Parliamentary prayers to stay

A bid by the Australian Democrats to have prayers dropped from parliamentary proceedings was rejected by the Senate yesterday.

Democrats leader Lyn Allison also wants religious references removed from statutory oaths and pledges and tax breaks for religious groups scrapped.

John Howard said the motion was based on a completely misguided understanding of the separation of church and state.

"What the separation of church and state means in this country is that there is no established church as the official state religion."

"It doesn't mean that we abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage, it doesn't mean that we eliminate public ... references", he said.

Queensland senator Barnaby Joyce weighed in, saying prayers are a positive way to start the day.

By the grace of God (The Australian 3/3/06)
PM wants to retain parliamentary prayers (Australian Associated Press/Sydney Morning Herald 2/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Parliament of Australia

3 Mar 2006