UR Opinion

Prayer in Renfrew County council chambers

Kat Forder

By Kat Forder

Given the council's recent refusal of Jim Gibson's request to remove prayer from Council chambers, and adhere to Ontario and Canadian law to ensure freedom of religion, I request that Council move to adopt a "moment of silence" in lieu of any kind of prayer.

The Council's current "solution" that any member can simply walk out of chambers to avoid hearing a prayer is exclusionary and discriminatory. While the ideal would be to remove all reference to prayer and religion from the workplace and government, the most inclusive option possible would be to implement a "moment of quiet reflection" which is the more truly reflective of Canadian values.

Even when religious commencements make an effort to include people of all faiths (which the Council does not do currently) they may exclude people with no religion, which is a right protected as equal to those that also protect religious citizens.
Kat Forder

added: The word "neigh-bours" should have been used in place have been used in place of "citizens", if your website submission form allowed the letters "hb" and "o" to appear all together. Unfortunately I can't submit this note if the characters "hb" and "o" are in the text.

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