Removing ‘Lord Jesus’ from the nativity

17 December 2019

A Christian mother is speaking out against the neutralising of the Christian faith in the name of ‘inclusivity’ at her children’s school, after the headteacher announced that the world ‘Lord’ would be removed from this year’s nativity.

Margarita was told by her children that the headteacher of Whitehall Primary School in Chingford, East London, had announced in assembly that the lyrics to ‘Away in a Manger’ would be changed for their nativity play taking place at a local church on 17 December. Instead of singing ‘the little Lord Jesus’, the children would be singing ‘the little baby Jesus’, said headteacher Miss Zakia Khatun.

Changing lyrics

A nativity ‘celebration’ for infants at the school, which parents could not attend, had already taken place with the original lyrics from the famous Christmas carol omitted.

Margarita commented on her children’s reaction: “I picked my children up 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.’ I was so shocked. As a family we go to church, pray together and celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus as the Son of God.”

Miss Khatun had announced in assembly that the rationale behind the change was so that “all pupils can participate in the celebration.” However, reportedly, other parents and staff at the school are also unhappy with the decision.

After a meeting at the school, Miss Khatun reinforced the decision to change the original lyrics despite Margarita’s objections that parents had not been properly informed. Margarita added that the decision had failed to solve the issue of ‘inclusion’ and would instead lead to the majority of Christian children from being excluded.

In response to the news, the Diocese of Chelmsford said: “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.”

“My children have been discriminated against”

Margarita commented: “I am not alone; teachers and other parents are not happy about this. I believe my children have been discriminated against and they have been denied the freedom to fully express their faith.

“I am taking this stand as Christian belief and tradition, which mean so much to so many people of all generations, is being sacrificed and silenced in the name of inclusion and political correctness.”

Central truth of the Christian faith

Commenting on why the removal of the word ‘Lord’ is so significant for Christians, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said: “We need to respect the original form of the carol and the intention with which it was written. The words ‘the little 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 is being held points to this central truth of the Christian faith.

“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.”

Millions of Christians recognise Jesus as Lord

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern said: “School nativities are special and provide unique memories for parents and children each year. It is special because the Christmas story, and carols such as ‘Away in a Manger’, give a message of timeless beauty and hope.

“Jesus, the baby born in a manger, who millions of Christians throughout history recognise as their Lord, born into a messy world to bring light and salvation.

“Removing the Lordship of Christ guts the Christian message of its truth, around which the whole of Western civilisation once based its culture.

“Let’s put the Lord Jesus Christ back into Christmas.”

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