On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars


Baseball player under attack for saying college shouldn’t have banned Star-Spangled Banner

Milligan signing to play for Goshen

 

Student baseball player Mike Milligan is embarrassed that Goshen College where he is pursuing a degree has banned playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at athletic events.

Why? Because the song is violent. Francis Scott Key was sitting in a British prison ship, worried that America might not survive the War of 1812. The White House had been torched by British troops. Congress was in hiding. Now the British armada was bombarding Fort McHenry guarding Baltimore. But as the British aerial bombs burst over the fort at dawn, Key was thrilled to see that America’s flag still waved. Baltimore had not surrendered.

But Goshen College, founded by the Mennonite church, does not approve of violence, even in self-defense.

But wait, says sophomore Milligan – the college is selective in its politically correct causes. In the name of “diversity,”  the college recently showcased a number of students presenting the national anthem of Peru. Listen to the words of that anthem, says Milligan — with just a little irony in his voice.  It praises the legacy of Inca warrior-king Túpac Amaru.

Glory proclaimed throughout the milenia
molds our national loyalty.
It
is the call of Túpac Amaru alerting, 
demanding and impelling us to liberty. 

Together, all Peruvians embrace this yearning
with the sacrifice of our soul and blood! 
It gave us the white and reds of our flag
announcing to the world that Peru rises sovereign

For the glory of God!

Goshen students show their support of "The Star Spangled Banner" -- photo courtesy of Brian Steiner/Goshen College

Milligan, a rather quiet young man, recently did what college students do these days. He started a page on Facebook — Which you can visit or join by CLICKING HERE. So far, more than 800 supporters have joined his cause. More than 1,200 have joined an opposing site applauding the college for banning America’s national anthem.

A quiet, non-confrontational young Catholic, young Milligan is a bit nervous about the disapproval of some of his fellow students — particularly after he appeared on national TV this morning, asking that the national anthem be honored at Goshen College.

When he got back to his dorm room, he had this anonymous e-mail letter:

Dear Mike,
We feel the need to bring to your attention that it seems like you are being disrespectful to Goshen College and Mennonites. We feel as though you are bringing unnecessary attention to yourself. It seems like you should have looked at the college more in order to see that playing the national anthem isn’t a tradition here before you came. This is about changing the Mennonite culture. We may not all have the same opinions, but we need to respect each other and not make the issue about ourselves. Hopefully playing the national anthem will help you and your team to win more. Sincerely,
Your Fellow Classmates

Oddly enough this letter had no signatures, no names — just the general disapproving tone that we all remember from the politically correct. It employs the classic strategy of attacking the messenger and putting young Milligan on the personal defensive.

Oh, and by the way, he notes, since the Goshen baseball team started honoring the national anthem on their own, they actually have won more games.

Milligan in his preferred role

He’s getting unexpected support on campus and off. One alumnus sent him the following:

Some people just don’t get it. When I was at Goshen during 9/11 it was one of the hardest times in my life. Looking back, it made me a stronger person. I can imagine some of the crazy things students/others are trying to do to you up there because of this. It’s funny how some of them act and treat you when you have different beliefs. Keep doing what you’re doing! Good luck with the rest of the season!

Another email noted:

And OF COURSE, typically, these folks feel SO STRONGLY about their beliefs, that they refuse to actually SIGN THEIR NAME to them. Amazing.

And a third added:

I agree. The “fellow classmates” do not speak for everyone on this campus. It is also shows how cowardly people are that they can’t even sign their names to something. If you are going to “call” someone out then you should have the guts to sign your own name to it as well as all the other supposed people who feel Mike is disgracing or disrespecting the college. It has truly amazed me how people have disrespected Mike claim to be Christians. I wonder sometimes how these people will fare in the real world working jobs with people who are different then them and have different viewpoints.

Meanwhile, young Milligan is uncomfortable that he has become the issue. This morning, he asked why Goshen College, if it is, indeed, a Christian college, can’t choose to sing the third verse of America’s national anthem — which is not only a prayer, but where we got our national motto:

O, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust;”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 



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Comments read comments(22)
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Birdie

posted June 9, 2011 at 7:32 am


1 – what amazes me is they, Goshen, allow the peruvian anthem but not our own??? what kind of nonsense is that???!
2 – love her or leave her. you think you can do better somewhere else be my guest!
3 – where do these people think they got their liberties from?

mike, stay strong brother. the focus is on you now because you had the courage to say “no more.”
in God’s Holy name…



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Larry Zimmerman

posted June 9, 2011 at 8:28 am


God bless you Mike. Sounds like a liberal at the head of this college. An uneducated one.



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Deb

posted June 9, 2011 at 8:39 am


Mike,
Stand up for what you believe. Millions of students not just in the USA but around the world would applaud you for taking the stand publicly and advocating the greatest country in the world. All of my foreign friends wish they could remain here in the USA and many are trying do so legally. To ban OUR song, is the beginning of the demise of our National Culture which is recognized by all Americans no matter where their Ancestry. G/B Hope to hear and see more of you and your cause. A shout to all of those who are joining you….remember…..students have a strong voice in the USA and are powerful when they organize together.



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Fred

posted June 9, 2011 at 8:50 am


Bravo to you, Mike, and those teammates and fellow students who support your stance. YOU are patriotic Americans.

I direct no negativity toward the religion of those who are banning the anthem, but I direct negativity to all individuals in this country who are unwilling to play the anthem at the start of athletic contests, and more negativity toward those who will not stand at attention during its playing.

You are right, Mike… don’t give up the good fight.



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BARBARA A.M.

posted June 9, 2011 at 9:04 am


YOU GO MIKE, YOU DO WHAT ALL OF US SHOULD DO. DON’T LET ONE FOOL STOP YOU! WE ARE AMERICANS AND AS SUCH WE SHOULD ACT LIKE AMERICANS. NO PERSON SHOULD EVER DICTATE IF WE SHOULD SALUTE THE FLAG, OR SING A PATRIOTIC SONG OR PRAY! PUT OUR AMERICANISM BACK WHERE IT BELONGS. THIS IS AMERICA LAND OF THE FREE AND I WANT IT TI STAY THAT WAY!
SALUTING THE FLAG, SINGING GOD BLESS AMERICA,STAR BANGLED BANNER AND SUCH PLUS PRAYER ARE ALL THINGS WE NEED TO KEEP OUR BALANCE. THOSE WONDERFUL SONGS GIVE ME GOOSE-BUMPS AND STIR MY HEARTAND THEY MAKE ME SO PROUD TO BE ABLE TO BE A PART OF THE TRADITION, WE NEED IT!.
GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.
P.S. IT’S LIKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE WAKING US UP AND I LIKE IT!!(SMILE)



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Monk21

posted June 9, 2011 at 9:09 am


I wish Americans would get it right and admit it was a Canadian force that defeated a skirmish that you started. Some British were along for the ride. We burned your white House and got bored and went home. Now get it right.



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Ed Nye

posted June 9, 2011 at 9:09 am


Mike:
My God Bless you and prove to others you are right. Those people who write statements against you are not good christians. God wants witnesses, and if they won’t sign there name, they won’t make a good witness for God almighty and his son Jesus Christ. The Mennonite Church is not for fighting, but how do they think, God provided there freedom of worship.
Ed Nye



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BARBARA A.M.

posted June 9, 2011 at 9:13 am


DID I REMIND YOU DIFFERENT CULTURES THAT THIS IS AMERICA LAND OF THE FREE? WE WILL FIGHT BACK AND WE WILL WIN IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WE WILL WIN.! YOU HAD YOU TURN NOW IT IS OURS..AMEN!!!



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BAW

posted June 9, 2011 at 11:16 am


Personally, I’d like to have “The Star Spangled Banner” dropped as our national anthem in favor of “America the Beautiful.”

The former is a bad poem describing a minor battle in a minor war in such obscure and allusive language that if you didn’t already know the story you couldn’t make any sense of it.

The latter is good poetry describing all that is good about the country in language that a child could understand. (Although the ghosts of my Cherokee ancestors tell me to skip the verse “O Beautiful for Pilgrim Feet”.)

The former has a tune that is difficult for an untrained singer, with atheletic leaps and a broad range; the latter is a tune that anyone who isn’t actually tone-deaf can sing.



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Let the Flag wave

posted June 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm


BAW!

You say that you would like to change the national anthem to “America the Beautiful” and then you add “My Native american ancestry……”. So, really, you don’t want “America The Beautiful” as originally written.

If I am not mistaken, the “tune” is actually a British tune.



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