Sunday, February 12, 2012

"I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year..."

This is one of those all-time quotes. A previously unknown piece of prose was quoted by King George VI in his broadcast to the nation on the outbreak of World War II in 1939. The words became identified with the King and with the noble cause to which he was rallying the nation - giving voice to the sense of moral purpose which would would sustain them in the months ahead..

"...Go out into the dark, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."

But today, if you quoted those words as an inspiration at the beginning of a borough council meeting in Britain it would be illegal. A judge ruled this week that prayers before council meetings contravene the law. He claims that this is based on a law passed in 1972. In 1974 I was elected to the council of the London Borough of Sutton. We began every Council meeting with prayers, and opened the year with a Civic Service in a local church, walking there in procession headed by the Mayor with his mace. I don't think there had ever been meetings of the Council, or of any of its predecessors (Borough of Beddington and Wallington, Urban District of Carshalton, etc) that had not begun with prayers.

This latest court ruling is nonsense and must be overturned.

Britain in the 21st century is looking-glass land. Can we get back to reality, please?


Elizabeth said...

What law does it contravene??

Manny said...

Also did you see your Queen's Christmas message? I assume you did. It was truly inspiring. Only a Queen could say something as religious as that today. No other public official could that today. For those who have not seen it, go to youtube and search "the queen's christmas message 2011."

Pearl of Tyburn said...

Hello, Auntie Joanna.

I remember reading that piece of prose in a book called "The Royal Family at War." It sent chills up my spine when I read it. It's so sad that modern "sensibilities" are bent on destroying our freedom to pray to God in public. It's ludicrous.

Manny, I'm interested in reading the Queen's Christmas speech, but I can't get youtube on my dial up computer! Do you know of a website where the words of the speech are typed out?