s Statement of Decision at: The college’s website has the background and context of this complex issue.

In reaching this decision, the Board considered extensive feedback received during a six-month “Listen & Learn” process, which included an e-survey sent to alumni, faculty, staff, and students, a series of on-campus conversations and nine regional alumni gatherings. The Board considered the excellent report from the Listen & Learn Steering Committee as well as the comments submitted by many of you since the President’s Council made the anthem decision in January 2010. The Board decided this issue based on clear criteria.

The Board has a diversity of views on this issue as reflected throughout the process of considering the anthem. The Board itself struggled with significant differences and conflicting perspectives, so this decision was not easy and took many hours of discernment and prayer. Our resolution represents our best effort to find a path of wisdom that we could endorse together.

Board members acknowledge that not all constituents will be satisfied by this decision. Still, we have faith that all of us are united in love, loyalty and support for the mission of Goshen College. We also agree about making Goshen a place that makes people feel welcome and which holds Christ-centered core values and academics as its most important priorities. In closing, I invite your prayers for the college, its leadership, students, faculty, staff and alumni as we prepare for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Peace and blessings,

Rick Stiffney
Board Chair

Naturally, all of the right-wing wackos went berserk, such as Rick Moran and his nutwing followers, the blowhards at HotAir and of course the Fair and Un-Balanced at Fox, falsely claiming that the Anthem was "banned".

Suffice it to say that the College should have never gone down the Anthem path - perhaps there will now be rekindled interest in singing the Alma Mater at sporting events, like in the 'good old days.'


Bizzy Brain said...

It may be just as well that the college abandoned the national anthem. The way it has been butchered (beginning with Jose Feliciano in 1968) and bastardized and all jazzed up with a ton of extra notes added by the female vocalists, most notably, Whitney Houston, ruins it for me. I don't mind hearing it played, but certainly dread listening to the way it's sung nowadays.

Just Askin' said...

Most Americans view the national anthem as a tribute to the symbol of God-given liberty and a God-blessed nation that survived the onslaught of an ominous power that sought to destroy it. But for the tiny minority who have adopted a pacifist culture, the flag represents military action, destruction, and death. In other words, in the flag, some see God, others see the Devil. What is the healthier viewpoint?

Sick Sigma Sez said...

People see the devil in the strangest places. The Amish see him in electric wires.

Nostrasmartass said...

BB - agreed on butchering the NA; it is a difficult piece and a minority of folks can pull of a decent rendition.

JA - {nombre de jack ass '-} You types confuse me - don't scriptures tell us that all governments are put in place by God and that all peoples should abide by their governments rules? Where do you get the idea that the USA is special, favored, and of manifest destiny? A country carved out by genocide and built with the help of slaves? You must be listening to too much Palin-history!! A great country? Yes, in many ways. The best? Case could be made either way. What if you had been born on a reservation, or in a ghetto, or as a Japanese American before WW2, or in North Vietnam?

Just Askin' said...

Guess I should have left out that last sentence. LOL!

Nostradumbass said...

Hey, whatever happened to the spirit of the militant Münster Anabaptists of Münster Rebellion fame? They took political control of the town of Münster in the Westphalia region of Germany back in 1534 and ruled for 16 months. The intent was to create a theocracy known as the “New Jerusalem.” Jan Bockelson, better known in history as John of Leiden, claimed he was a descendant of the Biblical King David. He governed with absolute authority, based on heavenly visions, legalized polygamy (he had 16 wives), and instituted common goods, a sort of brotherly sharing where goods were held in common so that the brethren would always be helped.

Despite all his efforts and good intentions, poor Mr. Bockelson saw his town besieged. He and his leaders were tortured, then executed in the marketplace. Their dead bodies were exhibited in cages, which hung from the steeple of St. Lambert’s Church, the cages still hanging there to this day, though with the bones removed.

Naturally, Bockelson’s followers immediately headed for the hills to avoid a similar fate. Differentiating themselves from the Münster rebels became of utmost importance. They rejected any use of violence, preached a faith based on love of enemy and compassion and never aimed at any social or political revolution. They found a most appropriate leader in Menno Simons.

The Anabaptists were still fragmented, some wanting to preserve polygamy and believing the use of force against anyone not in their sect was justified. Am not sure if there are any Münster Anabaptists around these days. If so, they are well hidden.

I suppose if there were a Mennonite national anthem, it might go something like this, “Oh say can you see, I'm not a Münster Anabaptist, love peace and non-violence, so don’t come looking for me.”

Nostrasmartass said...

Nostradumbass - I am familiar with the Munster fiasco - Anabaptist outliers :-) Or to put it in Ken-Ham-Speak, they were "compromised' Anabaptists!

Just Askin' said...

Rick Stiffney refers to himself as Board Chair. He is describing himself as a wooden four-legged piece of furniture with a back that is used for sitting. Why kowtow to the radical left by being so ultra politically correct as to fear using the word “man?” Why doesn’t Mr. Stiffney man up and simply call himself the Board Chairman?

Just Askin' said...

Before someone denounces me as one who discriminates against women, the word chairman is a generic term. One can be a woman and still be called Chairman of the Board or Chairman of General Motors. When formally addressing a woman in such a position, she is referred to as Madame Chairman.

Dr S said...

BB & JA - totally, well almost totally, agree; when I was Chairman of Biology at UCCS and Chairman of the Natural Science Division, I eschewed the new-speak culture that turned such posititions into Chairs. And it's not just the left; the right-wing-nuts at Pepperdine also use the term. I think that Chairman can be used generically, and I don't see anything wrong with Chairwoman. Sheeeesh.....