A row has blown up over prayers held before council meetings in Ryedale.Oh, here we go.
Currently a vicar is brought in by the leader of the council, to lead a few minutes of prayer before the full council meeting starts.
Now Liberal Democrat councillors, Coun Tommy Woodward and Coun John Clark, have put forward a motion that prayers should be moved from the council chamber to take place prior to the meeting in a separate room.
If there’s anything more tedious and irritating than the religious, it’s the vehemently anti-religious…
Coun Woodward, an atheist, said: “I am also a liberal, so I don’t think the prayers should be stopped altogether, just stopped from being held in the council chamber, when all the councillors are present and held prior to the meeting in a separate room.Right, two things. Firstly, what do these clowns think will happen if they are present in a room where prayers are said? That they’ll catch a nasty dose of religion?
“I don’t see why those of us who aren’t religious should have to be there while they’re taking place. I could take it upon myself to walk out of the room, but that draws attention to me at every meeting.”
And the second thing, if drawing attention to yourself is to be avoided, why go running to the local newspaper with this?
Canon John Manchester, who was chaplain to many of the council’s chairmen, said: “Whether it is Parliament or local government, those elected people need to remember that they are also answerable to a higher authority.”And you can just shut up as well!
But Coun Woodward said: “The only people I’m answerable to are the people that elected me. He may feel he’s answerable to a higher authority, but I don’t.”I’m pretty sure that you don’t feel yourself answerable to the people who elected you, either. God knows, if you did, it’d make you pretty unique.
So why this particular storm in a teacup, anyway? Don’t they have more pressing matters to deal with in Ryedale?
“There are a few things that happen on this council because that’s the way it has always been done, including that if you don’t have a majority, the largest party takes the chairmanship of the overview and scrutiny committee, which is the way it should be. If they can get rid of other things, I can get rid of the prayers.”Ahhh, I see. You’re doing it not because you have some deep conviction, but simply because you can.
How very adult of you.