Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Here we go again

Well, it's started. Just when I thought secondary school was going to be all about dealing with bullying and standing over Max with a big stick to get him to do his homework, home he comes with news of evangelists at morning assembly brandishing free bibles.

The usual suspects were behind it, of course — Gideon's International. "They come in every year," someone at the school tells me. "they don't do a hard sell, but leave them to decide whether to take a bible after assembly."

Oh well, that's alright then. Except… no it bloody isn't!

It's one thing to teach kids about other people's religions as a way of promoting tolerance and acceptance, but proselytising is another matter altogether.

Can you imagine the uproar if a mullah or a scientologist turned up at school looking to recruit members for their religions? Do you think the powers-that-be would cheerfully herd the whole school into assembly to hear the pitch, then smile on beatifically as copies of the Koran or Dianetics were handed out?

Doesn't seem very likely, does it?

So what's the bloody difference? Why are the christians still allowed to do it? They're always bleating on about respect. What's respectful about going into a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-faith school and telling them that your's is the only true path? That's not respect, that's arrogance.

There is a funny side to it all this, though. Max and his mates skimmed straight through the little volume until they found a passage which, depending on how you wanted to interpret it (and remember they're all 12 year-old boys) seemed to suggest that jesus was a paedophile. Another of his mates (the son of an enthusiastic atheist mate of mine) tore the pages out one-by-one and ate them!

We must be doing something right!

At times like this i spout Matthew 6:5 at them.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward."

Catholic education had a few advantages. *snigger*
Eating the bible? Reminds me of one of my favourite Homer Simpson quotes: "Mmmmm, sacrilicious!"
So where does, "leave them to decide whether to take a bible after assembly" turn into "proselytising" and "recruiting" ??

It never ceases to amaze me that folks who talk about tolerance and acceptance are so INtolerant of allowing others to be offered a book of what you would consider to be 'fairy tales'.

If the book is a work of fiction, then what's the big deal? If it's not, but it really is true, why fight the truth? As someone who has faith in the God of the Bible, it wouldn't bother me if buddhists, hindu, muslims, or any other folks handed out their 'holy book' to my kids in school. No big deal. They already get the government sponsored 'holy books' based on the religions of humanism and atheism -- they call them 'textbooks'. So another slant wouldn't hurt.

Maybe you're just afraid of the competition, and that if somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone started reading a book opposing YOUR religion, they might find the truth to be different that what you say it is.

I am confident you will someday find the truth. I pray that it will be in time.
In time for what?
The confidence I mentioned is given to us in the Bible that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

So it's assured that all beings, whether in the spirit world ("those in heaven"), in our life here ("those on earth"), or those who have departed this life ("those under the earth") will admit to the truth, that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. Those in the spirit world already know the truth. Those who make this admission or confession in this life, based on their trust in Christ, have been promised certain benefits both here and eternally. Those who refused to do so and rejected the truth here will most assuredly find the truth after death, and admit to it then. At that point, unfortunately, it's too late to trust in Christ and receive the full benefits of His promises.

My prayer is that you'll be one of the former, rather than the latter.
James, your arrogance is staggering. I'll take my chances.
Where-when I went to school, it was the John Birch Society that was invited to speak. I kid you not. I don't know how these organizations open a wedge without others like Hare-Krishna, etc. demanding equal time. I would be willing to bet that there was some scare tactics involved before the, "the choice is yours" statement was made. Still, the Gideons are the most passive organization I can think of, so maybe not. If they were honest, they presented it as, "This is what we believe". I guess I need more information in order not to appear like I'm agreeing with James, for once. If I was in that class, knowing "then" what I know now, I would solemnly thank the Gideons, and add, "this should heat my house for at least 20 minutes!"
Apparently they didn't lay it on all that thick, but I've heard a couple of reports saying that they said "Jesus died and came back from the dead — and that's a FACT."
James, I would like at this time to refer you to Matthews 6:1-6.
I have the same problem at my son's "Non Religious" primary school. I found out they were made to say grace just before eating lunch, so I spoke to the head and got it stopped. I got quite a few people coming up to me after that saying "Well done" I didn't like that anyway. The problem really is that we're English, and we don't like to stand out, so most people just say "oh, what harm is it doing?" which I think is the same as the "We just leave them to make up their mind". For me church is about stupid stories, and school is about learning facts, but churches know that children are vulnerable to as so try and grab them early.

Anyway, I've just found out he has to do prayers in assembly, so here goes another mail to the school...
Having the same problem as David at the moment "Grace before sitting down to eat and this is at a special school.

Only found out last week that the school was having religious assemblies. I'm not a happy bunny.
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