Move to include
The proposal to drop the Lord’s Prayer from Parliament is essential if we are to have a government that truly represents our secular democracy (”Move to scrap prayer”, 15/1). This explicitly Christian prayer excludes and alienates the not insignificant minority of 38.9 per cent of people in Australia who don’t identify as Christians. It implies a higher authority to which our elected representatives are ultimately responsible, instead of the only authority that they in fact should be responsible to, the people of Australia they were elected to represent.
Prayers in Parliament are inconsistent with the spirit and probably the letter of section 116 of the constitution, which prohibits ”imposing any religious observance”. Its use is potentially offensive to those of other faiths, and those of no faith.
The Lord’s Prayer should be replaced by an oath of loyalty to the Australian people and a statement of principle pledging to perform their duties with an open mind, and an informed ethical viewpoint that has the long-term wellbeing of all the people in this country at heart.
Peter Rowney, Lemon Tree Passage, NSW
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/drifting-outside-the-borders-on-morality-20140119-312pd.html#ixzz2qs9cglKF