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No Prayer Petition for Australian Parliament

Well isn’t this fantastic, Australia’s own Atheist Foundation has developed and is now lodging a petition to the Australian Parliament. My humble and seemingly ineffective attempts to have Gold Coast City Council remove the Mayor’s personal need for a Christian Prayer might actually gain momentum.

Maybe my spreading of this message could help?

https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN5562

Petition EN5562 – 

Modernise the Standing Orders to replace daily Christian prayers.

Reason: The Australian community is multicultural and diverse, with people from various religious backgrounds and, increasingly, people identifying as not religious. On current trends, the proportion of Australians identifying as not religious will overtake Christians at the 2026 Census. This diversity is evident in the nation’s House of Representatives, with MPs identifying as Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, non-religious – and more.

Yet, each day in parliament, the Speaker asks all in attendance to observe two Christian prayers – one being the Lord’s Prayer. Starting proceedings with an act of worship in the Christian tradition sends a message to non-Christians that they are not welcome and their worldviews are not respected. Parliament is a pillar of our democracy. It should reflect modern Australia and be welcoming for all. It should be a secular institution that does not privilege one religious worldview above all others.

This petition is submitted on behalf of the sponsors of the first Secularism Australia Conference, being held in Sydney in December 2023. Jointly, we’re calling for the House to lead by example in making government institutions – including parliaments and local councils – secular and welcoming for all.

Request: We therefore ask the House to modernise the Standing Orders and to replace daily Christian prayers with a more appropriate practice. Such a practice could be, for example, a moment of silence to allow people to reflect or pray in a way that is meaningful to them, or a pledge to work in the public interest and in a manner befitting their responsibilities.

What happens next?

When the petition has closed for signatures it will be presented to the House and will usually be referred to a Minister for a response. When the response is received and presented to the House it will be posted on the petition webpage.

These stages can take some time and occur at various times according to when the House of Representatives meets. Visit the these pages on our website to find out more:

You may also contact the Petitions Committee secretariat at petitions.committee.reps@aph.gov.au

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