Faith groups pray for NL politicians, deliver anti-poverty message

James McLeod
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Prayers and an anti-poverty messages were delivered to the provincial government by members of various faith groups in the Confederation Building cafeteria Tuesday morning.

Premier Tom Marshall was at the prayer breakfast, and told a story about something that happened 10 years ago, just after he was sworn in to cabinet for the first time and how he bumped into a United Church minister he knew.

“I’m a minister too now,” Marshall said.

Without missing a beat, the clergyman responded, “Yes, he said, but I got my calling from God. You only got yours from Danny Williams. He just thinks he’s God.”

It was a lighthearted, friendly affair for the most part Tuesday morning, but Rev. David Burrows, who heads up the Religious Social Action Coalition, said the government should aim to make sure that everyone can earn a living wage and government decisions should be looked at through a “fairness prism.”

“We believe that poverty is a failure of community, and  such extreme poverty in our province and country is likewise an extreme failure,” Burrows said.

“Every kind of decision that government makes, I believe, should reflect how is this going to affect the wealthiest in the society? How is this going to affect those who are left behind by the society?”

Speaking more seriously, Marshall said that in his time as premier, he’s tried to make that fairness principle a central part of government. He said it’s about justice.

“Justice not so much in the legal sense, but justice in making sure that all citizens have an opportunity to share in the prosperity that we’re fortunate to have,” Marshall said.

At the breakfast, members of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu sects offered prayers for the politicians of all three political parties.

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: United Church, Religious Social Action Coalition

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Recent comments

  • Josh
    May 22, 2014 - 15:04

    Great ideals only go so far, but it isn't like the top earners are going to give up any money if they can avoid it.

  • Harvey
    May 21, 2014 - 10:22

    Mr. Marshall, as long as corporate greed remains in high gear, it will be most difficult making our wealth distributable to so many who should be able to avail of it.

  • James
    May 21, 2014 - 09:54

    My brother gave a homeless man the wool hat off of his head this past winter down town. This one act is worth more than 1,000,000,000 to the power of 1,000,000 prayers. You would have been better off donating the breakfast food you ate to the local food bank. Religious leaders and politicians should never been in the same room.