Anger grows over Senate President Sue Lines’ call for the Lord’s Prayer to be scrapped

Jul 29, 2022
The suggestion quickly drew anger, particularly Kennedy MP Bob Katter who was vocal in his criticism of the proposal. Source: Facebook/

Mere days after Pauline Hanson stormed out of the Senate in protest of the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony, the same Senate President she interrupted has called for the 121-year-old tradition of reading the Lord’s Prayer at each sitting to be scrapped.

Despite the long-standing tradition being practiced since 1901, Sue Lines told The Australian, “personally I would like to see them gone”.

“On the one hand we’ve had almost every parliamentary leader applaud the diversity of the Parliament and so if we are genuine about the diversity of the Parliament we cannot continue to say a Christian prayer to open the day,” Lines said.

“Personally, I would like to see the prayers gone. I’m an atheist. I don’t want to say the prayers. If others want to say the prayers they’re open to do that.

“Personally I would like to see them gone but again it’s not something I can decree. It’s a view of the Senate.”

Lines plans to address the matter at the next Senate Standing Committee on Procedure.

The suggestion quickly drew anger from Canberra, particularly Kennedy MP Bob Katter who was vocal in his criticism of the proposal.

“Is it an unreasonable thing to quote from a book that more than half the population is committed to? In Australia it is,” he said.

“And now, we have been told today by some that we cannot say prayers in the Parliament. We can show allegiance to some lady in England, but we cannot say prayers.”

Anger was not just contained to Canberra with Australians across the nation slamming Lines for her proposal, suggesting “our Australian traditions are being eroded”.

Despite many condemning the suggestion, just as many supported Lines’ proposal. With several argueing that religion and politics should remain separate.

In addition to the Lord’s Prayer being recited the Senate also practices an Acknowledgment of Country ceremony, a tradition Senator Pauline Hanson voiced her objections to days earlier.

The One Nation leader came under fire after she stormed out of the Senate on Wednesday, July 27 during the Acknowledgment of Country ceremony.

While recognising the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, Hanson interrupted claiming she would not be part of the ceremony.

“No, I won’t,” Hanson yelled as she exited the chambers.

“I never will.”

The outspoken Hanson later told Australian Associated Press that she had been “feeling this way for a long time”.

“I have called from the first day for equality for all Australians. I see this as divisive,” she said.

She went on to claim that “our people that have fought for this country” need acknowledgement and those “who have sacrificed their lives”.

She continued to criticise the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony before taking aim at the Indigenous Flag.

“I find this flag divisive,” she said.

“We are now hearing it on flights and aeroplanes. I’m sorry – this is my country as well.

“This is heading towards division in our nation. A ‘them and us’. And we’ll never close the gap if we continue down this path. All Australians should be treated equally and the same.”

Hanson’s outburst was also met with swift condemnation, with Indigenous Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe taking to Twitter to make her thoughts known.

“Day two of the 47th parliament and racism has reared its ugly head,” Thorpe tweeted.

“Pauline Hanson disrespectfully stormed out of the acknowledgement of Country in the Senate, refusing to acknowledge “those people.” You want to make parliament safe? Get rid of racism.”

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up