DLP SENATOR John Madigan has opposed a push to scrap the Lord’s Prayer in Parliament, saying that it is part of the Judeo-Christian principles that formed Australia.
Senator Madigan particularly took aim at Greens Senator Richard Di Natale for putting the idea on the agenda, saying it was ironic because of his surname’s translation “of Christmas”.
“I am sure Senator Di Natale would be unwilling to change his name to the more politically correct ‘winter solstice’,” he said.
“His name carries tradition, values and a link to his past.
“The prayer at the beginning of each sitting day also carries these links.”
Senator Di Natale announced on Tuesday that he would move to end the reading of prayers at the start of each sitting day when Parliament returns in February.
“We have a very clear separation between church and state in this country and the fact that we say the Lord’s Prayer in the Australian parliament, it is an anachronism,” he said.
A devout Catholic, Senator Madigan said the rules and practices of Parliament were part of the historical and traditional heritage of Australia.
“This heritage has come out of a Christian belief,” he said.
On Twitter, Senator Di Natale responded to the comments: “I’d like to thank Senator Madigan for his advice on my name.”