Since putting out a call for help to our followers, we’ve been able to identify even more local councils across the country that are continuing to recite prayers as part of official government business.
Our list – which we hope will become a comprehensive resource showing all the governments across Australia forcing elected representatives to take part in prayers – now has 46 councils, plus state and federal parliaments.
Whether it’s on the Gold Coast in Queensland (see main image), on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria (see inset image), in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales or in the shire of Stirling in Western Australia, sectarian prayers continue to be privileged.
Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far. In particular, thanks to our special supporter in Victoria who canvassed all of the state’s councils!
With 537 councils across Australia, there’s a long way to go before our list can become more complete.
To help our #SecularGovernment campaign, you can take some of the following actions:
- Go to the website of your local council and check if they have a section for prayers listed in their meeting agendas/minutes.
- Comment below to let us know if your council has the practice of reciting prayers (and don't forget to let us know which council you're talking about).
- Contact your councillors to let them know that you disagree with the practice of including divisive and exclusionary prayers as part of official government business.
- Start a petition through your council calling on prayers to be removed (and let us know you've done it!).
- By going one step further and donating to us, you can help us to sponsor our social media posts to raise awareness of this issue in particular council areas. Make a contribution here.
This is another post in our #SecularGovernment campaign which is shining a spotlight on religious privilege in our armed forces.
More on Secular Government
A Queensland council whose own vision statement aims to encourage inclusiveness is inviting only Christians to lead prayer sessions at the opening of each council meeting.
Mayor Adrian Schrinner has publicly rejected the outcome of a petition to remove prayers from Brisbane City Council meetings weeks before the petition is due to close, signalling that neither he nor the Council are willing to consider the outcome.
Although 49.8 per cent of citizens in the Brisbane City Council area are not Christian, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane is insisting that a prayer must continue to kick off every council meeting because of ‘tradition’.
We’re pleased to have Jackie Trad, Labor MP for South Brisbane and former Queensland Deputy Premier, join us for a Q&A on our Secular Spotlight blog.
In an interview to be published on our Secular Spotlight blog tomorrow, Trad discusses her support for VAD and the need for a grassroots effort to see Queensland become the next state to introduce the humane end-of-life option.
Appalled that an elected body would begin its deliberations with sectarian prayers, Courtney Coombs has established a petition calling for prayers to be removed from Brisbane City Council meetings.
At the National Secular Lobby, we're pleased to have joined forces with a number of pro-secular community organisations in the #DontDivideUs campaign against the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill. Add your voice to the campaign.