Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm conscious, and I object, your Honor!

In today's online edition of our local paper, I was a little pissed off disturbed to read a story about one of our local college's turn in the national spotlight.

This was thanks to conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher, who questioned the patriotism of Goshen College, because they do not play the national anthem during sporting events. From the South Bend Tribune story by Dave Stephens:

Gallagher questioned how Goshen College could say the "Star-Spangled Banner" is undesirable and still accept federal student aid.

"How does a college like Goshen deal with, like, teaching history, or teaching about the Revolutionary War, or World War II?" Gallagher asked.

Gee, I don't know, Gallagher. How do YOU deal with, like, talking about religious tolerance? Oh yeah...you DON'T! Because it doesn't exist for you!

Goshen College is a Mennonite college. The Mennonites, along with the other Anabaptist religions (including the Amish), are pacifists. They do not believe in war, and they are conscientious objectors in times of war. This doesn't mean that they can't teach about it in their history classes, you numbnuts. Not all Mennonite colleges choose to not play the national anthem at sporting events, but this is Goshen College's policy, and it is based on the tradition set by the group that founded the college. They believe in the separation of church and state, and for the 114 years of their existence, this has been their policy. It is their choice, and to imply that they are not patriotic or that they should not receive federal student aid is intolerance of the worst sort. The Amish and the Mennonites are a large and important part of our community, very kind and decent people, and I find this guy's comments incredibly offensive.

Check this, Gallagher...you can still love your country and not love war. To question this religious group's patriotism because of their personal relationship with their God is abhorrent to me. I had hoped that the rejection of hate-filled propaganda and venomous rhetoric in the recent campaign would have sent a message to Gallagher and others of his ilk, but apparently not. Conservative talk radio seems to be about furthering hate, disseminating misinformation, and generally telling all of us that we are dead wrong if we don't fall into goose-stepping line with their own beliefs.

What's next, Gallagher? Planning on assaulting an Amish guy? Bitchslapping a Buddhist? Hitting a Hutterite? Clouting a Quaker? Big man.

For the record, I'm not a pacifist. I believe there are times when a show of force is necessary. But I will never ridicule or question anyone's patriotism because of their religious beliefs, or because of their own personal moral code. The guy was way out of line on this one.


  1. Yes, there are so many idiots out there who don't realize that there are citizens of the US who can actually stand up for what they truly believe in without spouting hate for people who don't agree with them. The Mennonites, along with the rest of us, do still have Freedom of Religion in this country, and Goshen College should be able to decide its own school policies.

  2. This is not at all amusing but you got an outloud laugh when I read the "bitchslap a buddist".

    Gallagher is an idiot who should mind his own business and worry about things that involve him and stay out of what doesn't. Doug works with alot of Amish and they go so far as to not support local stores who were in favor of our going to war (way back when).

    I get sick to death of hearing these blowhards spewing thier opinions as though they are the "last word". How big of an ego must a person have to blabber on and stick their nose where it doesn't belong.

    Leave the college alone, they are more than capable of making their own decisions.

    Sorry for the rant, this just hit me wrong tonite.

  3. I could not agree with you more. Just how does listening to a piece of music make you patriotic. In todays multi faith/ multi racial society we should respect them even if they prefer to listen to Frank Sinatra

  4. The Amish and Mennonites are valued members of our area, with excellent standards, values, and morals. Here is a virtual kick in the nuts for Gallagher.

  5. Maybe I missed the link, but what is their rationale behind not playing the anthem? Is it the battle described in the lyrics? Is it an objection to the government? Is it a religious belief that it is idolatry (sp?)? I don't think the decision equates a lack of patriotism, but I'd like more information about the rationale behind their thoughts.

  6. This Gallager guy sounds like a complete idiot!

  7. For once, you and I do not agree. I'm sure there are plenty of kind and decent Amish but I have yet to meet one. I have seen far too many animals come through shelter doors abused, neglected and treated as if they feel no pain whatsoever, done by the hands of the Amish. I make it a point to never buy anything made by the Amish when it comes to hometown goods just for how they treat their animals. I've seen too much and it gets hard to let it go after a while. At first when I heard the story about the national anthem (I heard vague bits on 22 this evening) I was thinking if you live in this country, it shouldn't be an issue to play the national anthem. But I didn't look at it from the point of view of war and peace. I was looking at it more from the view of history. Now I see it a little differently. ;)

  8. LOL.. I hate to be a dissenter because I honestly don't see any reason for this school (or any school, for that matter) to play the National Anthem before sporting events. BUT... if they believe in separation of Church and State.. and this is the reason they use for not playing the Anthem... then why DO they accept government money? Doesn't accepting government money kind of invite the government to your school? Although again... I have NO problem with the lack of anthem playing, I'm just curious.. that they accept gov money seems sort of hypocritical on their part if they want separation of church and state (and I'm assuming then that they are a church run school). Let their congregants pony up the funds.

  9. some people , I know if more people looked with in rather than out they would find a lot more things about themselves rather than picking on others , keep them straight beth

  10. Very passionate about things, are we now? But it is sad to see how little people think about what they say, and what they are talking about.

  11. I know absolurely nothing about the Amish except what I have read but if they mistreat their animals that is wrong. Also I think some Patriotism would not hurt. I guress I should go with the flow and say it is their way of life, so let it be.

  12. People who feel insecure about who they are tend to cloak themselves in the mantle of patriotism. There is nothing wrong for love of one's country of course, but when one fetishizes the flag and the anthem and starts talking about this being "the greatest country in the world"--ergo, "better" than other countries, you have nationalism, and nationalism is one of the leading causes of war.
    The Mennonites get this, and bravo that they want nothing to do with it.
    This ia a great country, but we aren't "better" than anyone. We're 300 million very flawed human beings, and the fact of being American gives us no transcendent qualities and fixes no defects. This is anathema to the anthem-lovers, of course, who need to believe being born here constitutes some sort of personal accomplishment or annointment from God. They need to get a life.

  13. You know how I feel, I think we should just get along! We should accept people for what they are! We don't have to agree with a persons belief system, but love the goodness inside good people!


  14. Hi Beth,
    I won't comment on the Goshen College issue since I didn't hear the Mike Gallagher show on this & I'm not a listener. I research for myself & see & hear for myself, especially since there is so much more information conveniently available now than when I was growing up. I absolutely do not trust the majority of the news media because they have not been trustworthy at all. Since the American media is overwhelmingly dominated by the liberal left, I don't trust their accounts of any event, especially when it concerns anything about conservatives or Christians. Both are openly ridiculed & attacked, but if a public figure that is "left of center" shall we say, is attacked in the same manner, we end up with a virtual firestorm!

    Therefore, I must disagree with you (respectfully, not in troll fashion, mind you!) The characterization of conservative talk radio of being hate mongering, telling lies, and the list goes on has come about from the liberal factions of our news media because it's the one arena they don't dominate, & have been unable to dominate even after repeated attempts. I find all those accusations interesting, because for the past 35-40 years, I've found that to be true of the left. Leftist politicians, for example, can say & do anything they want most of the time, & get away with it. Let a conservative politician fail to pay a parking ticket, & we hear about it 24/7 for weeks on end. Some of the most vile, despicable, hateful things I've heard through the years have generally come from leftist politicians and editorial writers. Frankly, I've been up to my eyeballs with the way they get away with it without rebuttal ever since I was a pre-teen/early teenager. Then, there were no alternative sources of information (other than my shortwave radio, which I listened to INSTEAD of the U.S. news media) & no outlet. Thanks to blogging, I have such an outlet now where I can get information and/or my opinions out there to at least a small segment of the population.

    I'm not making excuses for Mr. Gallagher. I've heard of him, but I don't know when & where he comes on, so I didn't hear the show in question. I just don't trust most media accounts of any conservative. Things are many times misquoted, misconstrued, or otherwise twisted in order to discredit that person. However, in every crowd, there ARE undesirable people, & Mr. Gallagher may be one of them. Everyone who says "I'm a conservative" doesn't necessarily hold to true conservative values & ethics.

    One thing I just thought of though - I am surprised a private religious school accepts money from ANY governmental entity, state or Federal. Any private school, especially a religious school, will tell you that anytime you accept such funds there are strings attach that are pretty dictatorial. That's why most don't, & I don't see how Goshen manages to keep Washington out of their classrooms, unless student aid funds don't have such conditions attached.

    Keep "spouting your opinion" Beth! This freedom of expression we take for granted, we don't use it, we can lose it & must be closely guarded for all!

    Your Conservative Friend Down South,

  15. I agree with your assessment of conservative talk radio. I confess that I'd like specific examples of the ill behavior that Dirk describes on the part of the left. I don't believe that the mainstream media is perfect, but I certainly don't see them bending over backwards to support liberal issues. I think that for the most part the mainstream media focuses on whatever will get them ratings. Sadly, I don't think that the left really has any significant media presence, certainly nothing on the level of Limbaugh or Gallagher.

    Btw, Accepting federal aid may mean financial aid for students. Regardless of what it means, separation of church and state becomes meaningless if the only way to receive any federal funding to aid in educating students is to adhere to prescribed requirements such as paying the national anthem. Besides, half of Americans don't know the words any way.


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