Council prayers are morally repugnant

Andrew Bennett, Tweed Heads.

Tweed Shire Council is now asking attendees at the council meetings to remain seated and not stand for the draconian ritual of praying to their god for moral guidance. We understand that some of the councillors do not quite grasp the significance of the Australian Constitution and the complete separation of religion and state, not to mention the council bias and non-inclusive approach to select only one religion and its exclusive god.

The god and religion this council have selected to worship is the very same religious sect (christianity) which has produced the very worst kinds of criminals – being pedophile archbishops, priests, ministers and clergymen who, still to this day, commit repulsive criminal acts of child rape and sodomy all under the protection of this sect and the capricious god they pray to for moral guidance (if you have children, just ponder that thought for a moment).

Due to the extremely serious nature of the proven illegal activities of these christian ‘men of cloth’ (Australia and worldwide), we request that the Tweed Shire General Manager fully scrutinize, investigate and make public the credentials and character of all christian clergymen who are invited to pray at all council meetings until such time as the christian prayer is removed completely. This would be in line with over 75 per cent of councils Australia wide.

It would only take one councillor with leadership qualities to raise a motion in council to have this draconian ritual removed completely and forever.


3 responses to “Council prayers are morally repugnant”

  1. Peter Hatfield says:

    The language here betrays the muddy thinking behind this letter. Draconian refers to a harsh punishment or rule – it has nothing to do with rituals. A sect refers pejoratively to a group whose views are at odds with a those of the community or mainstream religion. Sects and Religions commonly believe in a God, but they are not the same thing. These comments are not pedantic – by not carefully differentiating between God, religion and its followers, the writer tries to suggest all Christians and Christianity are necessarily repugnant. Bennett inevitably brings up the horrific actions of some priests and other religious. These deserve our condemnation as does the any church that failed to deal with them, but they are not the only people committing sexual and other crimes What Bennett fails to show is that there is any causative factor between religious practice of Australians more broadly, and those repugnant criminal actions – actions that every mainstream religion in Australia teach unequivocally are wrong. Christianity and Christians have done all manner of horrific things but so too have followers of other beliefs and of no religion, most notably recently followers of Communism. Bennett needs only to read the New testament or attend any mainstream church to understand we moved on from the beliefs of nomadic pastoral herdsmen in Israel of a capricious and wrathful God quick to anger who needed to be placated. For the many, perhaps more than half, of Australian the search continues for meaning beyond the material world and materialism. Council is not a place to publicly practice or endorse one religion, but I do not see it inappropriate to allow Councillors a moment to pause reflectively in their own way on the decisions they will make, while acknowledging our responsibility to the traditional owners of our valleys and coast.

  2. tom tabart says:

    All very instructive Peter but misses the point. I refer to the currently-blurring separation of powers and on this point alone it is totally inappropriate to have a Christian prayer as an entre to a political meeting.
    I realise that some councillors vaguely retain beliefs that make them uncertain as to the wisdom of stopping witch burning but lets not encourage them.

    • Peter Hatfield says:

      I wrote the letter to refute the narrow and dated characterization in his second paragraph of Christianity. I concluded by stating ” Council is not a place to publicly practice or endorse one religion”. I suggested that does not mean that councils cannot allow councilors a quiet moment to approach their work with due regard for the spiritual dimension of their work, just as we accept statements that show regard for the spiritual bond between the its traditional custodians of the land about which they make decisions. I also bring your attention to the Code of Conduct that the Byron Shire and other councils expect of their officials, and its requirement that ” You must treat others with respect at all times.” I know from time to time elected officials do not meet the standards of conduct and probity of their officials, but can I suggest you at least attempt to do so. You do yourself and the Greens little credit when, with a pathetic attempt at humour, you parody other people’s religious beliefs.

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