Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Lord's Prayer Appeal

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
The City Council of Penetanguishene has been in the habit of reciting the Lord's Prayer at the start of its monthly council meetings. The council members are requested to rise and together recite the Lord's Prayer, if they so wish. A local citizen, apparently frequenting the council meetings as a visitor, has objected to this practice, expressing that he feels uncomfortable with it. He has complained to the Human Rights Commission, but had his complaint dismissed. That dismissal did not deter him. He took the matter to the lower court last Fall. The judge reviewed the case and decided that the practice of the city council was the right sort of practice, because "the world is not such a nice place to live in, and could use some divine intervention." According to this judge, city council could continue its practice of calling for divine guidance at the start of its monthly meetings. The disgruntled citizen is not giving up yet and has filed an appeal and is bringing his complaint to court again. Meanwhile, city council, having spent some $10,000 of the taxpayers' money for the initial court costs, has gone public for further financial help, because it could cost an additional $6,000 to deal with the appeal. The local Lions Club has considered this a worthy cause and in support of the city council, has been able to collect about $1,000 already and has in fact, opened a bank account at the Bank of Nova Scotia for this cause. (The above information has been verified by a phone conversation with the treasurer of the Penetanguishene city council after it was first heard on CBC radio in the early morning of March 16.)

The city council of Penetanguishene is to be commended for its practice; so is the judge in deciding in favour of the practice and in voicing some profound insight. We hope and pray that the appeal of the "uncomfortable" citizen will be dismissed. Perhaps we could combine our hopes and prayers with a bit of financial support, which can be directed to the Town of Penetanguishene, P.O. BOX 5009, Penetanguishene, Ontario, L9M 2G2. Our support will be gratefully acknowledged, it was promised.

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