My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To think this is an inappropriate passage of the Bible for a school Christmas service?

262 replies

RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 14:59

DD10 has been asked to do a reading at the school’s Xmas carol service.

The passage is Genesis 3: 8-15:

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself."

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." So the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." “

I’m not impressed. Surely they could have chosen other (NT) passages where the focus is not on original sin (and don’t blame a woman for it 🧐)?

I’m an atheist, but was raised a Catholic and I have no objection to DD taking part in the service. I have been to countless midnight masses (Xmas services where I’m from) and I’m sure the Genesis was never the focus.

IABU to think this is not appropriate for a Christmas service?

OP posts:
Report
Nowisthemonthofmaying · 26/11/2019 15:18

How funny - I've been to a lot of 9 lessons services and never heard it! Perhaps some churches swap it out for something else.

But I stick by my comment that if your child is at a religious school then you can't really complain when they have to take part in religious things!

Report
TheHodgeoftheHedge · 26/11/2019 15:19

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Lessons_and_Carols

Seriously, it's standard. The entire point of the nine lessons starts with the fall of humanity goes through to the birth of Jesus and the future to come. It's the Christian story from end to beginning in short readings!

Report
Bluerussian · 26/11/2019 15:20

Remember this is an allegorical story, designed in a typically, pictorial Hebrew way to convey a truth. The 'nakedness' implies being exposed, they knew they had disappointed God and wanted to hide from him. The OT portrays God as awesome rather than the cuddly God of the NT. People of the OT were 'God fearing', could not 'look God in the face', neither could they escape him as he is all seeing.

In the NT God is approachable as a Father and his Son, Jesus, one of the three persons, is human, empathetic and compassionate.

The OT is supposed to be read in the light of the knowledge of the NewTestament and this will be illustrated in the Christmas service, so please don't worry.

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:20

@TheHodgeoftheHedge, thank you for posting a link to the 9 lessons. This is exactly what the school is doing, so I can see it’s standard. I had no idea.

I have no intention of withdrawing DD, she is capable of critical thinking and I will look at the lessons with her and explain why they are problematic from a human rights, feminist perspective.

My Xmas services growing up focused on the annunciation and nativity, as opposed to OT. Hence my surprise at this reading being included.

OP posts:
Report
TheyMostlyComeOutAtNightMostly · 26/11/2019 15:21

Adam Lay Ybounden defines the start of Christmas for me, and yes, it’s the beginning of the Christmas story.

Report
churchandstate · 26/11/2019 15:21

I have no intention of withdrawing DD, she is capable of critical thinking and I will look at the lessons with her and explain why they are problematic from a human rights, feminist perspective.

Well, there we are - deeper learning!

Report
Devereux1 · 26/11/2019 15:22

If you're religious and believe in the Bible, then all of it should be interesting and available to you.
If you're not, then the Bible is an interesting read anyway.
Can't see what's wrong with it.

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:23

Thank you to all who posted.

OP posts:
Report
TriangularRatbag · 26/11/2019 15:24

I was brought up Catholic, am now atheist, and cannot abide that particular region (along with one or two others). However, you can't pick and choose. It's the bible! I agree that it's all equally ridiculous, but if you don't like Christian beliefs then don't participate in Christian ceremonies.

Report
scaryteacher · 26/11/2019 15:24

Revolution There wasn't a human rights/feminist perspective when the OT was written down. Imo you can't apply the mores of today to ancient texts.

That reading has been the standard first lesson at Kings on Christmas Eve as far back as I can remember, and I'm 53. I used to go and queue to get in from when I was about 8 or so. Family tradition for my Dad.

Report
SoxiFodoujUmed · 26/11/2019 15:25

she is capable of critical thinking and I will look at the lessons with her and explain why they are problematic from a human rights, feminist perspective.

This is exactly the right course of action.

This traditional Christmas service tells a whole history of the understanding of the relationship between God and Humanity during the evolution of Judeo-Christian thought. Even though generally Christians today won't agree with this passage's take on original sin, it is important to hear and understand it as the account which Jesus would have been taught, and from which His message of love, forgiveness and equality would have been a revolutionary departure.

Report
cabbageking · 26/11/2019 15:25

Greater depth is about deeper and wider understanding, linking the reason why Christ was needed in the first place would be reasonable.

He is the corresponding sacrifice to cover the sin.

Children don't need to have faith in the subject just a wider understanding. Did your son know the link before he took on the part or has he learnt something new?

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:25

If you're religious and believe in the Bible, then all of it should be interesting and available to you.
If you're not, then the Bible is an interesting read anyway.
Can't see what's wrong with it.


Actually I think there’s lots wrong with it 😁! But this thread has been very informative.

OP posts:
Report
Purpleartichoke · 26/11/2019 15:27

It’s probably better that they aren’t going for some soft reading. People should see what message is really being given. People should see the horrible things their children are being taught and realize the harm they are doing. Maybe if that happens, there is some hope of breaking the cycle.

Report
Devereux1 · 26/11/2019 15:28

@RevolutionofOurTime. Actually I think there’s lots wrong with it 😁!

What, exactly?

Report
churchandstate · 26/11/2019 15:30

It’s absolutely fine to think Christianity is a whole load of balls and to tell your children so. I question the wisdom of doing so while allowing your child to do the reading in a religious ceremony.

Report
LiveFatsDieYoGnu · 26/11/2019 15:32

"Ne had the apple taken been, the apple taken been, Ne had never Our Lady a-been Heavene Queen. Blessed be the time that apple taken was, therefore we mun singen Deo gracias!"

Wink feels Christmassy now!

Report
TriangularRatbag · 26/11/2019 15:32

What, exactly?

It's not true.

Report
BaronessBomburst · 26/11/2019 15:33

I just googled Ezekiel 23: 19-20. Grin

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:36

@Devereux1, please forgive me but I don’t really wish to engage on a whole discussion on why I don’t agree with the Bible as an interesting read. I also don’t want my 10yo to read the Marquis de Sade books. It’s a matter of personal values.

@churchandstate, DD was very excited to have been selected to read - she is the youngest reader in the school with the longest read. She’s into drama and public speaking, so she will treat this as a public performance. I don’t want to take this away from her.

OP posts:
Report
churchandstate · 26/11/2019 15:36

She’s into drama and public speaking, so she will treat this as a public performance. I don’t want to take this away from her.

Absolutely your decision. I question it myself, but she’s your DD.

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:38

Correction- this is probably not the longest read, but still one of the ‘big ones’.

OP posts:
Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

churchandstate · 26/11/2019 15:40

It’s a matter of personal values

For me, this really doesn’t square with your allowing your DD to read something you strenuously disagree with (comparison to the Marquis de Sade?) on principle.

*“Here are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

Report
RevolutionofOurTime · 26/11/2019 15:40

@churchandstate, growing up I served mass and sang in the church choir. Didn’t stop me becoming a staunch atheist.

OP posts:
Report
Pretzelcoatl · 26/11/2019 15:41

@RevolutionofOurTime

”I’m not impressed. Surely they could have chosen other (NT) passages where the focus is not on original sin (and don’t blame a woman for it 🧐)?”

Oh, I don’t know, a passage that indicates that you personally are guilty for things that other people have done seems very apropos in today’s culture.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.