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Hands Together Eyes Closed

I wrote this over a year ago but it got mis-filed and I've only just found it. For the specific town council involved. The story is old news but the point is still valid so...

On the blog Catholic With Attitude I read the post, "An infringement on secularists human rights" from which this quote is taken...
"secularists claiming that a three word prayer at the beginning of Bideford Town Council meetings are somehow a breach of their human rights. The Christian Institute has the article here. The council has had this prayer since the time of Elizabeth I, some four hundred years. The prayer is in Latin and goes, 'Domine dirige nos' which translates as 'Lord guide us'.

...if they want to pray they ought to go into another room first. They say that they (the secularists) shouldn't have to leave because they are elected members."
and the author made a questioning statement...
"... Well, aren't the others, who want to pray, elected members too? Bizarre!"

It strikes me that the author's query is about equality; positing, in subtext (as it seems is so often the case with the religious language) that the idea of adding a prayer to something is the same as not adding a prayer to something! which, for me, are completely opposite concepts.
What the religious don't seem to get is the religious and non religious are not equal.
The religious person is likely to think that atheists are 'less worthy' members of society, maybe that person would even be a fundamentalist, 'go with scripture' and consider them 'the spawn of Satan' (Oooh, spooky, spooky!). The religious person might not attribute blame to them for their the atheism, they may pity the poor atheist but consider the state of pitying a moment...
There's no need to pity an equal!
Do we not only pity those we consider to be in some way less, or less well off, than ourselves?
However, from the atheist point of view, the religious are the ones worthy of pity, with their sad addiction to the bronze age dream machine, their lack of, or fear of, knowledge and wilful tormenting of humans who simply 'do not fit' their magic book's criteria. Actually, now I come to think about it, that's really quite loathsome; Kids are dying everyday of hunger and they buy churches for their own gratification and glory; abdicating one's personal responsibility for one's fellow human to the vague hope that some pretend benign grandad will put it all right in the end, disgraceful! But I digress.

To try to illustrate just how differently the religious and non religious think...

Morris dancing
(bear with me)

"Morris dancing has a long recorded history in this country(UK), the earliest reference being from 1448."


Right, know you know a little bit of British history, probably originating around the time of Elizabeth I

To a non-religious human, or humanist, there is as little (or as much) meaning in the council leader starting each meeting by donning a sash, trouser bells and fancy be-flowered hat to wave a hanky about in a camp manner, as there is in having a prayer!

Religious and non-religious people are not being equal; we think differently. Religious apply meaning to that which is merely ritual, tradition or custom.
(If you are religious, take heart it's not irreversible.)
So the question here is to the religious...
How would you feel if you were compelled
to perform what you considered to be a ludicrous ritual before a meeting?

The Devon Humanists group who made the initial complaint have been active against the use of religious ritual in council meetings since at least 2008.
"Many councils throughout the UK begin their meetings with prayers, mostly Christian in nature. This surprises many people and has disturbed Devon Humanists for some time."
There's more on this in the BBC report Bideford council in legal fight over prayers

This is one of the Too Many Questions

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