The main point of the story is that some parents are upset about their childrens' school's Christmas celebrations - not that the children are having no Christmas celebrations at all, but that they don't like the format of the celebrations. The main thrust is against the changing of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' to include a calypso theme and slightly altered lyrics.
A quality quote from a knuckle-dragging parent:
Mum Michelle Geddes, 32, said: “I have no problem with the kids learning about other cultures — but now it is Christmas. This is a time for Christian people to celebrate.
“To turn it into some sort of politically correct function with a Caribbean flavour is just not on. They want the kids to sing about Four Pumpkin Pies instead of Turtle Doves and it is just winding all the parents up." [Emphasis mine]
People from the Caribbean are predominantly Christian. By a large margin. Attendance at C of E churches is in terminal decline, while attendance at Afro-carribean Pentecostal and Evangelical churches is pretty much booming. But a Caribbean themed Christmas celebration isn't Christian? How exactly? I find it very difficult indeed not to believe that their objection is that this can't be Christian because it's associated with black people.
More than 100 have signed a petition demanding a return to a Christian Christmas
— or they will keep their kids away.
Okay, a return to a Christian Christmas might well mean a return to a Nativity play, but it's unclear from this. I'm pretty sure that none of these parents would be complaining if the usual Carols were sung in the usual way, and the objection is to making things a bit different. More specifically - a bit more closely associated with black people.
The worst thing about this petition is that the children of the parents who have signed it will now have to go to school with the other kids all knowing their parents are petty racists. Imagine how deeply fucking embarrassed the kids will be when they explain to their black mates that they couldn't go to the Christmas do because their parents said it wasn't Christian enough because it had been fused with their culture. Imagine being a black kid who goes to church every Sunday being told that by a kid who never sets foot in a church, and didn't even go at Christmas.
One thing I'd actually missed when I typed up the bit above is that other things in the article do not involve a Caribbean theme. So when the paper says:
The decision to ditch the traditional nativity play in favour of a calypso concert has angered parents.
It's being pretty economical with the truth. It says, for instance:
And Rocking Around The Christmas Tree becomes Rocking Around The Shops.
How is 'Rocking Around the Shops' Caribbean? I have an idea that it isn't at all, and the whole idea of a 'calypso concert' is bollocks. The paper (and the parent complaining above) are just objecting to one fucking song being changed.
This idea is supported by another thing the paper picks up on:
Other changes include a ruling that Christmas classic Away In A Manger will notFirst of all, sign language is not Caribbean or calypso, so how does this fit in with the idea of a calypso concert?
be sung but performed in SIGN LANGUAGE. [Emphasis not mine. The
paper actually thinks this is worthy of putting in bold and capitalising -
presumably reflecting the way the paper thinks deaf people should rightly be
addressed in real life without resorting to SIGN LANGUAGE]
But more importantly, how is sign language un-Christian? How? What could possibly be wrong with introducing children to a different way of communicating, and getting them to think about the concepts behind communication? The lyrics aren't changed at all here. The song - one explicitly about the birth of Christ - will still be performed with the words unchanged.
There's an important quote from the Deputy Head, which says:
“If anything, this is even more traditional than any other year. We’re going to
have poems, Christmas carols and Bible readings.”
No mention is made of the poems or Bible readings in the rest of the article and the headline only refers to a Yule 'song' so I think it's pretty safe to assume that the three things mentioned are the only things changed at all. One bloody carol is enough to get the service called a calypso concert and to get these parents complaining. Not to mention the comedy rasta Santa picture. Seems nastier now, doesn't it?
I mentioned the Puritans banning Christmas as a bit of a joke in my last posting. But they banned Christmas for being un-Christian. This sort of objection is looking incredibly similar. Anything that doesn't celebrate Christianity in a rigidly defined way is un-Christian and must be banned. The irony is that while arguing that Christmas should not be banned, in articles like this one, the Sun are arguing for some celebrations of Christmas to be banned. It's doubly ironic when you realise nobody's arguing for Christmas to be banned in the first place. That means the only people actually arguing for the banning of Christmas celebrations are the parents at this school and the Sun.