The Greens are right to demand that the long-standing tradition of opening each day of Federal Parliament with The Lord’s Prayer be abolished.
The words of Jesus are dangerous and politicians must be protected from hearing them, lest they startle the entire country by governing with wisdom and humility.
For those unfamiliar with the prayer that 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 might not actually 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 inadvertently lead to politicians no longer naming pet policies after themselves. A highly undesirable 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 total 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” & “fairness”. If He (or she) was fair, the Greens would have more bread than the people the Greens don’t like, such as those actually making the bread.
“Forgives us our sins…” is a self-esteem sapping admission that none of us is perfect. Even 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, ever, 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 the 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. And then we wouldn’t have Pink Batts or Cash for Clunkers or the NBN.
“But deliver us from evil…” is the foolishly outdated idea that evil actually exists when, in fact, 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 lie that we will soon be gone but that the decisions we make will echo on in the lives of our children’s children. Should MPs have to hear such words they might start thinking beyond the 24-hour news cycle.
God, er, Greens forbid!
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James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for The Spectator.