Religion and School

That sounds like a controversial title, doesn’t it? Personally, I was brought up in a family where I was taught that you never discuss money, religion or politics with people you don’t know. Or people you want to stay friends with.

I do want to stay friends with you.

But, as Christmas approaches for many Christians and many people living in predominately Christian countries, religion is a little hard to avoid. And that includes in schools.

I think of myself as a Christian on a unicycle – Christian but a bit wobbly. I do celebrate Christmas though. My tree is up and my nativity scene is out. I have also had the pleasure of being included in the Islamic celebration of Ramadan, and a dear friend of mine is converting to Judaism so I’ve been finding out more about the Jewish faith.

But, I don’t really support religion in public schools.

Which is not to say I don’t support teachers wishing their students a Merry Christmas, or kids giving each other cards and candy canes. I fully support everyone being open in their faith, or lack there of. But in Australia, a multi-cultural, multi-faith country, I’m not a big fan of chaplaincy in public schools – I think that would be better as a secular role. And I don’t have a problem with Santa handing out lollies at the end-of-year play (not this year obviously), but I don’t lament the loss of the ‘Christmas’ play.

You may have noticed that I’ve repeated the term ‘public schools’ a bit. I think if you send your child to a independent religious school then you know what you’re getting, and that includes Christmas (or Hanukkah or Ramadan as the case may be).

This is just my two-cents worth.

Whatever your faith or traditions I hope that you are able to wave 2020 goodbye with a smile and, as far as I’m concerned, let’s bring on 2021!

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