A couple weeks ago I was asked to go sit in the gallery of the PEI Legislature, during Question Period, as a reminder to MLAs that folks from the 'Stop Plan B' group will still be watching and encouraging continued discussion about 'the highway that no one wanted'. While we were talking about this, the word 'prayer' flew by me. What now? We have to wait until what happens before we can go in? What prayer? Prayer where? In the Legislature? Surely not. It's 2012 afterall, why would we have prayer, undoubtedly Christian prayer in the one place that is supposed to represent all people? And when I say all people I include those who are not Christian (I'm quite sure there are some) and folks, like myself, who would no more want to see witchcraft, astrology, greek mythology or tarot cards let alone prayer, be the opening act to our sitting of the Legislature.
Google it. 'Is there still prayer at the PEI Legislature?'
'No plans afoot to nix prayers in the PEI Legislature'
'PEI Legislature rules prevent Hindu leader from reading prayer'
'PEI legislature needs to update its rules, says Hindu leader' (I'm with ya! On that first part anyway).
'Violation of Religious Freedom?' (I love the comment: Saying there should be no prayer in the Legislature is not forcing someone not to pray. Clearly your bias is toward religion staying part of our political process. It’s saying rather that the Legislature is not the appropriate place for prayer. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. There is no full separation of church and state, if religion remains as part of the practises, activities, routines, processes that our elected officials participate in while serving in our Gov’t.)
And here I wondered why my emails to the PEI Schoolboard about the policy of letting The Gideons visit PEI Elementary schools (I'm sure they are lovely folks, it's the policy I don't like) and take orders for bibles, were met with less that measurable interest.
Wait ... does anyone else see a pattern here ... of not wanting to change policies because 'that's they way it's always been done on PEI'. Um what? When did that become the banner under which we fly our flag? And perhaps what they mean is 'this is how we Christians do things on PEI, so the rest of you can take a flying leap' (I'm paraphrasing). Bibles in schools (not many folks willing to push this one out of the way, publicly), Sunday shopping (that took forever!), Abortion policy (that is taking forever!), Prayer in the Legislature (I've never even heard a story about that, until now) ... what else ... what other issues where gov't is dragging it's feet on change, actually has some basis in the fact that religion still plays a major role in Politics on PEI?
Want to see for yourself how 'traditional' PEI is when it comes to our religious practises? Or at least, how we rarely challenge ye old 'status quo'. The next time you go to vote, say you want to 'Affirm' rather than 'Swear' the oath. Watch them scramble for the procedure. 'No problem, just that, wait, where is it, we have so few who do this, um, just a sec ... ahhh, there ya go!'. It's cute.
How the fek has PEI managed to make any advances at all!
I almost long for the days when I was knee deep in diapers because I didn't have time to pay attention. Ignorance was bliss. For a spell.
What worries religious people about a Government without religion?