Sunday, January 14, 2007

Good morning everyone!

"The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine."

A mantra for a Muslim suicide bomber about to set off on his deadly mission?

No: this is a verse from 'Amazing Grace'. It is typical of hymns, sung every morning in schools across the country. They are, almost without exception, filled with violent imagery, tales of death and destruction, struggle and victory over ones' enemies.

By law, every school is required to perform an act of 'Collective worship' every morning, for every pupil (except those specifically excluded). Not just faith schools, as people might assume: all schools. And not an act of moral teaching, of citizenship or cultural knowledge - but of worship. That perhaps the majority interpret the law as the former rather than the latter doesn't help. It's a license for the Church to get involved, a demand for the supernatural, the religious, the irrational. Every morning, for every child, in the social institution we trust to transfer real knowledge.

Full lyrics to Amazing Grace.

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