Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Religious Freedom - #3819 - Worldly: Albemarle County Teacher Deletes "God" Lyric from "We Are the World" - Schilling Show Blog

Within weeks of a national scandal at Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham, Massachusetts—where an overzealous government school official removed “God” from Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”—a local teacher has performed her own secular exorcism on another popular song. For an upcoming 4th and 5th grade performance at Albemarle County’s Broadus Wood Elementary School in central Virginia, music teacher, Jean Flaherty, has altered a key line from the 1985 Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie composition, “We Are The World.” In an effort to avoid offending non-believers, Flaherty overtly removed lyrical reference to “God.”

The second half of the first verse, as composed by Jackson and Richie, reads:
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know,Love is all we need
[emphasis added]
Flaherty’s edited version changed the third line:
We are all a part of one great big family
[emphasis added]

Seeking to further shelter her students from Biblical assault, Flaherty made an additional exchange. In a semblant reference to Matthew 4:3, wherein the devil asks Jesus to prove his divinity by turning stone to bread (Jesus did not succumb), the original lyric for verse three, says:
Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
[emphasis added]
Unable or unwilling to subtly alter this (somewhat convoluted) Biblical reference, Ms. Flaherty substituted a god-less verse re-written for We Are The World 25 For Haiti:
Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
So their cries for help will not be in vain
We can’t let them suffer; no we cannot turn away
Right now, they need a helping hand
[emphasis added]  

While instructor Flaherty reportedly has told concerned, inquiring parents that their kids are allowed to sing “God” in the modified verse if they so choose, the official lyric sheet does not reflect such an option. And, due to social/peer pressures extant in modern-day government schools, few children are likely to deviate from the rehearsed and distributed lyric in order to vocalize “God” over the suggested “one.” Lost in the shuffle to shutter references to the Creator are the kids who actually believe that they are children of God, and for whom such blatant redaction, is itself, highly offensive. There are many god-free alternatives that Ms. Flaherty could have chosen to emphasize the commonality of man, but in selecting a song that was too “offensive” to sing publicly without substantive modification, Flaherty has proven herself utterly tone-deaf to the sensibilities and presentiments of America’s vocal religious remnant. Read more........

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