The Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly opened as normal on May 17 with the opening prayer which has garnered some recent criticism. Here’s what the controversy, or what passes as controversy, is all about.
Present us O Lord in all our doings, with Thy Most gracious favour; and further us with Thy continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy Holy Name, and finally by Thy Mercy, attain everlasting life.
This all came about because of a Supreme Court ruling against Saguenay Municipal Council that ordered council as a civic elected body cannot say a prayer to open meetings. The Mayor Jean Tremblay, had argued that the prayer recognizes the area’s Catholic heritage. The Court said it infringes on the freedom of conscience and religion and a civic body must remain neutral in a secular society.
Various organizations across the country and most pundits chimed in, most favoured the ruling, but
a few opposed it and some even proposed an alternative. Multi-Faith Saskatchewan represents a plethora of world religions in Saskatchewan acknowledged that it was appropriate and important for elected bodies to open meetings with some form of spiritual reflection. It suggests opening the Legislative Assembly with an acknowledgment to First Nations people and, specifically in the southern part of the province, a reference to Treaty Four. The only reaction from Premier Brad Wall, who is faithful to his Mennonite heritage, was the prayer in use will remain. And of course, Muhammad Fiaz, Regina Pasqua MLA and the first Muslim to be elected to the Assembly had to be approached for his view and he said simply, he has no problem with the prayer continuing.
The is just another example of secular elements of our society battling to do away with religion in all forms and the courts, interpreting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms contained in the 1982 Constitution with their own biases, are helping them win the battle. We see it in all areas of our country, from abortion for which there is no law and the soon to be Physician Assisted Suicide law. Someone years ago said the law is an ass. Recent rulings seem to be proving that statement.
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