Twenty-two weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada decision that members of municipal councils must cease reciting a prayer in the municipal council chamber, some Peterborough residents gathered in the park in front of Peterborough City Hall, before city council meetings, to pray for the mayor and councillors.
“They’re motivated by the fact that the Supreme Court has recently prohibited the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer before municipal meetings.” According to Glenn Duncan, one of the organizers, “Christians have a responsibility to pray for leaders. If city councillors cannot pray for themselves publicly, then local Christians feel they should to do it for them.”
The mayor and city councillors needed to be told twice that they “cannot pray for themselves publicly.” First by the SCC and then by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
In 2011, I began to work toward convincing Peterborough City Council to obey the law and stop reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the start of council meetings. I was successful.
On May 29, 2015, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued the following order:
“The Respondent (Corporation of the City of Peterborough) is prohibited from reciting the Lord’s Prayer or any other prayer at its council or committee meetings.”
At 6:00 PM, on September 8, there were about 50 people praying in the park across from City Hall. I wonder how many attended the council meeting to see if their prayers were effective.