Our Father who aren’t in council, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will won’t be done…if McGuinty has his way. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer has opened meetings since Ontario’s inception. Now Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, is taking steps to remove this time-honoured tradition, or perhaps even change the prayer itself.
It has been argued that reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of Legislature and council meetings, demonstrates disrespect for the choices of their members or visitors to those meetings. Multicultural Ontario has a broader diversity than just “Protestants and Catholics today”, McGuinty has said.
What about the other side of that coin? What about those who DO chose to worship a Christian God? Is removing the Lord’s Prayer, or replacing it with a non-denominational one, not violating their rights and freedoms?
Christians are regularly asked to accept the removal of their Christian practices from educational institutions or now-under the guise of separating church and state-the beginning of Legislature and council meetings. When will it end? How much more are Christians expected to give?
Today’s society is suffering from a lack of moral fibre and integrity that once would have been instilled through religious practices, a fact that is both sad and frightening for faithful believers said Pastor Shawn Craven, Cole Lake Free Methodist Church.
“Why look for a problem which will pit group against group in our province?” asks Frank Dimant, executive director of B’nai Brith, a Jewish advocacy and community volunteer service organization.
McGuinty has established an all-party committee to begin consultation on the issue. Should the prayer be removed completely, or should an additional prayer be added that would cater to other denominational beliefs and groups?
Conservative Garfield Dunlop, MPP, and a member of the committee said, “Our whole British parliamentary system was based on Christianity. That goes right back to the Magna Carta. The first parliamentary sessions held in Great Britain were held in churches . . . Removing one thing is just like chipping away at a foundation.”
Cheri DiNovo, a United Church Minister representing the NDP on the committee, said that instead of focusing time and energy on the Lord’s Prayer issue, Ontario should start focusing instead on the “[o]ne in eight kids living in poverty.”
Keep religiouis tradition alive in Legislature
There is just no need for this change at this time. You don’t fix something if it’s not broken. In this case, one is left wondering why the McGuinty government is stirring this particular pot at this time, when there are so many current issues that are more important.