16/01/2009

The School Assembly and the Welsh Assembly

It is very rarely that I find myself siding with the High Priest of the Fundamentalist Atheist Religion and disagreeing with my former fellow-student at Theological Collage The Rev Geraint Tudur. But on the subject of school Assemblies I am with Prof Dawkins.

When I was in school many moons ago, as a young committed Christian, I thought that the Morning Assembly ridiculed the very meaning of an Act of Christian Worship.

The Headmaster could go from praising the Lord to praising the achievements of the First Rugby XV without batting an eyelid; and he could go from a hymn about Christian forgiveness into a threat of six of the best for those who's hair was too long without any sense of hypocrisy!

My headmaster was a deacon and a lay preacher in a local chapel. If he, a person used to leading Christian worship outside school, could make such a mockery of Christian worship in the School Assembly, how much more harm can the majority of headteachers today, who don't have a personal faith in Christ, do to the institution of Christian Worship?

If anything Jane Davidson hasn't gone far enough. Personally I believe that the School Assembly should be abolished as an act of Christian Worship.

I have nothing against getting the whole school together (with no right of opting out) in order to praise the achievements of school heroes or in order to give a communal bollocking to those who spit gum in the yard - but confusing such a meeting with worship verges on the heretical!

Marcus will, no doubt, tell me that it is not a good enough reason; but one of the reasons why I want a Welsh Parliament rather than a Welsh Assembly, is because the title Welsh Assembly always reminds me of Tuesdays and Thursdays in school when the hymns, the readings, the prayers, the football praise and the castigation's were delivered in Cymraeg!

9 comments:

  1. I know that you like to claim to be older than you are Alwyn, but you were in Coleg Bala-Bang with the Rev Dr Alun Tudur, not his older brother Geraint!

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  2. i appreciate the link.

    There should be no communal religious ceremonies, worship or any act that an individual cannot opt out of in school.

    For too long, religious freedom has ignored the views of those with no religion. I am glad this is changing.

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  3. Well Alwyn you are not really in agreement with the Prophet Dawkings (or his disciple Rev. Marcus). They would rather (like any good fundamentalist) that there would be no assemblies or worship services at all!They believe that religion is evil (a very Manichean view) I do believe that atheist parents should have the right to withdraw their children from a religious service like the JWs!

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  4. Morgan

    As we say in Pontypool – what the fuck are you on about?

    I am not a fundamentalist, I just think that freedom is for all. The state apparatus, which should be for all, should not be coloured by any religion, particularly in a multi cultural such as today. The best way to guarantee the freedom of all pupils is to have a school assembly that is free from religion, as I think Alwyn is calling for. This enables people of faith, and those of none to not feel that their position is discriminated against.

    I fully support people’s inalienable right to have the freedom to worship as they see fit – so cut that silly bullshit.

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  5. Sorry Alwyn I did not read your whole post! Put it down to it being too early in the morning.

    Marcus as we say in Ely You are talking bollocks!Nobody actually believes that they are discriminated against because of a Christian assembly! If that was true why do Muslim and Sikh parents send their kids to Faith Schools? Why don't you stop hiding your own "religous" agenda behind that multicultural crap.

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  6. Morgan,

    I am at a loss to understand what point you are trying to make?

    A faith school, by its very definition, would indicate that there will be an element of faith based worship and teaching within its remit. I am not against faith schools, I went to an excellent Catholic Primary School myself.

    Non-faith schools, should, by the their very definition, not promote one faith other another or indeed over those of no faith. An assembly or a school wide event should have a religious underpinning in that situation.

    All religious freedoms could be protected within that, including the individuals need to worship and adhere to religious customs within school hours.

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  8. I’m sorry Marcus I presumed that you took the same line that Prof Dawkins had about removing religion from the schools completely (including Faith schools), and because in his works he equates religious education with “child abuse”. And that Faith Schools do not indoctrinate or “brainwash kids the way it has been claimed. (I am sure as a product of the Catholic schools that you too can testify to that.

    My view is essentially that Britain/Wales is still predominantly a Christian country, but a tolerant one. I would be different if we were more like France or even a US separation of Church and State. I don’t believe that those of other religions have no problem with Christian Faith Schools for the reasons that I indicated in my previous comment. I would leave the issue of form of assemblies up to the individual schools. Though I believe that multicultural assemblies are usually the norm in places that are diverse. Sorry mate for unfairly judging you!

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  9. I agree with you Alwyn. My thoughts in full on the subject can be read here:

    http://welshwilderness.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/religious-services-in-state-schools/

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