I have a lot of sympathy with Lee and Lizanne, having to deal with what their children are taught in school and particularly in school assemblies.
I was particularly upset by one assembly that my child told me she was part of. I can only paraphrase what the teacher said: it may not be a fair representation but it is basically what was reported back to me.
“Work hard. It’s imprtant to work hard because then you can get good results. Good results are what it’s all about because if you get good results you can go to college and university and then you can have a good job and earn lots of money.”
Unfortunately while Lee and Lizanne can pursue legal action and wage a media campaign I can only try to explain to my children that different people believe different things. Some people believe there is a God and some people don’t. Other people believe in the same God but in different ways. Some people believe in entirely different gods. I realise that all adults have their own agenda and I explain that to my children.
And so I should declare an interest: I also deliver school assemblies, mostly in church schools. Here’s what I hope children will hear from me and take home:
“Today I heard an amazing story about Jesus. It made us think. It doesn’t matter how clever I am or what I look like or how good at sports I am. If I get things wrong or mess up I can be forgiven. I am a child of God, made in his image just like everyone else and he loves me forever.”