Thousands of Ontarians have signed petitions and sent on-line submissions urging Premier Dalton McGuinty to retain the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each day in the Legislature.

McGuinty says he believes that the Ontario legislative day should begin with a more inclusive opening that reflects the province’s diverse communities. « We continue to change as a province, as a society in terms of our makeup and our cultures and our faiths, and I think we have got a responsibility to ensure that all people feel truly at home here. »

McGuinty, who is a Catholic (his mother opposes any change) pointed out that other legislatures have dealt with this issue by eliminating opening prayers altogether or substituting a moment of silence.

Conservative member Garfield Dunlop said he has personally received hundreds of e-mails with 90-95per cent expressing support for the Lord’s Prayer.

Conservative MPP Peter Shurman said that he does not have a problem with keeping the Lord’s Prayer even though he is Jewish (and a friend and former radio colleague of mine at CJAD in Montreal).

If you were a citizen of Ontario would you be inclined to retain the Lord’s Prayer or drop it?



  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Funny, I always thought that the Lord’s Prayer was as generic as a prayer could get. Even though its roots are Christian, its text seems applicable to any religion (save atheism, agnosticism, and global-warming-alarmism).

    I went to a Protestant School of Greater Montreal School in Snowden whose student population was about 90% Jewish and at least half the administration and teachers were Jewish. We said the Lord’s Prayer every morning and no one complained. We also sang hymns every morning as well.

    But as I recall, the Lord’s Prayer and the hymns chosen were already void of any references to Jesus and Christianity. Perhaps that is why no one complained although I suspect that it was mandatory to say the Lord’s Prayer (perhaps as a result of some edict from the higher-ups in the PSBGM).

    Here’s the text…although there is a professed belief in the existance of God, I don’t see anything in it that is NOT religiously generic. Indeed, it seems more an advertisement for mantra meditation with its emphasis on the Name of God than a pean to Christianity:

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done,
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    [For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever.

  2. 2
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Tony is right. No religion or religious person could feel excluded when the Lord’s prayer is being recited except of course the exceptions listed at the beginning of Tony’s posting. I see no valid reasons to scrap it save for secular fanaticism. McGinty’s scrupules are misplaced. Maybe he has been meeting too much with Quebec’s fanatical secularists lately.

  3. 3

    Interesting comments on the Lord’s prayer. Also, Tony, an interesting letter in Saturday’s Gazette.

  4. 4
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    The Our Father is all inclusive, arguably from my point of view it refers to all of creation. It is not My Father who art in heaven it Our Father.

    Therefore it would include » atheists, agnostics and global warming alarmists ».

    I think it should stay.

  5. 5
    Chimera Says:

    It doesn’t represent all religions, and certainly not religions that are dualistic or pantheistic or even religions that have no specific dieties, such as Buddhism and Sikhism.

    In order to feel included in the lord’s prayer, one must believe — or agree to suspend other beliefs — that there is only one god, that it is male, that it is paternal, that it is external, and that there exists an afterlife of some kind. And that’s just the first line.

    But, having opened up that can of worms, I have to say that I really don’t care one way or another. Say it, don’t say it, it has no effect on me. In reality, it has no effect on « believers, » either.

    If I were an MLA, I’d simply skip the opening and come in late.

  6. 6
    Joe Agnost Says:

    I agree with Chimera… I’m an atheist and still don’t care one way or the other. Leave it, remove it… who cares!!

  7. 7
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    Less preaching – more practising. Unless and until the government ‘walks the talk », they haven’t got a prayer of being believed or trusted. CTZen.

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