The Greens are pushing to drop the Lord’s Prayer from Australian political tradition
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The Greens in South Australia are pushing to ban the Lord’s Prayer from parliamentary sessions because they believe it's an ‘anachronism that serves no democratic purpose’.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Upper House MP Robert Simms is calling to abolish the Christian prayer in the Upper and Lower Houses by early next year.
According to the MP, the tradition is ‘alienating’ for politicians.
"Fundamentally, our parliament is a workplace. There are few other workplaces in our state or indeed our nation that begin their working day with a mandatory prayer," Mr Simms said before parliament, according to the outlet.
An unholy debate is brewing over calls to scrap the Lord's Prayer from state parliament. The latest in 7NEWS Adelaide at 4pm and 6pm | https://t.co/8ftPfFYTVQ #saparli #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/am6Sdoawd1— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) November 7, 2022
"It really is out of step with community expectations in 21st century South Australia."
However, the move has been met with fierce criticism from the Christian community in South Australia.
Australian Christian Lobby national director Wendy Francis said, as per Sydney Morning Herald: “It seems the Greens want to ban any hint of Christianity from parliament.
“Do they want to apply the same ban to other religious...activities such as indigenous smoking ceremonies?”
However, MP Simms, an atheist, maintained that he is not trying to ban God.
The move comes after the NSW Greens renewed their push to abolish traditional prayers from parliament, claiming that they are ‘inappropriate in a country that values religious diversity’, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Last month, NSW Greens MP Abigail Boyd motioned to have parliament prayers removed as it ‘excludes and devalues those who do not belong to that religion'.
According to the Bendigo Advertiser, she said: "When I worked at Kmart, we did not have to stand and listen to The Lord's Prayer before we opened all the registers up.
"I think most people in the real world think that it is quite extraordinary."
State councils, including Shoalhaven and Wagga Wagga, have opted to switch to a moment of quiet reflection, according to the MP.
In 2019, Boyd previously launched an unsuccessful motion to have the prayer removed and was opposed by both Labor and the government.
According to a 2021 data census from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 43.9 per cent of Australians classified themselves as Christian, which has decreased by 8.2 per in the past five years.
The second-largest classification was the 38.9 per cent who identified as ‘No Religion’.