The premier of Ontario has pledged to drop the daily recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Legislature.
Dalton McGuinty, who is Roman Catholic, said he is taking the action because the prayer no longer reflects the province’s diversity.
“The members of the Ontario Legislature reflect the diversity of Ontario – be it Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or agnostic,” McGuinty wrote to other party leaders last month. “It is time for our practices to do the same. That is the Ontario way.”
The Canadian Jewish Congress has welcomed the move, saying the Lord’s Prayer “reflects back to a time when Ontario society was much more homogenous,” said Len Rudner, the CJC’s Ontario region director. “We always felt that other options were available.”
But in a recent column for the Toronto Star, Rabbi Dow Marmur, formerly of Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple, wrote that it is “appropriate” for the Lord’s Prayer to be recited in the Legislature.
“Non-Christians should remain respectfully silent during the recitation without having reason to feel either belittled or ignored,” Marmur said.