Paxtonvic’s Blog

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To pray or not to pray

How odd.

Paraphrasing a Daily Mail report:

“As many of you will have read  prayers had been said at council meetings in  Bideford since the town was  awarded a charter by Elizabeth 1 in 1573

But the tradition that has endured though civil war, the industrial revolution and two world wars may be  succumbing  to the march of political correctness.

Town councillors in Bideford, North Devon, have been told that their prayers could fall foul of the Race Relations Act.

They have also been warned that they might attract an action under the Human Rights Act.

Many councillors are outraged by the advice from the National Association of Local Councils and claim it is yet another attempt to remove Christian traditions from public life.

But the National Association said the practice, which is observed at many town halls, was merely an “old custom” which might upset councillors and members of the public of other religions.

“This situation is proof of a disturbing tendency to try to use spurious legal arguments under the Human Rights Act, and equality legislation, to eliminate the Christian faith from the fabric of our public life,” said local Tory MP Geoffrey Cox.

The member for Torridge and West Devon, who is a QC, added: “I do not believe that there is any serious risk of a meritorious action under the Human Rights Act, or the Race Discrimination Act.

“The advice is quite simply misleading and wrong.”

He has written to Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears demanding “urgent clarification” for town and parish councils to know how to conduct their meetings without breaking the law.

Town clerk George McLauchlan had asked the National Association of Local Councils for advice on the matter two months ago after Lib Dem councillor Clive Bone put forward a motion to scrap the prayers.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-532271/Council-ordered-stop-prayers-meetings–avoid-human-rights-court-case.html#ixzz1mHnyyYgR
And yet, by contrast at the glitzy and glamorous Grammy Awards this weekend, what do we find?
Host L L Cool J opened the event with a prayer for the late Whitney Houston. ” The only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman who we loved – for our fallen sister, Whitmey Houston”
 Singer Stevie Wonder spoke ” To Whitney up in heaven, we all love you”.
The article on BBC news which quoted these sentiments added a report of a Los Angelos Baptist preacher ” What made her different was she was born and bred in the bosom of the black church”
Strange how such a show biz setting full of wealthy people should have no hesitation in expressing religious sentiments ( I like to think they were genuine) and an English parish council has to be on its guard.
May Whitney rest in peace and may some sense prevail over this council matter.

February 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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