More Christian religious privilege in Ontario

White, middle-aged, Christian mayor tells Supreme Court of Canada that he's right and they're wrong. Privilege much? The Supre...

White, middle-aged, Christian mayor tells Supreme Court
of Canada that he's right and they're wrong.
Privilege much?
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled  that the Quebec town of Saguenay cannot open its meetings with a prayer.  Some people are thinking that this may be a precedent that will snowball into the removal of religious symbolism from government - which is in keeping with the principle of separation of Church and State.  Humanists are pleased, despite the fact that Canada does not enshrine (pun intended) that separation into law.  They ought to be pleased, because it is rational and sensible in this modern and enlightened day to separate Church and State; and to require that every rational and sensible thing be written into law is ridiculous.

But in Oshawa, Ontario, the white, middle-aged, Christian mayor - John Henry - has decided to be ridiculous.  He is insisting that “the Lord’s Prayer” shall continue to be used at the start of council meetings.

Of course, he tempers this draconian imposition of fairy tales by also saying that no one is forced to recite the prayer.  He says "We ask that people please join in the Lord's Prayer or take a moment of reflection.”  However, this is still entirely unacceptable.

First of all, to call it “the Lord’s Prayer” implies there is only one “Lord,” which implies that Christians are somehow above non-Christians.

Second, anyone opting to say out loud some other prayer will sound dissonant to the others. One could argue that anyone choosing a different prayer would be attempting to disrupt the unity of the recitation.  Not to mention, it’s really hard to do: trying singing any other song - even only in your head - besides the one that’s now on the radio. Damned near impossible. So those choosing a different prayer will be disadvantaged.

Third, if you wish to say your own prayer but choose not to say it out loud (because of reason 2 above), then you are being denied a right that the Christians have - to pray out loud.

Fourth, one shouldn’t pray in public anyways.  It’s in the frickin’ bible!  That people pray out loud in Church is irrelevant.  Churches are not (generally) part of the commons.  City council meetings and meeting rooms are part of the commons, and are therefore public space.

Fifth, what about people like me, who are repulsed by the mental subjugation and wonton abdication of personal responsibility embodied in prayers like “the Lord’s Prayer.”  “Hallowed be thy name… thy will be done on earth… give us this day our daily bread… deliver us from evil.”  This is not a matter of “offence.”  Whether or not one is offended is entirely irrelevant.  This is a moral objection, a matter of a complete violation of fundamental values against which there are many lucid, rational, and evidence-based arguments.

Sixth, there is a simple solution to the matter, one that allows for every option without violating any reasonable community values: a moment of meditative silence for everyone.  This is trivial to implement, yet addresses every fault with what John Henry and other members of his privileged religious class are pushing on society.  That Henry and his ilk cannot see the inclusivity and superiority of this approach tells me that they really are so narrow-minded that they just cannot be trusted with the public's well-being.

In summary, John Henry, mayor of Oshawa, is a total dick.



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The Trouble with Normal...: More Christian religious privilege in Ontario
More Christian religious privilege in Ontario
The Trouble with Normal...
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