PROTESTERS have taken a stand against Wagga Council's controversial proposal to ditch prayer at its meetings.
Two local women who did not wish to be identified, told The Daily Advertiser that they were attending their first council meeting to protest the draft plans to drop prayer from its meeting procedure.
A sign that read 'keep the prayer' was brought along for the councillors to see at the Monday night council meeting.
The council's proposal to scrap prayer is just one of several suggested changes to its Code of Meeting Practice document.
The document suggests an affirmation, the national anthem or a non-denominational prayer as alternatives to the traditional prayer.
However, the proposed changes has been met by a heated debate between people in favour and against the possible outcome.
Darcy Maybon, of Turvey Park, is just one person who thinks prayer should be a permanent fixture to the bi-monthly meetings. But, he also believes an affirmation could be included, in conjunction with the prayer.
"There should be an affirmation at the start of the council meetings for people of other faiths - or no faiths in fact," he said.
"I would like to see the traditional prayer retained, but in a balanced way to not only preserve our heritage, but to accommodate for newer faiths in our community."
Mr Maybon said there are parts of Christianity that he does not agree with, but prayer should be a part of the future in order to remember the community's history.
"Our heritage is important, it's our roots and it will always be important," he said.
"The majority of people in the Wagga community do nominate as Christians and the Geo-Christian ethics have been a part of our Australian history and the constitution was also built on these principles.
"There are actions that have been said in the name of Christianity that leaves much to be desired. I don't agree with all the things that goes under the name of religion.
"But, we need to remember where we have been and where we are at. It is not the time to ditch prayer."
I would like to see the traditional prayer retained, but in a balanced way to not only preserve our heritage, but to accommodate for newer faiths in our community.Darcy Maybon
Mr Maybon said people must remember that the debate, and ultimate decision, is not intended to offend.
"Nobody wants people to be hurt, but it is certainly not hurtful to remember where we have come from," he said.
"I think we should also consider our Aboriginal people and the traditional beliefs they hold."
The council's Code of Practice document is no longer on public exhibition, however, submissions can be made until next week on June 10.
The feedback will be presented to councillors at a council meeting the next day.
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