Winnipeg Secularists Petition to Remove City Council Prayers

No lawsuits. No fights. Just a basic petition.

That’s what the Winnipeg Secularists (in Canada) are offering to their local city council in an effort to stop the prayers read before every meeting:

About 300 people have signed a petition delivered to city hall on Wednesday that calls on councillors to eliminate religious exercises at meetings.

Robert McGregor, a member of the Winnipeg Secularists, said he launched the petition after he attended a recent council meeting and was asked to stand for a prayer.

“As someone who is not Christian and who’s non-religious, I felt fairly uncomfortable in that situation,” McGregor told CBC News on Wednesday.

“I thought I was there for a city council meeting, not a church service.”

So far, the only thing city council representatives are responding with is the usual, “But it’s tradition!”

There’s a poll at the CBC website asking whether the prayer should be removed. Go nudge it in the right direction:

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QSVVRVXLDRWPFEPMYGLXO2DLDY Alexander

    Vote as of now is 520 for remove it, 513 for don’t. Pretty close, I gotta say. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=900270710 Alan Simpson

    I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad that Winnipeg gets mentioned in FA post ;)

    The offending “prayer” isn’t all that bad actually. There’s no mention of any sort of deity in it. However, actually being asked to stand for a prayer isn’t right in any government setting. 

    From my experiences, Winnipeg is a fairly religion-apathetic place, as with most of Canada. The majority of Winnipegers, and Canadians, are Christian, but it’s rare when I get it flung in my face. I’ve seen a lot worse city council prayers in other places, America particularly. For me, the main concern is precedent. Let’s nip this in the bud, before it becomes something more.

  • CanadianNihilist

    The example prayer shown isn’t that bad.
    I have a feeling though, that one example was probably hand picked out of other more.. god intense prayers.

    • Dylon Martin

      The one was on of the milder ones – how blatantly evangelical the prayer is is at the discretion of the councilor delivering it. There have been some very evangelical ones, though.

  • Karen Locke

    Poll pharyngulated!

  • shockwaver

    I’m always worried when I see Winnipeg hitting the news. While yes, this prayer isn’t terrible – my money is on it being one of the most mild ones, hand picked to show that the secularists are crazy.

    Reading the comments on these types of things will make your brain hurt though – Christian love right? Gotta love the people saying it’s a ban on prayer – nothing is stopping anyone from praying on their own time or at home – just don’t make it a government sanctioned use of time.

  • Tinker

    I am so tired of this ‘majority rules’ crap. Xtians don’t seem to get it. I don’t understand how they can’t, I went to Sunday school where we were taught what happened when the majority wanted to inflict their will on Xtians so the only conclusion I can reach about them is that they are a bunch of petty, vindictive, power-hungry people. Hmm, just like their god.


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