You have to laugh (or weep) but here’s the question:
When is a Christmas carol religious?
So let’s think about it:
Away in a manger/no crib for a bed/the little Lord Jesus/lay down his sweet head
Silent night, holy night/all is calm/all is bright/round yon virgin, mother and child
Oh come all ye faithful/joyful and triumphant/oh come ye oh come ye to Bethleham;
Come and behold him/born the King of angels/oh come let us adore him
I working through these examples to give the heads-up to meddling, PC Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino (just another Labor hack), so he can understand that most Christmas carols are in fact RELIGIOUS (Christian actually, like Christmas).
And so his tortured explanation of not banning carols at Victorian public schools but banning all religious material during school hours is completely INCONSISTENT.
He is just running to protect his arse because he knows that the vast majority of Victorians supports the singing of carols (and hymns) in school and for a government to ban this practice will be seriously frowned on by the electorate. Just pathetic.
(Here’s a true conundrum: younger sister working in a state junior school is running sports day. It is Ramadam. It is a hot day. What does she do about the small group of Muslim students who refuse to eat or drink during daylight hours?)
Here’s the desperate rationalisation from Jimmyboy:
This time of year is often referred to as the “silly season” and I haven’t seen a better example of this than the article entitled Christmas Carol Ban Is Out Of Tune With Society by president of the Young Liberal Movement of Australia, Simon Breheny.
This ridiculous piece is all part of a Liberal Party campaign to convince Victorians that we have banned Christmas carols in schools. Not only is this untrue, it is a shameful attempt to drive a wedge in our community.
Victorian schoolchildren — like my own daughters who attend government schools — can sing any Christmas carol they want at their school.
From classics such as Away in a Manger, Silent Night, and Oh Come All Ye Faithful, to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells.
The guidance given to Victorian principals this year was clear: schools can put up Christmas decorations or pictures of Santa, sing carols or decorate Christmas trees on school grounds, as these items have a cultural place in Australian society.
The guidance also stated that other activities, such as colourful celebrations during Diwali and candle lighting during Hanukkah, were not banned.
However, if an outside provider such as Access Ministries, or a volunteer group, wishes to come to a school and sing religious songs, this is considered Special Religious Instruction and must be done before school, after school, or during lunch time.
The guidelines exist to make it clear that there is no proselytising in Victorian government schools.
These lies are creating unnecessary angst within the community, and those spreading this misinformation should be ashamed. I wonder if these MPs and others who are pushing this lie have taken a moment to read the comments of those they are inciting on their Facebook pages? Do they support the bile of the United Patriots Front or English Defence League, who are now sharing their posts online?
The Liberal Party needs to come clean with its constituents: tell them the truth, and stop trying to score cheap political points in the lead-up to Christmas.
I hope you all enjoy singing your favourite carols with family and friends this Christmas … I know I will!
James Merlino is Victoria’s Minister for Education