Would Jesus be protesting about parliamentary prayer?

parliamentary prayer

Would Jesus be protesting about his name being taken out of the parliamentary prayer? asks Aaron Hendry, writing in Spinoff.

He says Jesus would have better things to do.

“With everything that is going on in this nation, with the gap between rich and poor widening, with our housing crisis forcing more of our whanau onto the streets, and with a mental health system so broken from lack of government funding that people are literally being turned away to suffer alone, this is what the Church has deemed important enough to march up to Wellington for?”

He was commenting on the protest that took place on Tuesday outside parliament calling for the name of Jesus to be reinstated into the prayer used at the beginning of each session of parliament.

Last year, Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard dropped reference to Jesus in the parliamentary prayer.

Protesters included leathered bikers, elderly churchgoers and Māori, holding painted banners that included one labeling the Speaker as “Judas Mallard.”

Event organiser Ross Smith said New Zealand had a Christian heritage that he did not want to be erased.

At the time of the change, Catholic archbishop of Wellington Cardinal John Dew, in expressing his personal view, said “ While we hope that there would always be a prayer acknowledging the importance of God in our lives, it is important in today’s society to be respectful of all faiths,” he said.

Aaron Hendry is a youth development worker in Auckland.

He is a theology graduate of Laidlaw College; he writes about the intersection of theology and social justice.


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