Oh Lord, The Greens want prayer banned?
A QUEENSLAND pastor has taken The Greens to task for demanding that the Lord's Prayer be abolished.
James Macpherson's opinion piece, carried by The Australian yesterday, has attracted hundreds of comments.
Pastor Macpherson is the senior pastor of the The Calvary Christian Church which has locations on the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Cairns, Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Emerald.
James and wife Samantha took on leadership of the church in October 2007, overseeing the growth of the Townsville congregation as well as expansion into other cities.
The first expansion was to the Sunshine Coast where James and Samantha were invited to take on leadership of what had been known as Kings Christian Church.
Kings, which under the leadership of Pastors Steve and Marion Penny had purchased 16 acres of land and built a wonderful facility, was rebranded as Calvary Christian Church, Sunshine Coast.
His tongue-in-cheek column appears below.
The Greens are right to demand that the longstanding tradition of opening each day of federal parliament with the Lord's Prayer be abolished.
The words of Jesus are dangerous and politicians should be protected from hearing them lest they startle the country by governing with wisdom and humility.
For those unfamiliar with the prayer Greens senators describe as "insulting" and "jarring", let me explain the 10 nation-destabilising ideas from which our leaders must be insulated.
"Our Father who art in heaven …" is a shocking acknowledgment that the highest office bearers in the land may not be the highest office bearers in the universe. Should politicians realise this, they may start acting with humility and become completely unrecognisable to their own electorates.
"Hallowed be thy name …" is the dangerous admission that we must live for something bigger than our own name or self-aggrandisement. This could lead inadvertently to politicians no longer naming pet policies after themselves. Now that would be a welcome outcome.
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven …" could cause politicians to consider if perhaps they ought act according to noble convictions rather than simple convenience. This would throw the public service into significant confusion.
"Give us this day our daily bread …" is just plain offensive. If there is a God, he (or she) has not been distributing the bread according to the Greens' favourite slogans - "equality" and "fairness". If he (or she) were fair, the Greens would have more bread than the people the Greens don't like, such as those making the bread.
"Forgive us our sins …" is a self-esteem-sapping admission that none of us is perfect. Even Greens senators are beset by the flaws of human nature and are therefore prone to mistakes. This is a dangerous idea that our MPs should never under any circumstances be allowed to contemplate lest they stop thinking of themselves as our betters.
"As we forgive those who sin against us …" is a devilish promise to respect the common humanity of those with whom we disagree rather than simply demonising them. The Greens are right to insist MPs must never hear this, lest civility break out in parliament and those sitting in the public gallery think they are in the wrong building.
"Lead us not into temptation …" is that unflattering idea that we are all prone to wander off on tangents. Were politicians to think about this they might start acting with caution rather than haste. Then we wouldn't have pink batts or cash for clunkers or the National Broadband Network.
"But deliver us from evil …" is the foolishly outdated idea that evil exists when we know the problem is really structural issues that can be fixed by constant government interference in the affairs of free men.
"For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory …" is an insidious idea that may lead politicians to wonder if perhaps building monuments to themselves is mere vanity. We don't want MPs thinking there is a cause greater than their own name or political stripe, lest they begin to work together for a greater good; and then where would we be?
"Forever and ever, amen …" is the clear suggestion our politicians soon may be gone but that the decisions they make will echo on in the lives of our children's children.
Should MPs have to hear such words they may start thinking beyond the 24-hour news cycle. God, er, Greens forbid!
James Macpherson is the pastor of Calvary Christian Church in Queensland.