April 15, 2015

Question of the Day: Should prayer be allowed at city council meetings?

Emily PrattRebel Correspondent

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against reciting a prayer in a Quebec city council.

We hit the streets to see if you think elected officials should be allowed to openly pray at city hall.

What do you think of the Supreme Court's decision?

Tell us in the comments!

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commented 2015-04-16 15:29:38 -0400
Why are we allowing Muslims to have separate rooms in OUR Public Schools (that Canadian taxpayers pay for) so they can have their prayer times?? Double standard again!
commented 2015-04-16 08:35:46 -0400
Amazing society we now have: God is relegated to the bedroom and Sex parades through downtown streets and appears daily in elementary classrooms! Such a brave new world!
commented 2015-04-16 08:06:44 -0400
I’v said it before and will repeat it.

The higher courts, in cases where their word will legislate from the bench have already made their decision even before they read a word of the actual substance of the case because they know what they want the law to be. Then it becomes the labor of reading the case & hearing the testimonies in order to invent reasons for deciding the way they did. Then they announce their decree to the peasants.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Canadian courts are as power mad and corrupt as they come.
commented 2015-04-16 07:53:03 -0400
Prayer is a form of freedom of expression. There is no reason city hall should be exempt from that freedom. Christians are not demanding that everyone pray nor are they demanding imposing things like separate prayer rooms or place to put prayer mats. To deny someone a few seconds to silently pray while you carry on your business is bullshit. You are forcing your anti-theist beliefs onto others at that point.

My advice to the city council is the same as anonymous’ advice a few postings ago, have a moment of silence, you can even make it obvious that you ARE praying if you like and stick it to the SCOC.

The SCOCs decisions are completely predictable. These overly comfortable ivory tower, trendy elitists have a real weed up their asses against Christians (as do most lawyers). The best way to fight them (until we get term limits) is as Ezra has said about the HRC, simply not obey.
commented 2015-04-16 07:09:12 -0400
Freedom is dependent on the limits of authority any person or body has. As civilization has progressed there has been an increasing separation of powers. First between religious and secular spheres of influence and increasingly between legislative, judicial and executive powers. Combining any of these two powers has been shown to create concentrations of authority that corrupt. One of the advantages Christianity has over most other beliefs systems is its awareness of the corrupting influence of combining religious and secular authority. Jesus must have valued this separation when he said “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God, that which is God’s.”
The Freedom Party also makes a good point when they insist government separate religion from government institutions. It is a recognition the government’s authority comes from the electorate. A direct and appropriate gesture of respect to the citizens, many who are non-believers. Elected officials should not be allowed to openly pray at city hall. City hall is not the house of God. It is the house of our legislature. For a Christian to do so is doubly unacceptable since it is in conflict with a separation of powers Jesus valued.
commented 2015-04-16 04:17:29 -0400
Religion is between a man and his God. Politics deals with the interrelationships of man. The moment you mix these two, you are heading for trouble as conflicting beliefs clash. There is a time and place for everything so why push the boundaries?
commented 2015-04-16 00:43:45 -0400
I think I agree with you Greg. In my opinion church and state should be separate, as the French brought into law centuries ago at the time of the Revolution. I say that as a Christian and as one who has absolutely no problem with prayers being said at public meetings, but I respect that people might prefer to pray in private and I respect the fact that we should not mix God with finance (think of the ridiculous claim on the American money “In God We Trust”. I don’t THINK so). As an aside, the Saguenay man who set this case in motion in Canada claims he is an atheist. Atheists are nothing more or less than arrogant and simplistic narcissists because who else, in his or her right mind, can say anything ABSOLUTE about ANYTHING? O.k., the delusional will (I expect a deluge of righteous deniers commenting on this point.).
Back to the issue. As I believe you are saying Greg, if this “freedom of religion means I have the right of NO religion (per the radio reports of the Supreme Court decision),” then the Muslim taxi drivers have to be disallowed from setting out their prayer mats in airport waiting lines (and elsewhere); permission must not be granted for prayer meetings in public facilities, such as schools, particularly to groups who insist on having gender-restricted praying sections; Muslim women have to be disallowed from walking around in public under cover of their tents (niqabs), and every sign of religiosity must be hidden, including Christian symbols — which might be difficult because of how popular the cross has become in current fashion.
commented 2015-04-16 00:29:58 -0400
Of course not. Prayer of any fashion is as irrational as every religion.
commented 2015-04-15 23:08:17 -0400
If Christian’s can’t pray in public then muslims can’t pray in public schools, universities, or any public places as well as their wearing of religious garments should be banned!
commented 2015-04-15 23:06:00 -0400
@audra, Until you can differentiate between nun and non I cannot worship you. Joking joking. @ Darren Hunter I agree with part of what you said Jesus did make a point of stressing not making a show of prayer however he did not forbid a heart felt need to communicate with God. I do agree many atheists wouldn’t be offended. I don’t agree wit your definition of oppression. I hear thing s contrary to what I like or believe every day and I simply choose to disagree or debate it but I find it laughable to think my self oppressed. I would have no issue with people of different faiths expressing their faith as far I believe that is freedom of religion and free speech. As I suggested earlier, as long as it didn’t become a huge time demanding ceremony or animal sacrifice (joke). What is really going on is the state trying to silence any viewpoint that disagrees with their viewpoint.
commented 2015-04-15 22:13:43 -0400
There must be some sort of platitude many councilors could support at the start of meetings like
“Give us your protection, SCOC, that we may prosper and keep our life partners in paid for new Mercs, plus mistresses in leased late model BMWs.”
commented 2015-04-15 21:35:01 -0400
I am absolutely flabbergasted that the Supreme Court feels it has any place controlling religious expression! This is actually one of the very bad side effects of having a Charter of Rights: liberal-fascist social engineering!
commented 2015-04-15 21:15:21 -0400
The pompous, Christian hating fat asses on the SCOC can piss off. Here’s an idea for councillors with faith. Stop and pray anyway on your own. Close your eyes, bow your head, and refuse to interact with the rest of the council until you are finished.
If a bunch of pooooor little oppressed blubbering atheists don’t like it then they can piss off too. As far as group prayer? Why not? If a number of people at the meeting want to pray, they should. It’s called freedom of speech.

Or maybe the SCOC has a problem with THAT now too? Oh wait. We already know how much disdain elitist harpies like Rosalie Abella and biased Bev McLachlin have with THAT particular right.
commented 2015-04-15 19:58:05 -0400
This is outrageous! The SCOC can go to hell. I would encourage the Quebec City Council to continue to have prayers. If someone is ‘offended’ I’d encourage that person to stand in the hallway or shove popcorn in his/her ears. This is completely stupid. GIVE ME BACK MY CANADA!
commented 2015-04-15 19:57:30 -0400
Free, it doesn’t matter if God exists. It’s your right to believe or not. Like is in the Middle East. Keep it in your homes and don’t impose it on anyone. I think you’re living in the wrong country
commented 2015-04-15 19:20:32 -0400
As we take a moment of silence ….use it as it pleases…pray, mediate, think, just respect the moment of silence…there stick it supremo court…
commented 2015-04-15 19:05:38 -0400
Audra, let me watch you create a Universe. (By the way, I think you meant “none issue”, not “nun issue”. All the nuns I’ve ever met seemed to be big on intercessory prayer)
commented 2015-04-15 18:40:13 -0400
If we all would understand that God is not that guy wandering around up there in the pink nightie, and instead know that we are all God(s), the need for intercessory prayer would be a nun issue.
commented 2015-04-15 18:15:45 -0400
So an atheist’s “right” trumps a “Christian’s” “right”? Aren’t they [supposed to be] equal? What about my right to not have evolution crammed down my throat? Or my right to have a quality education (sorry, Ontario)? All we have now are people demanding their “rights”… and abrogating the corresponding responsibilities. “It’s my right to…” Well, maybe. But are you giving other people their equal “right”? Often, no. And the assault on the Caucasian, Anglo-Saxon, Judeo-Christian male continues… (face it, women — you have more legal “rights” and recourses than we do, care of the Feminazis). One more reason to distrust the “Justice” system.
commented 2015-04-15 18:13:18 -0400
FreeThinker, there is no such thing as freedom FROM religion, you nincompoop! All “Religion” is, is a belief that something is objectively true without empirical, laboratory-testable data to back it up. Something you do every time you read history, or believe tales a friend’s experiences while on vacation. On the other hand, if you want to define religion as an unreasonable obsession, then your obsession with Atheism and everyone else’s belief in “fairy tales” is definitely a Religion! (I don’t agree with that definition, mind you. But if that’s you definition, then you are very Religious. Mommy and Daddy must be very proud.)
commented 2015-04-15 18:11:57 -0400
I’ll start by saying that I am an atheist. A mayor opening a city council meeting with a prayer wouldn’t bother me because it doesn’t cause an imposition on me. I’m not petty and I think this is a petty issue.

However if the mayor demanded that all members of council or that any in attendance also pray I might take issue. However if one was to accept that a Catholic mayor may open his council with a prayer then all religious denominations must be allowed to do the same.

If you are a Christian and you believe that your mayor should be allowed to do this, then if you believe in equal rights under the law you must also concede that if a mayor of another religion, let’s say a Muslim were elected that you would be fine with them opening in prayer as well.

I don’t think that the supreme courts decision takes away from your freedom of religion because we have to remember that a bill of rights or charter of freedoms in this case exists to protect individuals from state oppression.

The mayor is welcome to lead his house in prayer at the dinner table. To lead his wife in prayer in the morning when they get out of bed etc.

From my understanding Jesus didn’t like people who embellished prayer in public because it was to gain notoriety at the expense of God. So I don’t see why you would want to any ways.

The entire issue is petty.
commented 2015-04-15 17:57:41 -0400
No one is required to pray at the same tie I cannot see how they can stop anyone. There is still such a thing as free speech even if you don’t believe in freedom of religion. As long as this speech doesn’t become lengthy or involve elaborate or dangerous practices. Why would anyone else care if I spoke to a friend real or imaginary if it isn’t harming you? would they call the police and waste their time and money to have you arrested? Are we living in a communist country? Are atheists so frail they can’t tolerate anyone else to believe differently than them? I’m not really surprised by the ruling though to be honest. Our education system has been taken over by the left long ago and it was only a matter of time it would trickle down the judicial robes.
commented 2015-04-15 17:46:26 -0400
From the teachings I remember, Jesus frowned on people that prayed in public. When you pray in public, you are trying to gain publicity at God’s expense. If you are Christian, you should know this.
commented 2015-04-15 17:27:29 -0400
It would be more to my likeing to have our members or council or any other government to take an oath like this " I pledge to do my duty to to save the tax payer’s money, to spend it wisely, and not follow the words of lobiests, to make sure the money is not wasted. " and if done to repay it.
commented 2015-04-15 17:26:45 -0400
Pray at home or in your church, some people really don’t want to be a part of your relationship with your invisible imaginary friend. Basically the Supreme Court ruling means this : the councils across the country really have to look at their practices. Essentially, the court is basically putting forward a very strong statement, not so much on freedom of religion but freedom FROM religion. A concept of neutrality according to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs. The state must instead remain neutral in this regard. This neutrality requires that the state neither favour nor hinder any particular belief, and the same holds true for non-belief. It requires that the state abstain from taking any position and thus avoid adhering to a particular belief. When all is said and done, the state’s duty to protect every person’s freedom of conscience and religion means that it may not use its powers in such a way as to promote the participation of certain believers or non-believers in public life to the detriment of others.
Time to move on to reality folks. God(s) DO NOT EXIST.
commented 2015-04-15 17:17:38 -0400
People should have the choice. Don’t want to pray – don’t. Supreme Court seems to be setting all public policy lately. In my opinion they have extended themselves past their intended purpose. Hhmmm – I wonder if they will make it illegal in the future for me to express an opinion if it is contrary to theirs? I pray they don’t! Might even go outside of my home or church to do it. Oops – I don’t pray – just want people to have religious choices.
commented 2015-04-15 17:05:14 -0400
The Supreme Court hasn’t kept me posted yet on what the rationale was for their decision, but my knee-jerk reaction is that it was a poor decision.

The folks on the street seemed generally to be much better balanced, thoughtful and more tolerant regarding other peoples freedom of religion and expression.

So, Supreme Court of Canada, is it okay with you if I breathe in and out?
Do I have your permission?
Will Wynne, my eco-whacko premier, cap me for emitting carbon dioxide when I exhale?
I need to know. I’m too pretty to go to prison.

Now I’m within a heartbeat of demanding that the Supreme Court pray to God for guidance before offering us any more opinions.
commented 2015-04-15 17:04:15 -0400
Yes, the City Council should be allowed to pray and their prayer should be a Christian Prayer. Liberals do not like this because it upsets their Muslim friends. This is a Christian country and if people do not like it they should go back to where they came from. If you want to live in Canada you should be prepared to act like a Canadian. This dose not mean that you have to give up your own religion and pray as you want but do not try to change the traditions of Canada. Multiculturalism should be banned.
commented 2015-04-15 16:46:18 -0400
If everyone is in agreement on council, then it’s nobody else’s business, including the Supreme Court. However, if there is disagreement on council, individual silent prayer, as in a moment of silence, would not trample on anyone’s rights.