GOSHEN — For years, Bethany Christian School in Goshen has not played the national anthem before the start of sporting events. The school has cited its Mennonite tradition and belief system. They challenged to play the anthem or risk not holding state basketball sectionals there. Some area athletic directors have criticized Bethany Christian School for not playing The National Anthem during basketball sectionals. “They basically took a vote and several schools objected to our hosting sectional games if we didn’t play the anthem,” said Principal Allan Dueck.” The large majority was neutral.” The school is owned and operated by the Indiana and Michigan Mennonite Conference. It has a belief system that centers on peace and not promoting acts of war and violence. He says in part to the core religious beliefs held by the school and those of the Mennonite faith versus those of the outside world. “We do believe our priority is to follow Christ in life,” Dueck said. “So that idea makes it difficult for us to sing an anthem that particularly elevates war.” Student athletes have varying opinions on the matter. “Well, I really don’t have a problem with playing the National Anthem,” student athlete Seth Kauffman said. “I mean at every other school we play, it’s basically public schools, they all play it. But, it does go against your school beliefs.” “I would believe it’s fine to play The National Anthem at games, mostly because I don’t see playing the anthem putting God under the government,” said student athlete Corine Alvarez. Nearby Goshen College was facing a similar situation as a Mennonite school, but recently elected to play an instrumental version of the anthem during certain sporting events. “It is part of the protocol and process of basketball, baseball, softball, maybe some other sports,” said Goshen College Dean Bill Born. It's possible that Bethany Christian School will make a decision on the matter later this spring. It could be implemented this fall and would only apply during sectional basketball play.