Friday, January 8, 2016 - 17:01
"Grace of God": MP calls for laws to be separated from religion
Dutch parliamentarian Stientje van Veldhoven called for an end to the phrase “by the grace of God,” used when bills are signed into law by King Willem-Alexander. The D66 MP calls it a clear violation of separation of church and state, and she thinks a majority of MPs agree with her. “The sovereignty in the Netherlands lies with the people, not by a God,” she said to newswire ANP. “Voters vote for people’s representatives, who make laws on their behalf. That legislative process should be neutral in our democracy, but “the grace of God” links this process with religion, and that is not the intention.” Dutch lawmakers have the ability to alter the phrasing used when a new law takes shape since the constitutional reforms were made in 1983. Van Veldhoven said this is not in any way an attack on religion, stressing that she respects people’s faith in God. However using the phrase with the enactment of every law is unjustifiable, she said on behalf of her party.