A primary school in London has sparked outrage among parents for creating a woke version of the classic Christmas carol “Away In a Manger” in the name inclusivity.
According to Fox News, Whitehall Primary School in East London told students that the word “Lord” would be replaced in the timeless song with the word “little baby” so as not to offend anyone. The order came from Zakia Khatun, the school’s headteacher, who said that 60 students out of 500 did not attend last year’s Nativity Tuesday celebration due to their religious beliefs.
Parents have not cheerfully accepted the news.
“I picked up my children at the end of the day and they were so upset, saying to me, ‘Mummy, today in assembly the headteacher told everybody that she would be changing the words to the Christmas song,'” one mother told the group Christian Concern. “I am taking this stand as Christian belief and tradition, which means so much to so many people of all generations, is being sacrificed and silenced in the name of inclusion and political correctness.”
Another mother told the Daily Mail that the school has effectively taken Christ out of Christmas and accused the headteacher of discriminating against Christians.
“If he was just a baby boy named Jesus, there wouldn’t be a celebration in the first place,” the mother said. “He is our Lord and Saviour and King of all Kings — that’s the whole point. Ms. Khatun doesn’t want the people who don’t have the same beliefs to feel excluded, yet it’s okay to exclude Christians,” the mother said.
Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said in a statement that the school has ripped the heart out of Christmas. “Removing the Lordship of Christ at Christmas guts the Christian message of its truth around which the whole of Western civilization once based its culture,” she said. “Let’s put the Lord Jesus Christ back into Christmas.”
In response, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of the Church of England, said the school should not remove the word “Lord” from the song, adding that students who do not wish to participate should be allowed to opt-out.
“The words ‘the Lord Jesus’ occur three times in the carol and point to the central message of Christmas which is: God is with us in Jesus. Everything in the Church, where the Nativity play is being held, points to this central truth of the Christian Faith,” the bishop said. “If parents do not wish their children to participate in a Christian Nativity play and any accompanying worship, they should be able to opt out and the school should provide an alternate activity for such children. But basic Christian teaching should not be changed just to accommodate everybody.”
The Diocese of Chelmsford weighed in, arguing that the school’s lyrics transformed the Christmas message into a joyful experience that everyone can partake in.
“The service maintains the traditional Christian message of the joy of Christmas in a way that can be celebrated by everyone, including those of other faiths and none,” said the diocese.