Thursday, October 16, 2003

A secular country, not a christian one

Matt Robson wants to replace Parliament's opening prayer with a secular "opening statement".

Predictably it's generated some outrage from conservative MPs, with Peter Dunne calling it "horribly politically correct", and Bruiser Brownlee repeating the old saw that "we are fundamentally a Christian country".

Sorry Bruiser, but we're not. We are a secular country. This doesn't mean that we're all atheists or agnostics, but it does mean that the State must be religiously neutral and not endorse any particular religion (or indeed, religiosity in general). The opening prayer violates this principle, and should therefore be canned.

(I am BTW interested in seeing what Judith Collins thinks of this...)