Tuesday, 18 January 2011

On The Rights And Wrongs Of School Assemblies

So The Atheists want school assemblies to be made illegal (warning: link to Daily Mail.  WhyNotSmile accepts no responsibility for anything that might happen while you're there, but advises you not to start reading the comments), on the basis that they infringe children's human rights.  It is hard to know what to think about this, so I have compiled a Helpful List of pros and cons:

Reasons to Ban School Assemblies
1) If you were to design something guaranteed to turn a child away from all things religious, you could do little better than your average school assembly.  School assemblies are generally run by either the teachers (in which case you often have the ridiculous sight of atheists ssshushing small children so they can hear other atheists talking about God), or the local vicar (generally consisting of over-stretched stories with "that's just like Jesus!" shoe-horned onto the end); you get the odd quite good one where someone with both social skills and an enthusiasm for spreading The Word is put in charge, and of course you get some excellent ones, but in my experience these are few and far between.

Reasons to Keep School Assemblies
1) It is always wise to disagree with anything the National Secular Society says, just on principle.  Anything which annoys Richard Dawkins is also a good bet.

2) It is useful to ensure that children are accustomed to being bored, as it will prepare them well for a life in the office.  I am firmly of the opinion that everyone's lives would be a lot easier if children were better at entertaining themselves quietly; school assemblies are good places to practice this.

3) The world would be poorer if no one knew the words and tunes to 'Morning Has Broken', 'One More Step Around The World I Go' and 'Fight The Good Fight'.  Actually, no.

So with 2 votes to 1, we see that school assemblies should be kept.


Anonymous said...

You forgot about 'Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah'

whynotsmile said...

I quite like that one. It WOULD be sad if no one knew it any more. What would be sung at rugby matches?