LETTER: Why we don't need Christianity in council

Say no to the Bible in council

WE HAVE noted that an invocation is held at the start of most council meetings where Pastor Errol Buckle of the Heritage Christian Centre, opens the meeting with a short address.

He then leads the council in prayer.

We would like to ask if the invocation is open to other faiths?

As the invocation is at the invitation of the mayor, it appears that Pastor Buckle's Pentecostal Church is the council's church of choice.

Would you allow a Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Atheist or even a Satanist to deliver the invocation?

If not, why?

Not every resident agrees with the belief system of the Pentecostal Christians.

There are more than 4200 religions to choose from and there are more than 43,000 Christian denominations alone.

Having only one religion (Christian) out of 4200 and one denomination (Pentecostal) out of 43,000 discriminates against all others, including people of no faith.

It shows favouritism and may allow that brand of religion undue influence.

The Bundaberg Skeptics urge you to remove prayer and the address from local council ceremonies and meetings.

Even if the prayer is worded in a manner that is inclusive of all faiths, it will still exclude all non-religious members of the community.

An alternative could include a pledge that the councillors will carry out the duties of office with integrity.

There is nothing to stop councillors praying to their chosen god prior to meetings or in private.

The Bundaberg community is a multi-cultured and diverse people.

The Bundaberg Regional councillors were elected to represent all the members of the community, not just the members that attend a Pentecostal church.

We think it is time that the council rethink this practice in the face of a changing society and a growing diverse community.

The Bundaberg Skeptics is opposed to any religious observances at any level of government and are happy to answer or debate any issues you may have.

JOHN YATES

Bundaberg