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Karlis

British law approves prayer at town halls

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LONDON — The British government has fast-tracked a move to restore the rights of towns and cities to hold prayers as part of their official business, effectively overriding a High Court order to stop the practice. arrow3.gifRead more...

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That's good to see. These prayers should be allowed to go ahead and should not be stopped all over the country just because some thin-skinned idiot in one council building got "offended" by it.

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Posted (edited)

Whilst I disapprove of banning them, I fail to see why archaic religious ceremonies should be a part of 21st century council discussions.

Next they'l be sacrificing a goat before deciding on whether to approve a new by-pass - or, indeed, a increase in the stationary budget!

EDit: Odd I can't find any UK news story on this?

Edited by Essan

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I hope there is a legal challenge to this. Religion has no place in government - national, regional or local.

Of course, I am under no illusion that the UK's government is truly secular...

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So it's Christian prayers on Monday, Muslim on Tuesday, Buddhist on Wednesday I presume so all the faiths are accounted for... no?

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If someone is not of the same faith as the group do they have to leave the room ?

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Posted (edited)

All this means is if the Government ever decides to take away the right to pray (and they will) theres not a damn thing you can do about it, assuming you follow the law. Wouldn't be the first time they've tried removing God out of the picture.

Edited by Insaniac

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For those who think it a bad decision I have a question. If it has been a tradition that has held sway for decades or longer, what harm is there in allowing a simple invocation PRIOR to business being discussed or decided? Like it or not the Western world's morality has been shaped by the Judeo-Christian ethic and many still take comfort in it.

For all of you intelligent and oh so worldly types who are chagrined by a simple "superstition" I ask what real harm does it do beyond offending some of your highly sensitive principles?

Look at civic life today in the West and tell me it is better, or even equal to the cordiality and respect it once held. You are willingly obtuse and biased if you will sacrifice good order and respectful relations in the public square just so you can be considered progressive in your outlook. JMO, of course....

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For those who think it a bad decision I have a question. If it has been a tradition that has held sway for decades or longer, what harm is there in allowing a simple invocation PRIOR to business being discussed or decided? Like it or not the Western world's morality has been shaped by the Judeo-Christian ethic and many still take comfort in it.

For all of you intelligent and oh so worldly types who are chagrined by a simple "superstition" I ask what real harm does it do beyond offending some of your highly sensitive principles?

Look at civic life today in the West and tell me it is better, or even equal to the cordiality and respect it once held. You are willingly obtuse and biased if you will sacrifice good order and respectful relations in the public square just so you can be considered progressive in your outlook. JMO, of course....

Even in the original ruling you could still pray PRIOR to buisness being discussed, just not as part of the council meeting. In secular society town councils represent the people. Are all these people christian? Nope. They're pagan and atheists an others besides. What prayer as part of the meeting does is single out one above all others and making it a part of meeting which isn't the place for such things. If you want to pray that much, you're still free too, just not during the meeting.

Personally this doesn't seem like a good idea since religion (even one which 'shaped the Western world's morality') shouldn't have a place in government.

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Even in the original ruling you could still pray PRIOR to buisness being discussed, just not as part of the council meeting. In secular society town councils represent the people. Are all these people christian? Nope. They're pagan and atheists an others besides. What prayer as part of the meeting does is single out one above all others and making it a part of meeting which isn't the place for such things. If you want to pray that much, you're still free too, just not during the meeting.

Personally this doesn't seem like a good idea since religion (even one which 'shaped the Western world's morality') shouldn't have a place in government.

And that attitude seems to be relatively new to the scene since these kinds of prayers have been around for many years. But above all I say that the majority should decide this. If a community feels so strongly that there is no place for prayer in public venues then so be it. It just seems a harmless thing to cause so much contentiousness.

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Posted (edited)

Whilst I disapprove of banning them, I fail to see why archaic religious ceremonies should be a part of 21st century council discussions.

What do you mean by "archaic"? If a group of councillors what to pray before meetings - as is traditional in our Christian country - then what has it got to do with you or anybody else?

If religious ceremonies are so "archaic" why do councils spends thousands of pounds of taxpayers money so they can build lots of brand-spanking new mosques?

Edited by TheLastLazyGun

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I hope there is a legal challenge to this. Religion has no place in government - national, regional or local.

Says who?

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So it's Christian prayers on Monday, Muslim on Tuesday, Buddhist on Wednesday I presume so all the faiths are accounted for... no?

They wouldn't dare to ban Muslim prayers. You go to many public buildings around Britain and private rooms are set aside just so that Muslims can pray in them. For some reason the authorities don't seem to might that someone might get offended at Muslims praying.

Nope, it's only Christian prayers that are targetted.

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And that attitude seems to be relatively new to the scene since these kinds of prayers have been around for many years. But above all I say that the majority should decide this. If a community feels so strongly that there is no place for prayer in public venues then so be it. It just seems a harmless thing to cause so much contentiousness.

There are many things that were 'around for many years' that does not make them good, right or moral nor does it make them instantly more valid. Let me ask you, would your attitude be the same if the prayers were from another faith? Would it still be harmless then, or would you complain? Ater all it would be just as 'harmless' for a jewish, muslim or pagan prayer in place of a christian one in theory.

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Posted (edited)

There are many things that were 'around for many years' that does not make them good, right or moral nor does it make them instantly more valid. Let me ask you, would your attitude be the same if the prayers were from another faith? Would it still be harmless then, or would you complain? Ater all it would be just as 'harmless' for a jewish, muslim or pagan prayer in place of a christian one in theory.

It's a waste of time asking that question. The authorities would never ban prayers of religions other than Christianity. They would deem that to be racist.

Put it this way: If I went and complained that I find offensive the mosque that is being built near me in northern England, with its huge dome and minarets, would the authorities stop the building of it? Would they hell. They'd tell me to go away and stop being racist. They wouldn't come out with all the clap-trap about "religion has no play in a secular society like Britain."

Yet when some goon says he finds Christian prayers at just one council meeting "offensive" the authorities then go and try to ban prayers at council meeting all over the country.

It seems that it's one rule for Christianity and another for all other religions (especially Islam).

Eric Pickles was right to say that such prayers at council meetings should be allowed to take place.

Edited by TheLastLazyGun

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It's a waste of time asking that question. The authorities would never ban prayers of religions other than Christianity. They would deem that to be racist.

To me all prayers are the same: inappropriate in governemnt buildings regardless of the religion.

Put it this way: If I went and complained that I find offensive the mosque that is being built near me in northern England, with its huge dome and minarets, would the authorities stop the building of it? Would they hell. They'd tell me to go away and stop being racist. They wouldn't come out with all the clap-trap about "religion has no play in a secular society like Britain."

That's a different situation entirely. But building any building, religious or not, might 'offend' someone near it. Does that mean the building should stop? Not really, otherwise nothing would get built. Would one person's objection stop it being built? Again, not really. If you got 100, or 1000 people that objected to, you'd have a case, but alone? Not so much.

Just because we're a secular society, doesn't mean that religious buildings shouldn't be built.

Yet when some goon says he finds Christian prayers at just one council meeting "offensive" the authorities then go and try to ban prayers at council meeting all over the country.

It seems that it's one rule for Christianity and another for all other religions (especially Islam).

Eric Pickles was right to say that such prayers at council meetings should be allowed to take place.

It should be one rule for ALL religions. None should get special treatment over others. Not you are missing the key point. Christian prayers at a council meeting is giving special treatment to one religion (christianity). Banning those prayers puts all religions on the same playing field. So you're ok with it being one rule for christinity and one for everyone else, as long as christianity gains special treatment as a result.

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just because something has been done for a long time doesn't mean it should be continued. Unless the represent all people there it present a bias toward a certain religion it a political atmosphere. And why pray at a meeting anyway? What function does it actually serve other than to sway the meeting against the non-religious and for the religious.

and it's not harmless.

it sets up a standard of favoritism and exclusion

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They wouldn't dare to ban Muslim prayers. You go to many public buildings around Britain and private rooms are set aside just so that Muslims can pray in them. For some reason the authorities don't seem to might that someone might get offended at Muslims praying.

Nope, it's only Christian prayers that are targetted.

Christian prayer does not have any special requirements to be performed*, whereas Muslim prayer does. What you describe is not bias, it is accommodation of the requirements of a faith.

Likewise, 'public buildings' does not constitute 'Government'. A library is a public building, and may (if large enough) have a room for Muslims to pray in, but that does not suggest that prayer (of any religion) should be, or is, any part of the business of governing a secular society.

*I accept there are exceptions to this in some circumstances, where it is tradition to light a candle while uttering a prayer. There is an argument to be made to provide for votive candles for (some) Christian prayer.

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They wouldn't dare to ban Muslim prayers. You go to many public buildings around Britain and private rooms are set aside just so that Muslims can pray in them. For some reason the authorities don't seem to might that someone might get offended at Muslims praying.

Nope, it's only Christian prayers that are targetted.

If Christians want a special room where they can go and pray before a meeting because otherwise their god will blast them with lightning, fine. But I think they should pay for it just as I think Muslims and Buddhists and Pastafarians should, if that's what they want. They shouldn't expect rational people to pander to their primitive beliefs though. Hindu, Wicca, Shinto or Sikh.

Notwithstanding which, I have not problems with persons of all religions following the rules and beliefs of said religions so far as it does not impede on any other person.

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Posted (edited)

Formal Prayers, by any faith or religion, should not be allowed in the Council Chambers because it can point to a Cabalistic enclave and dominance within the Chamber. By all means, let all faiths pray prior to a meeting but not in a room paid for by the Burgesses and Freemen of the town.

If these people want to rent a room prior to the meeting then they can, of course, do so, otherwise let them Formally Pray elsewhere.

Your comment about a Mosque being built near you - you DID have the opportunity to complain during the planning stages directly to the Planning Committee. With sufficient popular support you could have had the decision rescinded, but...like most people with a grievance in the UK you probably waited until approval was already given and then felt a bit "miffed". I could be wrong of course.

This is a reply to Post #15

Edited by keithisco

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There are many things that were 'around for many years' that does not make them good, right or moral nor does it make them instantly more valid. Let me ask you, would your attitude be the same if the prayers were from another faith? Would it still be harmless then, or would you complain? Ater all it would be just as 'harmless' for a jewish, muslim or pagan prayer in place of a christian one in theory.

Traditions become traditions due to popular acceptance of their validity and worth. If I had immigrated to a majority Muslim country then I certainly would not chafe at a moment of prayer. I would sit quietly and respectfully and maybe say my own prayer. I think issues like this are much less about majority public opinion than they are just fits of ego by individuals with a little power. Again I say, if it's what the majority want then by all means ban the prayers. Being forced to pray against one's will is probably the most absurd waste of time I can imagine.

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Traditions become traditions due to popular acceptance of their validity and worth.

That is not universally true. In fact, I'd say it is not even commonly true.

Many traditions exist simply because of the imposition of them by an authority, and those upon whom the tradition was imposed upon had not the will to resist. I accept some traditions, probably a significant proportion, are as you claim, based on a valid and worthwhile reason even if that reason might no longer exist. But making such a broad generalisation as you did poorly reflects the truth about traditions.

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It's a waste of time asking that question. The authorities would never ban prayers of religions other than Christianity. They would deem that to be racist.

Put it this way: If I went and complained that I find offensive the mosque that is being built near me in northern England, with its huge dome and minarets, would the authorities stop the building of it? Would they hell. They'd tell me to go away and stop being racist. They wouldn't come out with all the clap-trap about "religion has no play in a secular society like Britain."

Yet when some goon says he finds Christian prayers at just one council meeting "offensive" the authorities then go and try to ban prayers at council meeting all over the country.

It seems that it's one rule for Christianity and another for all other religions (especially Islam).

Eric Pickles was right to say that such prayers at council meetings should be allowed to take place.

I liked your post friend,you are 100% right...Brit authorities fall over backwards not to upset Islam, I dont know why, they dont give a toss about us,there have been so many immigrants since WW2,that we now have 5 towns/cities in the U.K that are"ethnic", ie:- more foreigners than Brits,this has been quoted in newspapers...If we went to their countries and asked for asylum we would be shot...cheers...

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