As a secular nation, I am quite perplexed as to why we still have a prayer recited in our parliament. In the 2006 census only around 55% of our population identified themselves as being of the Christian faith, yet our government recites a prayer that is blatantly Christian every day it is in session.
Here is the prayer that is recited.
Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
There are several things in that prayer that I have a problem with.
1) I do not believe in a god, along with over 30% of this nation, so "humbly acknowledging" the need for guidance from a deity means nothing to me.
2) No one speaks like that anymore, so it is only for the sake of religious reverence that they still recite a prayer in old english.
3) The Queen does nothing except have her face embossed on our currency, so why should she be referenced in a prayer to an imaginary sky-daddy.
4) The mention of "true religion" embarrasses me. Coming from the mouths of the government of a secular nation, calling Christianity the true religion is unacceptable.
5) The Lord of the writer of this prayer has done nothing to keep this country wealthy, safe, peaceful or tranquil, those are all the works of our forefathers. We should be thanking them, not some genie.