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To not want my DC to participate in nativity?

(632 Posts)
Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 15:47:56

I asked school to excuse DC from nativity (due to religious reasons - we do not depict jesus/mary/joseph.) They were absolutely fine with it. Happened to mention this to work colleagues - and they basically told me that I wasn't willing to integrate! hmm

I was a bit shocked that they saw it like this despite the fact that I explained why. I didn't realise that this decision was perceived as a lack of willingness to integrate - in a country which I have been born and brought up in.

I had to bite my tongue for the sake of peace!

So...MN jury...grin AIBU to exclude DC from nativity for religious reasons (note: DC is not excluded from other christmas activities at school). Am I just not integrating well into the society that I was born and brought up in?



(please be gentle)

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 15:48:58

I can see both sides tbh.

Do you celebrate christmas in any form?

hillyhilly Wed 05-Dec-12 15:51:13

YABU, sorry but I agree with your colleagues. I don't understand why your child should not be in a play even if its about a different religion from your own.
I do not stop my child from learning about other cultures, religions and celebrations and I think that excluding him from the nativity is marking him out as 'different'

elfyrespect Wed 05-Dec-12 15:52:06

Can't help but feel a little sad for Dc feeling excluded from all the hustle & bustle of the costumes, songs, performance etc though.

NatashaBee Wed 05-Dec-12 15:55:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2old2beamum Wed 05-Dec-12 15:56:06

I am an old jewish lady (now atheist) I did not as a child "do" nativity plays. I felt very left out. However now a mum and atheist I am not bothered and was very proud of DD when she was Mary, Not much help am I?

Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 15:57:18

brady No we do not celebrate christmas as such - but I do participate in secret santa at work, go otu for christmas dinner etc.

DC does everything else at school for christmas but we will strictly never depict any prophets , therefore depicting Mary/Jesus/Joseph in the nativity is not something we could do.

hilly but why is exclusion from nativity reflecting as my lack of ability to integrate?

silvercup Wed 05-Dec-12 15:58:09

I'm agnostic and don't believe in the nativity as it's traditionally told...but I don't think I would want to excuse my DD from being in a nativity play, not when all her classmates would be involved. I would prefer to somehow explain to her that the nativity is a story that some people believe in, and other people don't.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:58:24


Your DCs will just want to be involved like the rest of the school. How mean of you to make them feel left out.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Wed 05-Dec-12 15:58:56

The thing is in the majority of schools they miss other lessons to practise the nativity, lessons like ICT and PE, so in effect you've got your dc sat down watching everyone else be excited and rehearsing while they have to look at a book/do a work sheet.

monsterchild Wed 05-Dec-12 15:59:38

YANBU. Your child, your rules. If it is against your belief, as you say, and you don't think your kids should participate, I think that's ok. Not being in the play won't be the end of their lives.

You could also ask that they not be cast as any main character, so that they aren't breaking any rules.

Electricblanket Wed 05-Dec-12 16:00:20

I feel terribly sad for your children. Why do you participate in secret Santa?

vintagewarrior Wed 05-Dec-12 16:00:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 05-Dec-12 16:01:08

Could the DC be sheep and shepherds or something. Then they are not depicting prophets and they get to take part.

BTW I don't think you ABU for this. Bizarre that people are so unempathetic about deeply held beliefs (even though I have none).

InNeedOfBrandyButter Wed 05-Dec-12 16:02:05

This really annoys me actually, they are your beliefs and until your dc is 18 they should not have to do what you believe in. Brainwashing

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Wed 05-Dec-12 16:02:15

YABU - I do think it is very hypocritical of you to go out on christmas do's, indulge in secret santa but then ban your DC from the nativity.

Surely you either celebrate christmas or you don't.

Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 16:02:20

2old2beamum I have absolutely no problem with anyone's choice to participate or not to participate. smile

The school have a few other kids who do not participate either although i am unsure which religions they are affiliated to. DC has no problem with not participating in nativity, nor does the school. I was more shocked at the link made at work regarding no nativity = not integrating.

They also mentioned that why should kids come to your parties (eid) if you wont join in our religious celebrations sad

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 16:02:32

So you child doesn't get presents, you don't have decorations?

My point being is that if you can celebrate Christmas, even in a small way then you dc can be in the nativity.

Christmas is about the birth of Christ, therefore any acknowledgment of it (ie secret santa) is and acknowledgement of the prophet.

Personall, as someone who has firmly stepped away from catholisim, i think YABU.

You have participated in secret santa but are excluding your son from his peers ways of celebrating.

Can you not explain to him that it is a story, that some people believe in. But that you (ie you and other half) do not.

I wouldn't make him be excluded. Its isn't like he has to believe in it to take part.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 16:03:00

I have no beliefs either,but I let my children join in all the religious celebrations at their very multicultural school.

It teaches them tolerance and understanding IMO.

FredFredGeorge Wed 05-Dec-12 16:03:21

Just because you were born and brought up in the society doesn't mean that you are automatically integrated in it, you can still choose to act against it - indeed you are choosing to by your stance on the nativity and school - which is a very common thing in the UK.

But you're absolutely fine not to, and integration isn't about doing everything no matter if it's against your normal views - opting out of it is fine too - especially if it's only out of certain parts, and as you presumably have a religious rule against depiction of Jesus (are Joeseph and Mary prophets too?) I think it's more than fine to opt out.

So no YANBU.

redskyatnight Wed 05-Dec-12 16:03:35

Quite a few children at DD's school don't take part in the Christmas nativity. Never thought it was an issue. I can see the nativity is difficult for non-Christians - it's not just a play about a religious event - quite often the songs/words include references to Christ the Saviour or Lord Jesus.

juneybean Wed 05-Dec-12 16:04:10

It's just a story, will you prevent them from taking part in other plays?

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 16:05:09

I would like to point out that dds school also do things for diwali and other holidays.

So it is not that they only do one religion. I think part of religion is learning an accepting other religions.

Jojobells1986 Wed 05-Dec-12 16:05:18

Can they not be something else in the nativity? There's lots of roles that wouldn't be considered prophets. Or, like someone else suggested, they could be involved in behind-the-scenes things so they didn't feel left out.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 16:05:27

what religion are you?


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