I'm advising all my #humanist and #atheist friends not to celebrate Christmas given that this is the festival where believers celebrate the birth of Christ, who we believe was God incarnate in human form. ChristMass=Mass for Christ. Yes, that's the critical mass. Yes, hard to fathom, but fully God and fully man. I shall stop short of explaining the theology of the incarnation lest I either baffle you, cause you to scoff or participate in your salvation - though I haven't time to disciple you. Instead I suggest humanists and atheists erect an altar to themselves. Having ruled out God worship, they are left only with themselves or other humans to look to for moral guidance. As they Trotsky down the path of Totalitarian no return, they might stop to garland their images with flowers. Alternatively, they could tune into Catching Up with the Kardashians (none of them look like themselves, and for good reason btw) or watch The Real Wives of Wherever.
Okay I jest, but you get my gist right? I was, for the first time in yonks, reading the Sunday papers last week. In the Times magazine, I was amused to read the #humanist Alice Roberts trying to make excuses for sending her son to a C of E school. I was even more amused to read of the letter her believing mother sent in to the Times decrying her unbelieving daughter's "antagonistic" actions in leading a campaign to end state funding for faith schools. Oh the irony! And Alice is a science person too. None of her actions add up. One wonders if she can. Her offspring will be able to however. C of E schools are some of the best of the bunch and are usually frequented by just Alice's sort of interfering and highly hypocritical liberals, usually the sort who are saving money on private primary education so that they can tutor their (usually spoilt and obnoxious) offspring into the clutch of private schools in London. The ones that are afraid their kids are too dim to make it via tutoring, put them into private education early.
And now for my own (small...) hypocrisy confession: I speak from experience - my son went to a C of E state primary. I was not able to get him into a single state school in my area, for secondary school and so panicked and put him in for 2 private exams for which he was not tutored at the last minute, and for which he did not stand a chance. To this day I regret being such a weakling, (yes, and arguably, albeit momentarily, a hypocrite!) and not waiting for a place to become available and teaching him in the meantime. I can hear his words now: "I grew up on an estate Mum. I'm not going to a private school. I'd hate it." Days later, he was offered a place at a new Christian Academy miles away, which we accepted even as I kicked myself for wasting my money on the 2 exams - it's a bloody racket, I tell you - just not tennis; but the pressure on parents is immense. He's a very bright boy and a brilliant artist (obviously!) who was called for interview at UCL and Goldsmiths, but chose Chelsea; he dropped out after a year and I supported his reasons for doing so. He is preparing for his 4th exhibition; composing and producing music, whilst working 2 jobs and making appearances in The Crown. Who says you need uni, or mainstream school for that matter? But I digress.
Labour's Diane Abbott sent her son to City of London School. I think her excuse was to keep him away from gangs. Drugs are rife in London private schools - supplied by gangs that use children as 'runners.' There is no escaping some stuff. I am resisting conveying some spine tingling and ultra-hypocritical gossip about someone senior there...ooh...it will be in a book one day, though names of course, will be changed. There is you see, so much hypocrisy surrounding schools in London, you see. This is not entirely the fault of parents, horrid as so many of them are. I know a good number who would diss the whole faith system, but, when their kids were unlikely to get into any of the top schools, there they would be, eating communion off a plate to get into the only decent girls non-fee paying school in central London. There is a scrum for schools you see, a rugger scrum - only the middle classes get the places - which is selectively humanist don't you think? Something needs to be done and banning faith schools isn't going to help. C of E schools help the non-middle classes get ahead as well as the middle classes. Don't ban faith schools. Fix the system that makes hypocrites of us all - or give 'them' a mother of a thrashing - metaphorically speaking, of course.