‘Teachers avoid the true meaning of Christmas’

Pupils are not being taught the true meaning of Christmas because teachers fear “offending” different faiths, a BBC presenter has said.

Radio 4’s Roger Bolton criticised teachers who avoid the subject of Jesus’ birth, and argued that a lack of religious teaching could hamper children’s education in a number of ways.

Bolton quipped that the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ would be better named ‘Do They Know What Christmas Is?’

Fear of offence

In a ‘viewpoint’ piece for Radio Times, Bolton said: “In some schools in this country, little is taught about the true meaning of Christmas, possibly because secular staff are unsympathetic to religious education or because of the fear of offending those of other faiths.”

He argued: “Without a knowledge of Christianity, what will our schoolchildren make of our finest literature and drama, filled as it is with Christian imagery?”

Bolton said it is, “vital that children of other faiths learn about Christmas”.

Christian roots

“How can they begin to integrate into our country if they know little of the faith still at its heart?” he added.

He said that Britain’s roots are in Christianity and that all children should know what Christmas really means.

The presenter also highlighted a reluctance to tackle “faith issues” amongst broadcasters.

Faith issues

He said, “broadcasters aren’t doing much to remedy this ignorance. It is difficult to find any children’s programmes that regularly deal with faith issues.”

A survey published earlier this year by the Bible Society found that a quarter of children had “never read, seen or heard of Noah’s Ark”.

In December last year, a survey of over 2,000 Britons revealed a myriad of false assumptions surrounding Christmas, including Santa Claus’ presence in the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth.

According to the poll, 12 per cent of Londoners thought the Bible featured Father Christmas, while 60 per cent believed the same is true of Mary riding a donkey.

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