The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (the Canuck counterpart to the ACLU) has sent a letter to mayor Don Atchison asking that the city stop exhorting event participants to pray after atheist Ashu Solo, member of the city’s diversity committee, complained that he felt excluted at a volunteer appreciation dinner where a councillor led a prayer over their food.
The association has sent a letter to Mayor Don Atchison in connection with a city-sponsored volunteer appreciation event in April at which city councillor Randy Donauer allegedly led the audience in a Christian prayer.
“The state should have no role in imposing, endorsing or promoting a particular religion over others, nor should it pressure or coerce an individual into a religious practice,” CCLA spokeswoman Sheetal Rawal said in the letter.
As an alternative to a sectarian prayer, the group suggests a “moment of reflection” might be used at such events.
I’ve never really understood the “moment of reflection” thing either, considering I can think about all the nonsense people have had to go through without spending a long period of time with my head bowed and my hands crossed. I’m not reflecting on things for some omniscient deity’s benefit, and even if such a deity existed, I’m certain you wouldn’t have to think fully-formed sentences at it for it to know what you felt about things “in your heart” (meaning your brain).
But that said, a moment of reflection is far preferable to being told to praise Jesus for the food you’re getting as reward for the good deeds you did — especially when you didn’t do the deeds for a reward, and you know Jesus is a fiction. Perhaps this councillor should have consulted with the member of the diversity committee who was present at the time on whether or not a prayer to a single deity was such a hot idea.
I’m sure the thought never even entered Donauer’s mind though. Privilege will do that.