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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Chapel replaces hymnals with “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”

In a decisive move towards a more religiously inclusive environment, the Chaplain’s Office has announced that the hymn books in the pews of Skinner Memorial Chapel will be replaced with copies of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” The decision comes amid requests by students to replace the Christian hymnals with something that is representative of more faiths, is more colorful and contains more rhymes.

“‘What a lot of fish there are! Some are red and some are blue, some are old and some are new, some are sad and some are glad, and some are very, very bad. Why are they sad and bad and glad? I do not know, go ask your dad.’ These words perfectly exemplify the kind of environment that we want to foster here in the chapel,” said Chapp Lin, a chapel employee. “We want to let Carls know that the things that make them different are to be celebrated at Carleton, as well as to remind them to ask their fathers about the emotional state of their local fish populations.”

Many students on campus have voiced their support for the new books, citing the benefits to the religious and spiritual community on campus. See Aye, an associate of Chapp Lin, commented, “I think this is a really important step towards dismantling the less visible forces of exclusion that we often find in religious spaces that are meant to be ‘neutral.’ With the new books, students of all faiths can contemplate Dr. Seuss’s insightful commentary about the colors, emotions, skills and physical attributes of not only fish, but other living beings as well.”

The chapel’s decision is not without pushback, as some are wary of the turn away from distinctly religious texts to a more nonsectarian and secular option. “Woke liberal academia strikes again by replacing religion with the words of a doctor,” one student remarked. “When will it end? What’s next? Are we going to make religion majors read ‘academic literature’? If it were up to me, we would have a much more wholesome and values-driven book, like “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day”, which shows children the kind of days that are in store for them if they get left behind after the Rapture.” 

The new literature will be added to the chapel by the start of Winter Term. A small number of the old hymnals will be set aside for future Christian services, and the rest will be left out in the Arb, as the Arb Goblin has recently been ordained as a Congregationalist minister and plans to start its own church over winter break. 

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Isaac Kofsky, Viewpoint Editor
Hi there! I’m Isaac (he/him) and I’m a first-year prospective religion or geology major. I’ve been described as “the chapel’s press liaison” and I love eating dinner at 4:45pm, reading non-fiction, wearing sweaters, and drinking two cups of black coffee at every meal. When I’m not in Carletonian pitch meetings or in religion class, you can normally find me doing homework in the chapel or drinking tea in the religion lounge.   Isaac Kofsky '27 was previously a Beat Writer.  

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