This is related in a way to this recent irrational screaming about needing more God (capital G, obviously must be Christian, though Jewish will be grudgingly tolerated). When the topic comes up of Christianity leaking into schools, there are often those who jump in with how it's just a song, or just a lecture, and you don't have to participate if you don't want, and it doesn't matter. I read this today. After reading it, does it still seem like a song or a story can't have a far reaching impact on a child?Answer Question
It supports what's normal. It supports the idea that Christianity is the norm, the ideal, to which everyone should be aspiring. Other songs are sometimes included, but they are fun, silly songs, not the hymns that are taught to students in choir, even today.
I chaperoned a field trip that my younger daughter's class went on to watch a local boys' choir perform a holiday concert. The fun songs were really fun! They did a zany take on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that had the audience in stitches, and some fancy dancing to a Dradle song. When it came to the Christian hymns, though, it was very serious, very dedicated, and I almost started to laugh out loud when I saw the little boys in white singing with such sincerity about a virgin giving birth. I had a hard time taking it seriously, but the boys certainly did. They were expected to.
Answer by jsbenkert at 10:25 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
My older daughter is in the choir in her middle school. They just had their Christmas concert in a church, and nearly all of the songs were Christian. The only song they sang that wasn't religious (Christian, to be exact) was "Baby It's Cold Outside". Every other song was about the Baby Jesus' birth, angels singing on high, and worshipping god.
Because it's upsetting to my daughter, I told her that much of the choral music in Western society is religious in nature, because of the stronghold the church had on society through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, so Christianity had a major influence on art, architecture and music. I told her that she can sing the songs, since she loves to be in choir, without having to believe in them.
Answer by jsbenkert at 10:43 AM on Dec. 16, 2012
Answer by skinnyslokita at 5:35 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by okmanders at 11:11 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
That said, I find it hard to believe that Christian songs are the only option available to choirs around the country. If the instructors were at all motivated to find more secular songs, or a greater representation of a variety of beliefs, I'm sure it could be done.
The elephant in the room is still the "majority rules" mindset, along with the other elephant which is the expectation that we stick with tradition, and promote the religion that has dominated the culture for so long. Those few kids who aren't Christian shouldn't matter, because they're in the minority, and we know how this country feels about minorities . . .
Answer by jsbenkert at 10:46 AM on Dec. 16, 2012
Answer by skinnyslokita at 5:40 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by skinnyslokita at 7:04 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by skinnyslokita at 7:24 PM on Dec. 15, 2012
Answer by missanc at 9:36 PM on Dec. 15, 2012