Sure, why should Christian schools worry about the law ?

After all, they are serving a greater master than Australian state legislation, or the education minister Peter Garrett, right. So some Sri Lankan godbotherer wrote an alternative version of Australia’s national anthem some twenty years ago, in which she inserted her imaginary friend into the second verse and turned the anthem into some kind of Christian dominionist hymn, and it turns out that somehow this nonsense spread from the church where it was originally sung to neighboring state schools, with the result that apparently now thousands of children are being made to sing a false, illegal and unauthorised version of their national anthem in school :

In a move that outraged parents’ groups have labelled “disrespectful”, some 50 Christian schools of mixed denominations have replaced the second verse of Advance Australia Fair with the lyrics, which begin, “With Christ our head and cornerstone, we’ll build our nation’s might”, for school assembly renditions.

The contentious version was penned 23 years ago by Sri Lankan immigrant Ruth Ponniah, 75, who now lives in Sydney, as part of her local church’s bicentennial celebrations and is now sung in schools including the Penrith Christian School, St George Christian School, Westmead Christian Grammar School and Bethel Christian School in Mt Druitt.

Here’s the original :

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

And here the unauthorised dominionist version :

With Christ our head and cornerstone,
We’ll build our Nation’s might.
Whose way and truth and light alone
Can guide our path aright.
Our lives, a sacrifice of love
Reflect our Master’s care.
With faces turned to heaven above
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair!

According to the report, the education minister has told the schools off for using a modified national anthem in which this country is turned into some kind of god kingdom. I don’t know if that’s quite enough, to me this is brainwashing kids who don’t know better yet into believing that their country is run by an invisible man in the sky, it’s illegal under national law, and a mere admonition does hardly seem sufficient.
Ah those Christians, never miss a chance to sneak their imaginary friend in with our children. Get them while they’re young. I threw up a little in my mouth at this line of “defense” of the practice :

But Christian Schools Australia chief executive officer Stephen O’Doherty said: “Our schools sing it with gusto and I . . . find it inspiring to hear young voices singing those words. We encourage schools to sing this Christian response and to sing it loudly.”

Maybe someone needs to sue this jerk and his mob of jesus warriors.

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