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Message 1 - posted by newsinteractive, Jul 19, 2006

A church school in Devon has withdrawn John Lennon's Imagine from an end-of-term show after teachers ruled that its lyrics were anti religious.

See story here:

What do YOU think? Was the school right or wrong?
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Message 2 - posted by Kimpatsu, Jul 19, 2006

The school's decision is outrageous. The song is not "anti-religious", but it does reflect freethinking and rationality. Children need more such thinking in their lives, not less. This apartheid by the school against those of us who want an end to religious privilege is utterly disgusting. Let the children sing the song; and remember, there really isn't an afterlife, either.
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Message 3 - posted by ericoni, Jul 19, 2006

The sooner that this country recognises religion for what it is - an outdated way of 'clutching at straws' when faced with the inevitability of life, death and everything in between - the better. I find it amazing that in a modern society people still claim to believe in the afterlife, a higher presence and the fiery gates of hell. Ludicrous.
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Message 4 - posted by Bazza, Jul 19, 2006

The teachers in this school 'may" have been trained as "teachers". However until they have met Jesus Christ and spoken to him personally, they are in no position to dictate what is christian and what is unchristian.

The concerning part of this issue, is that adults are imposing their beliefs, on vunerable young people.
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Message 5 - posted by U1840233, Jul 19, 2006

I think it's sad that church schools are so sensitive to any form of questioning that an iconic song like Imagine is not allowed to be sung.

The song itself poses a number of very pertinent and valuable questions about what paradise would be like.

This kind of petty censorship is perhaps a sign that the church school is putting the church's needs before the needs of the pupils.

without being melodramatic, it's Imagine by John Lennon one week, and it's Santa Claus and other pagan offenders next week.

I sincerely hope that church schools do not end up creating ghettos of faith within their walls which end up only promoting division and exclusion in the name of the love of God.
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Message 6 - posted by trickyx, Jul 19, 2006

Surely even a weak belief system could cope with the concept of imagining a world where it doesn't exist? Doubt is an essential part of Faith isn't?

It shows the school are not capable of delivering a rounded education.
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Message 7 - posted by gillibrand, Jul 19, 2006

There could not be a crueler song than to declare that there is no heaven. If so we are all leading lives without any ultimate purpose, clutching at straws of meaning we find along the way.
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Message 8 - posted by geordiebroon, Jul 19, 2006

Surely music is a 'religion' or 'tradition' as it is praising whatever belief you have by producing music for entertainment.To ban this song is narrow-minded as it is trying to deny a possibility and thus curtailling freedom of choice?
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Message 9 - posted by Scott, Jul 19, 2006

The ironic thing is, that it is this very behaviour that the wonderful Mr Lennon was highlighting in his brilliant lyrics. Imagine thereís no heaven or religion, people living life in peace. He wasnít saying donít believe in a god or a higher power. He was correctly pointing out that itís man at fault for using religion as a weapon against others. If this school, or any religious organisation were really true to their ideology then they would be explaining to children exactly what the words really mean and how much more a wonderful place the world really were ďto be as oneĒ.
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Message 10 - posted by Bazza, Jul 19, 2006

To deny that their is alternative thinking and belief in life, indicates that this is not a school.

It would appear to be a place of dictate.

That is not education, it is control.
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Message 11 - posted by 98selitb, Jul 19, 2006

The teacher on the news report said, "The song expresses longing for a different world and for eternal happiness but it says you can have this without religion."

I think it's easily possible for there to be a far more peaceful and happier world without religion - look at Israel/Palestine; India/Pakistan; Northern Ireland; terrorism in New York, Madrid, London and Bombay - these present and past conflicts have all been largely because of 'peaceful' religions.

I agree with the earlier poster who said that it's very questionable how our knowledgeable, scientific and logical 21st century society can still believe in bizarre supernatural occurances and the concept life after our bodies die, rot and disintegrate.
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Message 12 - posted by housewife, Jul 19, 2006

I'm glad my child doesn't go to such a closed-minded school!

This raises the broader question of whether so-called "faith" schools are appropriate in the 21st century. Many of them have started trashing science and now this one is banning music. Are they actually teaching the children anything other than prejudice? Our local "faith" school is turning out children with the attitude "I'm better than you, I'm a Catholic", as one of them said in my home! This school in Exeter is evidently going the same way.

Imagine is a cheerful little ditty with a positive message and entirely suitable for primary-age children, if it is maybe a little banal! Better to let the children sing it and decide for themselves what John Lennon was getting at and if they agree. Or are the god-botherers frightened of children who think for themselves?
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Message 13 - posted by rick30, Jul 19, 2006

without sounding like one of those abysmal 'Sun' columnists, you couldnt make this up!
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Message 14 - posted by Rockahula, Jul 19, 2006

Well done to the god-botherers in this school for saving a generation of children from this dreadful, hypocritical dirge Ė John Lennon sang about how wonderful life would be without possessions or money while a specially refrigrated room kept all of his and Yoko's fur coats in mint condition.

And THEN he tried to promote the idea of Christmas without any beer!! Weirdoe.
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Message 15 - posted by Friar Balsam, Jul 19, 2006

Such a shame to see innocent kids being polluted by the fears and prejudices of adults. Those teachers should be ashamed of themselves. The sooner 'there is no religion' the better.
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Message 16 - posted by guzzilemon, Jul 19, 2006

This is hypocritical censorship of the worst kind. Can you imagine how these people would react if it were an atheist school which banned all references to Christianity? They can't ban discussion of other religions, it would contravene the National Curriculum and the law, but they think they can suppress atheist thought.
What does this teach young people?
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Message 17 - posted by Yodell, Jul 19, 2006

The great John Winston Ono Lennon would be wetting his kecks with laughter at this. He was only saying that greed, religion etc a what brings on war and his idea that if all the world leaders stayed in bed instead of presiding over a nuclear button then the world would be a safer place is just an ideology but it is correct no matter how daft it may sound.

Ironically he likened himself and yoko to being the worlds current Laurel and Hardy and said he didn't mind that as all the serious minded people like Martin Luther King and Kennedy got shot........10 years later and........
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Message 18 - posted by StrangeNoise, Jul 19, 2006

This is precisely the problem. These people *do* actually believe they know Jesus Christ personally.

You know, most people grow out of their imaginary friends.
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Message 19 - posted by U3702965, Jul 19, 2006

I think this school was wrong to ban John Lennonís Imagine,
Just imagine there was no Heaven?
That would mean there would be nothing to aim for,
Throw caution to the wind attitude no fear of the Hereafter,
There would have been no need for Jesus to show us the way,
Many are going their own way to their own peril.

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Message 20 - posted by David, Jul 19, 2006

Lets see; a religious school doesn't want a song played that suggests the world would be a better place without religion?

surely not !

Regardless of your personal beliefs (I'm not religious at all), if parents want their children brought up in their legal belief system (as has happened for the last xxx thousands of years, and happens now, across the world) who has the right to decide that they can't ?

You ? The governement ? The Sun ?
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- Devon
- schools
- John Lennon

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