Christians Not Singing the Nat'l Anthem: Join the Debate

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Mennonite pastor Mark Schloneger has drawn national attention after CNN posted his blog discussing why he doesn't sing the national anthem.

In the article, titled "My Faith: Why I don't sing the Star-Spangled Banner," Schloneger says, like his Mennonite predecessors, he desires the "church to be the church" and strictly separated from the state.

"Most Mennonite churches do not have flags inside them, and many Mennonites are uncomfortable with the ritual embedded in the singing of the national anthem," he wrote. "That's because we recognize only one Christian nation, the church, the holy nation that is bound together by a living faith in Jesus rather than by man-made, blood-soaked borders."

Schloneger's comments came after his alma mater Goshen College decided last month to refrain from playing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at athletic events.

"Historically, playing the national anthem has not been among Goshen College's practices because of our Christ-centered core value of compassionate peacemaking seeming to be in conflict with the anthem's militaristic language," Goshen officials said after the move.

In his post, Schloneger explained, "These convictions do not reflect ingratitude or hatred for our country," but that "true freedom is given by God."

"I love my country, but I sing my loyalty and pledge my allegiance to Jesus alone," he ended.

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