Saskatoon considers 'greeting' instead of prayer
Ashu Solo satisfied with proposal
After months of deliberating, the City of Saskatoon has come out with a proposed policy on prayer before civic events.
The city says the proposed 'appropriate greetings' are an effort to bring together many faiths without focusing on any one in particular.
Prayer became an issue in Saskatoon after a local man filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
Ashu Solo believed his rights were infringed on when city councillor Randy Donauer said a prayer before the event started.
An atheist, Solo said the prayer discriminated against him, and that prayer should not be allowed at civic events.
Solo says he's generally happy with the new wording.
"The 'thanks messages' proposed by the city administration are pretty good. They could just use a couple of minor word tweaks," he said. "I think if they had this in the first place, I wouldn't have made a human rights complaint."
If council accepts the new prayer, Solo says he will drop his complaint against Donauer and the city.
"I always said that if the city comes up with a secular policy, that I would drop the case." he said. "I'm not looking to make any money or anything off this case."
The report does not address other contentious religious issues, like Merry Christmas messages on city buses.
Council will discuss the report at Executive Council next week.
Here's an example of a 'greeting' being put forward by city administration
"Let us together bow our heads.
We take this moment to pause, before the enjoyment of a meal well-prepared for our celebration, to recognize and appreciate the gifts from nature provided, the work of human hands contributed, and sacrifice represented for our benefit.
Each of us have our own beliefs.
Whether we are thankful for the bounty provided by one God or many, from a great spirit energy that is common to us all, or simply from the good people behind the door to the kitchen, we are all together in this moment, full of the grace that comes from being thankful for a gift that is given.
May we all enjoy the gift that is the good meal before us.