THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis
So, over the recent break I read a BBC news article that asked “Does daily worship count for anything?” It was a discussion on school assemblies and their relevance in an increasingly secular and multi-cultural society. I was heartened to read the rules on collective worship, which include that “in every school in England and Wales, there should be an act of collective worship in which each pupil can participate daily, pupils must attend, unless their parents withdraw them or unless they are sixth-formers and the wording of the law is that it is to be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.”
This is the basis of why many of us, regardless of whether we are Christians or not, would term Britain as being a Christian country, with Christian values. It annoys me when others deem it is their job to get rid of our roots, just because our society has changed…it seems we are not allowed to keep our country Christian even though countless other countries have been allowed to keep their, sometimes questionable, religious laws.
It went on…“Both the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the National Secular Society (NSS) are in favour of scrapping the current requirement, with the BHA calling it “unworkable, hypocritical, counter-productive and divisive”.
The BHA is right: it is all those things, mainly because human beings are involved…we can all be hypocritical…it seems if you have a different view to somebody else, then you are being divisive, just because your view isn’t popular anymore. Instead of a resolution, they want rid of Christianity. What’s going to be left? If the last remnant of God is taken away from our schools, what will replace it? An all-faith, watered-down message of world peace? Or a completely humanist reflection on life, “This is all there is, enjoy it while it lasts”, chasing after the holy grail of a world where we all get along, we all think and believe the same thing - the religious equivalent of being made to use Apple products - with the mantra of “You Only Live Once” ringing in our ears.
The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life commented “that schools should instead have a more inclusive “time for reflection”, which would embrace children of all and no faiths, aimed at contributing to their “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”
I understand we can have moral, social and cultural development, but spiritual development without God and faith? Surely that’s counter-productive?
I sat through many a dull assembly as a kid, singing “Kum Ba Yah” and being taught the importance of “being good”, but when I found God for myself I discovered there was much more to the Christian faith than what I was being spoon-fed as the truth. Christianity has got nothing to do with “being good” but everything to do with being loved.
Instead of getting rid of it, I would rather see Christianity be allowed to show its full 21st century colour, as relevant and exciting as it was when Jesus walked the earth…healings, miracles, and knowing God.
That’s spiritual development right here, right now, forever.