Good Reason

It's okay to be wrong. It's not okay to stay wrong.

Advance Australia what?

I’ve read that Christians in Roman times were mistrusted for having allegiance to a king other than Caesar. And now it seems that modern Christians are doing little to dispel such suspicion.

Some private Christian schools are singing an alternative version of the national anthem which promotes religious values and talks of Christ.

Instead of the official second verse of Advance Australia Fair, which starts “Beneath our radiant Southern Cross”, the alternative verse says “With Christ our head and cornerstone, we’ll build our nation’s might”.

The version of the anthem is sung every fortnight at Thornlie Christian College and Christian Schools Australia WA executive officer Ray Dallin confirmed that it was regularly sung at other school assemblies and churches.

Original verses from 1879 in the National Library of Australia music collection do not include the Christian verse.

A spokeswoman from the office of Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that under national protocols, the anthem should not be modified and alternative words should not be used. The two authorised verses were proclaimed in 1984.

This story has been front-page news in Perth, but I’m actually having trouble getting worked up over it. For one thing, I’ve never been big on national fervour, anthems, or the like, so I don’t feel personally affronted that someone has altered it. It’s more annoying than sacrilegious. For another, this is happening in private religious schools, which is bad, but at least I’m not paying (as much) for it.

About the worst thing is that, just like in America, Christians are trying to re-write history, claiming that the original version was intended to be more Jesus-y. This kind of revisionism is SOP for that mob.

h/t to Calico in comments

5 Comments

  1. As long as they don't change the first bit…

    "Oztrayans all ave oztridges,…", I'm okay with it.

    I mean, they're probably teaching them a whole bunch of stuff that isn't right, so why stop at the anthem?

  2. Actually, you are paying for what happens in private religious schools. See, for example, Deloitte's June 2011 report Assessing existing
    funding models for
    schooling in Australia
    at p 16.

    The Commonwealth Government is the primary public funder of nongovernment schools (relative to the funding responsibility of state and territory governments) … As such, the Commonwealth could be described as the primary public funder of non-government schools and supplementary public funder for government schools.

    All schools* get the majority of their funding from a combination of the State and Federal governments. The State governments don't give much funding to nongovernment schools, so the Federal government makes up part of the shortfall for private and (especially) Catholic schools. The figures are proportions of the school budget, so the chart would look different if you were looking at the proportion of the Government's budget (the same percentage means a greater dollar figure for wealthy schools).

    * Except independent schools in Victoria, which only get about 43% of their budget from the government.

  3. Thank you, tellurium. Now I am pissed off again.

    In any case, my beef is still not that Christian schools are changing the words of the anthem, but that they exist.

    I will be poring over that document.

  4. I don't particularly like our national anthem, but I do take offence at people who make up their own verse and teach it to kids as though that's the real version. Just imagine how embarrassed those kids will be next time they have to sing the anthem for the Queen (sure, why not) and realise everyone else knows different words. Also, I'm sick of Christians rewriting Australian history to make it more Christian.

    It's just like when someone claims that "Australia is a Christian nation founded on Christian values." No it bloody well isn't! It was colonised first by the Aborigines and their culture/religion, then (some 40,000 years later) some British slaves were dumped here (most of whom I believe were Atheists).

  5. This story annoys me because the students are being told that their christian verse is actually the "true" second verse, and it is "atheists" who demanded it get changed to a more secular one.

    It's no wonder these children children grow up thinking, and telling everyone else, "This is a CHRISTIAN nation"

    Also, yes, they teach a lot of stuff that is false in RE, but unprovably so, which is why it stays. This matter of the "real" second verse of the anthem is easily proved as false, and in an institution of education, it just shouldn't be allowed to teach it as true.

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