the Lord’s prayer

15 02 2008

Comment sent to me:

Does anybody else wonder why we’re so screwed up? We seem to be moving away from our roots. First it’s the Lord’s prayer in school and now this. While I can appreciate diversity of our people we still live in Canada. So much for tolerance. Respect etc

“More than one-half of people living in the GTA, for example, were born outside the country, and one-third of (residents in) the province were born outside the country,” McGuinty told reporters on Wednesday.

“I think it’s time for us to assure that we have a prayer that better reflects our diversity.”

The premier wants an all-party committee to work with the speaker’s office to look for alternatives to the Christian prayer, which has opened daily proceedings at the legislature since 1969.

The committee will be seeking advice from citizens and faith communities, but it is expected the Lord’s Prayer will be replaced.

“I think we’re the second-last province in Canada which has not changed its basic prayer that was adopted over a hundred years ago,” said McGuinty, who denied the move is an attempt to counter some of the negative feelings stirred up by the debate over funding faith-based schools in last fall’s election.

Quebec’s National Assembly has only a daily moment of reflection, while Newfoundland and Labrador has no prayer in the House of Assembly. Alberta uses a set list of non-denominational prayers that are rotated, and British Columbia also rotates the prayers but allows individual members to select the daily reading.

A House of Commons committee agreed on the wording for a new, non-sectarian prayer in 1994, which was adopted in 2004…

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Paul Bliss and files from The Canadian Press

Ummmm….I guess I should’ve seen this one coming for a while… 

I was actually surprised to see on the news that they actually had the Lord’s prayer each day.  To me this grays the area of separation of church and state. With it being removed in schools and with us living in a increasingly non-Christian society, it surprises me that this was part of their daily routine.  If you get a group of non-believers that listen (or not) to a prayer that means nothing to them, what does that benefit anyone?  I DO have a problem with them replacing it with something else, however – I would rather have no prayer than having them pray to false gods.

While I believe it is important, I also believe that it is sacred and should be said with thought and with meaning.  If you don’t believe in Jesus (or God), then why would you want to have this recited every day?  If the speaker of the house is not a Christian and he recites this, does that mean that he is taking the Lord’s name in vain?  If so, he says it without any purpose, and that waters down the power and the importance of Christianity by doing so.

If, however, they do believe and want this as a part of their morning, then this is up to the people that are gathered there to protest this change.  I feel that it is more important for our leaders to have a personal relationship with Jesus than to have a corporate prayer time in the legislature. 

I don’t believe in public prayer if it is ultimately meaningless to those gathered there.  The Lord’s prayer is something that should only be said as a way of talking to God.  It was given to the disciples as a response when they asked Jesus to teach them to pray.  I agree with those who feel that Jesus was giving them a general guide, not necessarily a specific word-for-word prayer.  Otherwise we would only ever say that prayer.   

That’s how I feel.  What do you think?

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