School bans God from "We Are The World" concert

Yet another fearful public school music teacher removes all references to the Almighty from the 1985 Michael Jackson-Lionel Richie-Quincy Jones fund-raiser anthem.

Another day, another song getting references to God cut from it. But not to worry – lest you think it’s only songs conservatives love that get butchered, this story shows that even liberal anthems about saving the world can get the ax if they suggest the presence of the almighty.

The scene is Virginia’s Broadus Wood Elementary School in Albemarle County. The song is the infamously saccharine “We Are the World.” And the teacher is one Jean Flaherty. The occasion is an upcoming 4th and 5th grade performance of said song, being organized by Ms. Flaherty. Only Flaherty wasn’t satisfied with the lyrical content of the already vapid, innocuous song, so she decided to do a little alteration.

You see, the original song contains two references to God. In these verses:

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[...]

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

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Ms. Flaherty took the liberty of changing these lyrics to something a little bit more secular:

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of one great big family
And the truth, you know, Love is all we need[...] 

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

The substitution has some parents upset, and Flaherty has offered an interesting defense:

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.”

Ironically, this is the same defense (that kids “don’t have to say it”) that atheists explicitly rejected and fought against when it was applied to the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Mytheos Holt, staff writer for The Blaze, a daily news, information and opinion site where you'll find thousands of articles about politics faith, technology, business and more
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