Hallelujah Banned in Meadowhall Centre

See it. It has received millions of hits on YouTube. 26 Million hits as I write this.

Shoppers in a Canada shopping mall were surprised by a flashmob performance of the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah.

A church leader tried to organise one in the Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield and asked permission to do so.

He got a reply which stated: “Meadowhall Shopping Centre is open to the general public and therefore must remain impartial towards any one religion or political leaning. The Centre would therefore be unable to give permission for a flash mob choir – similar to the one in Ontario, Canada – to perform.”

Presumably they will not have any carols broadcast either, or any Christmas songs. In fact, surely they should not allow any shopping promotion that has anything to do with Christmas, as Christmas is religious and Christian. Perhaps they did not know that.

I have just emailed the Meadowhall Shopping Centre at careline@meadowhall.co.uk with the following. I will look forward to their reply.

Dear Sir/Madam

I write this as a gesture of support over your recent decision to refuse permission for a flashmob performance of Handel’s Messiah in the Meadowhall Centre.

I think your logic is clear when you take your stance that the Meadowhall Shopping Centre is open to the general public and therefore must remain impartial towards any one religion or political leaning.

However I must bring to your attention some very disturbing things concerning your shopping centre over the past weeks and still continuing.

I am sure you would want to be informed of these inappropriate displays of religious bias.

I am sure you will be as disturbed as I when I tell you that in many of your shops there have been marketing displays that have mention the name of a Christian religious festival. It gets worse. There have been tunes and songs broadcast in your centre that have been themed around, dare I write the word, CHRISTMAS!

If the above were not horrifying enough, some of the traders in your centre seem completely ignorant of your policy and are offering promotions that imply they are something to do with the aforementioned religious festival.

And there is more! There are shops in your centre that have been selling printed material that shoppers are invited to buy and then send to their friends. These cards could not be interpreted as anything other than those pieces of Christian propaganda, Christmas cards, which is clearly in violation of everything over which you have taken your courageous stand.

Can you please assure me that next Christmas time, and in the weeks that lead up to it, you will take every step possible to ensure that there is no mention of the word Christmas on any display in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, that no music or songs that have any association with that religious festival will be heard in your centre, that no trader will be allowed any promotion or marketing strategy that acknowledges that religious festival? In short, can you assure me that this existing religious bias will be completely wiped out from the Meadowhall Shopping Centre?

I look forward to your reply and your full assurances.

Merry Christmas

Well someone has to tell them. If you check their website today, on the home page, it says, “Meadowhall, a world of difference this Christmas.” Perhaps I should have alerted them to that religious content too.

3 thoughts on “Hallelujah Banned in Meadowhall Centre

  1. That would be because the Christmas you’re on about is the specific Christian one, and the Christmas that Meadowhall (and many others besides) is the generic one.

    They’re not the same.

    As a non-Christian I can happily celebrate the generic and ignore the specific. I have the tree and the decorations, I send the cards, I exchange the presents and I have the meal, I don’t require the guilt or that Jesus bloke so I leave those out.

  2. There are many people who take part in Christmas celebrations without following Jesus. But it is still Christmas they are joining in with, even as unbelievers.

    ‘Specific’ Christmas and ‘generic’ Christmas? There is no such things. If Meadowhall want to avoid Christmas they should do so honestly and have their festival of shopping at a different time of the year. They cannot market Christmas (named after the Christ) pretending it does not have its roots in Christianity.

  3. Graham wrote:
    “‘Specific’ Christmas and ‘generic’ Christmas? There is no such things.”

    Christmas may be named after Christ but it’s taking place at an arbitrary time of year, overlaying pre-existing and any subsequent non-Christian celebrations. If non-believers call it anything else they’re criticised so the obvious solution is to leave the name as it is and celebrate the season in their own non-Christian fashion.

    It’s what we do and well done to Meadowhall.

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