Normally easter has 3 days: Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday. But this year, the fourth day, Monday, is ANZAC Day. School kids quickly recognise the connection – we need to remember & say thanks for the sacrifice made by Jesus and by the ANZACs. Both are about great courage under fire, tenacity, loyalty, mateship, and fighting for our freedom.
If we should remember & give thanks for the sacrifice, then how much more should we give thanks for the miracle of the resurrection – the sure sign that, in the end, life wins!
However, while public schools all take ANZAC Day very seriously, many dismiss Easter with nothing but chocolate bunnies and colored eggs!
I don’t mind the bunnies and eggs, but honestly I’m getting sick of the coy embarrassment with which they treat Jesus. I mean how would you feel if we treated the diggers that way:-
“Let’s fail to mention the real meaning of ANZAC Day, just have it as another public holiday, with beer, two-up and ANZAC biscuits, and don’t worry about retelling the story of what really happened. Let’s overlook all that just in case we offend someone from Turkey.” (Never mind that the Turks actually fully appreciate the heroism of the ANZACs). “So let’s all get fat and drunk, mindlessly enjoying the day off. We can pay respects privately – we don’t have to mention it in public.”
Would that be respectful to the ANZACs or those who love them? Then why do it to Jesus and those who love him? Sorry if I sound a bit angry, but I guess I am.
There is absolutely no reason the Christian story can’t be taught as part of General religious education, let alone Special RE. The failure to do so is not simply a matter of “sensitivity” to other cultures – it is a failure to see the importance of religious ed.
In our multi-cultural world, we need to take these opportunities to explain what different faiths believe, and to reconnect traditions to their roots. Then students can better appreciate the differences.
Don’t be so afraid! Teach kids, that they may remember, be respectful, and even thankful, for who and what has gone before.
My kids are having a hat parade as we speak. No staff have mentioned Jesus’ sacrifice or resurrection. Not even a recognition that Hat Parades came from Olden day parading to church with celebratory hats on. It’s only all the trappings of the Oester Hare and fertility symbols. Come on!!!
We have Special and General Religious Ed in the Schools Act for good reasons!