Should Government Proceedings Begin with Prayers?

Isabeau

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After watching a Twitter clip Innula Zenovka posted of the US trial in the thread about it, and seeing a chaplain ask god to infuse the senators with whatever, I had to ask myself if we had anything similar in Canada.

And we do. 😳

It’s just usually behind doors (closed off).

I didn’t realize... wtf? I guess I’m shocked. Not that people pray, but that it’s done is such an official manner.

As for provinces, Quebec and Newfoundland don’t.

Anyway, I’m curious about the UK, Europe, Australia, NZ, etc. Are there prayers before parliamentary gatherings there? If so, how is it done? Do you think it’s fine? Am I simply being intolerant?

This from a few years back about here:
 

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I'd rather they start with some humanistic / re-affirmation of their oath.

"I pledge my work here today will serve The Constitution, this great nation, its laws and ALL its people to the best of my ability as I carry out the duties of my office with honor, dignity and wisdom."
 

Innula Zenovka

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After watching a Twitter clip Innula Zenovka posted of the US trial in the thread about it, and seeing a chaplain ask god to infuse the senators with whatever, I had to ask myself if we had anything similar in Canada.

And we do. 😳

It’s just usually behind doors (closed off).

I didn’t realize... wtf? I guess I’m shocked. Not that people pray, but that it’s done is such an official manner.

As for provinces, Quebec and Newfoundland don’t.

Anyway, I’m curious about the UK, Europe, Australia, NZ, etc. Are there prayers before parliamentary gatherings there? If so, how is it done? Do you think it’s fine? Am I simply being intolerant?

This from a few years back about here:
Blame us. It was all our idea

 
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Aribeth Zelin

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I feel if there must be prayer, it needs to be completely nondenominational - it seems an insult to anyone who isn't some flavour of protestant.

I understand it is a tradition, but combined with the fact that non christians don't even feel they can wear their religious headdress into the Senate is backward and unamerican

Also, can we please remove 'under god' from our pledge, its a relatively new edition, and also unamerican.
 

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We do have several parties that have a religious background but no prayers or religious symbols in parliament.

Until several decades ago there was some kind of prayer in the yearly opening of the new parliamentarian year in the then queens speech, but that tradition has been removed since somewhere in the eighties.

And we had "In God we trust" on our guilders (the NL currency before the Euro) but the Euro is Godless.

When someone is sworn in there is a free choice to reply with 'So help me God Almighty' or 'That I promise'.

We have freedom of religion over here, and that also means you have the freedom to have none.
And that's why we feel the government should not bother you with religious symbols or routines from a particular religion.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Most countries are secular, and citizens have freedom of religion. The government is an impotant part of the state.
=> Nope, proceedings should be entirely secular as well. What the members of the government are doing in the private time is another cup of tea, but in their job they should be acting strictly none religious.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule like Vatican or Iran. Both are states run by a religion, they are theocracies.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Most countries are secular, and citizens have freedom of religion. The government is an impotant part of the state.
=> Nope, proceedings should be entirely secular as well. What the members of the government are doing in the private time is another cup of tea, but in their job they should be acting strictly none religious.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule like Vatican or Iran. Both are states run by a religion, they are theocracies.
HM is, of course, the head of the established church in the UK -- Supreme Governor of the Church of England -- which is why our proceedings start with a prayer, too, but I don't think we're quite a theocracy yet (nor have we been one for the last however many hundred years it is since they started having them).

Seems to me quite normal -- I certainly find myself muttering "Oh, dear God!" quite frequently while listening to the debates.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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Personal expressions of faith, like religious garments, I think should be allowed. But not prayer.
 
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I would like to have every session of Congress open with a holograph of Washington, Franklin, Payne, and Jefferson listing all of the public ethical lapses and hypocrisies of the members since the last session. Outside of each hall I would like to have a permeant display scrolling the contributions over $100 to all members and their associated PACs with the legislation under consideration that effects their benefactors.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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I would like to see each session opened by an ethicist with a reminder of their oaths of office. Just that.
I agree - personal expression, things like religious normal everyday wear, however, is something else. I think that Orthodox Jewish men, or Muslim women, should not be forced to not show their faith, when Christian faith is forced on us all, even if tradition.
 

Veritable Quandry

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While people have mocked Trump's attorney for covering his head with his hand while drinking water, he did that because he was not allowed to wear a yarmulke in the Senate chambers and his religion requires him to cover his head while eating and drinking out of respect to God. I can mock the man for everything else he did in the trial, but that is actually the fault of religious discrimination by the Senate as a body.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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While people have mocked Trump's attorney for covering his head with his hand while drinking water, he did that because he was not allowed to wear a yarmulke in the Senate chambers and his religion requires him to cover his head while eating and drinking out of respect to God. I can mock the man for everything else he did in the trial, but that is actually the fault of religious discrimination by the Senate as a body.
Also, he's Orthodox, and one of the headpieces is held on by pins - if you aren't going bald - so that gesture was probably an instinctive gesture even when wearing it - because otherwise, it would fall off.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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Also, he's Orthodox, and one of the headpieces is held on by pins - if you aren't going bald - so that gesture was probably an instinctive gesture even when wearing it - because otherwise, it would fall off.
I can't claim credit for knowing this before this week, but it was explained by a friend with an orthodox dad. But either way, without his Kipa [sp?] he'd still be doing that, and with it, he'd be doing it too, because it'd slide off, because of where it is worn on the head.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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I would like to have every session of Congress open with a holograph of Washington, Franklin, Payne, and Jefferson listing all of the public ethical lapses and hypocrisies of the members since the last session. Outside of each hall I would like to have a permeant display scrolling the contributions over $100 to all members and their associated PACs with the legislation under consideration that effects their benefactors.
Maybe it should be opened with a prayer to the real god most Americans are worshipping: money.
 
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