While watching the news this evening, I learned that the panel that is discerning “what to do” about the exclusive use of the Lord’s Prayer in the Ontario Legislative Assembly is seeking public input. Just because I could, I decided to offer my 2.08 cents (including provincial sales tax) on the matter. Here’s what I wrote:
This appears not to be an issue about pluralism or multiculturalism for the Premier, but a matter (as with so many others) of “Other provinces are…”. Perhaps you might respectfully ask the Premier, “If other provinces were going to jump off a cliff, would you want Ontario to do likewise?”
The simple reality is that if members knew what they were praying, they might be reluctant to pray it every day. That being said, it is important that we not water down to the lowest common denominator – that is, nothing – as a replacement for the Lord’s Prayer. Consult with people from every religious sect for prayers. Don’t just talk to “Muslims”, talk to Shiite and Sunni Muslims; don’t just talk to “Jews”, talk to Orthodox and Reform Jews; don’t just talk to “Christians”, talk to Mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical Christians, and all other sorts of faith groups.
If you want to be pluralistic, be pluralistic. But if you want to honour the heritage on which Ontario was built, and respect the faith that forms the foundation for what we deign to call “democracy”, do not neglect the Christian roots of everything that brought Ontario into being – and what continues to make Ontario open to multiculturalism.
Thank you. And may the God whom I worship – the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – fill you with wisdom by the power of the Holy Spirit as you consider this important matter.
I don’t like to think of Ontario being governed according to the tradition of lemmings. My prayer is that the panel considering the matter will do what needs to be done for Ontario’s best interests (not just for the sake of political correctness). The Lord’s Prayer as depicted in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 is a dangerous prayer, if we take it seriously. Personally, I’d be delighted if we all took it seriously – Your Humble Scribe included.
If you’d like to have your say, and you are a resident of Ontario, Canada, click on www.ontla.on.ca and follow the link labelled “Consultation on Prayer in the Legislative Assembly”.