polk_county_nc_2014Below find the text of a prayer delivered at the opening of the Feb. 17 Polk County Board of Commissioners meeting by Pastor Thomas Olson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Tryon. The Tryon Daily Bulletin reports that the prayer has caused an uproar in the community, with residents coming out both for and against the views expressed in the prayer, as well as over the issue of whether or not a prayer such as Olson’s should be allowed.

Pastor Thomas Olson prayed for deliverance from the “destructive laws and godless practices that are tearing apart the holy institutions of marriage and family among us.” He asked for salvation from “rampant no-fault divorce, illicit sexuality by live-in partners, the public promotion of homosexual lifestyles which endangers our young and leads directly to the corruption of our boys especially; the proliferation of children of single moms fueled by economic encouragement and worst of all the indefensible slaughter of the unborn in our beloved homeland.” He asked for “continued freedom of worship and deliver us from coercive laws which infringe upon conscience, especially in the area of healthcare and in matters of life and death.” He asked for help to “stop the lawless abuse of children, strong families and “the indefensible slaughter of the unborn.”

Regarding prayer in general, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2011 Forsyth County, N.C., case that if local boards decided to open meetings with prayer, said prayer may not indicate a preference for one faith. Following that ruling, more than 20 local governments across N.C. changed their invocations to comply.

Here’s the prayer by Olson, as reported by the Tryon Daily Bulletin:

Gracious God and Father, thanks be to you for blessing us with our American homeland and for the many who have served and continue to serve the people of this nation, in the military especially and in government service at every level. Give us we pray community leadership reflective of the great presidents of our nation, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose commitment to freedom and strict moral standing set a course of greatness for the people of the United States.

Deliver us from those destructive laws and godless practices that are tearing apart the holy institutions of marriage and family among us, institutions established by God in the creation of man as male and female, with the command to be fruitful and multiply. Save us from rampant no-fault divorce, illicit sexuality by live-in partners, the public promotion of homosexual lifestyles which endangers our young and leads directly to the corruption of our boys especially; the proliferation of children of single moms fueled by economic encouragement and worst of all the indefensible slaughter of the unborn in our beloved homeland based on the deceitful and dishonest judgments of a few evil men over 40 years ago.

Help us see the good that we can do here in Polk County to curb the spread of lawlessness and the abuse of children and help us stand for decency, with sound instruction in our schools, with honesty and integrity in business and government, and with committed husband- wife and father-mother relationships in our homes.

Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Son of God, you’ve given husbands especially the example of self sacrifice as you shed your precious blood to purify for yourself a Holy Bride, your church. You established love and forgiveness as the hallmarks of your kingdom. Help the men of this community stand as protectors and defenders of the common good and strengthen and uphold the women of our county, whose leadership roles in business, education, community, government and protective agencies are ever increasing, and whose places as pillars of family and church are an encouragement to all.

As you have won for mankind freedom from assaults of devil, world and flesh, and have delivered all believers from the fear of death, guide and strengthen all who serve in government here and throughout our nation in the defense of liberty, of equality under the law and of justice for all. Oh Holy Spirit, who in the Holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament gives to mankind the very mind of Christ, you are the comforter who brings healing and peace to people’s lives through faith in Jesus Christ. Hear our prayers for D. Marche Pittman and grant restoration of health. Stir up the hearts of all our citizens to shun evil and hold fast to what is good, that our children may be free from the violence and rank immorality that permeates movies and music, TV shows and video games.

By your goodness grant us continued freedom of worship and deliver us from coercive laws which infringe upon conscience, especially in the area of healthcare and in matters of life and death. Bless the expansion of St. Luke’s Hospital and the service it renders our community. Let your wisdom, mercy and justice direct this Board in all its discussions and determinations we pray in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Image link for Polk County.

7 Comments

  1. Me thinks the “good” pastor doth protest too much. I wonder if we opened up his closet how may skeletons would come tumbling out.

  2. A resident of Polk County who disapproves of the prayer may want to contact;

    ffrf.org

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation will assess, legally warn the Polk county attorney and take legal action, if necessary, to have the county comply with the law.

  3. Y’know, someday I would really love it if my small town was recognized for something other than bigots, government scandal and meth labs. /headdesk

  4. Nevermind homosexuality, we definitely need to stop “illicit sexuality by live-in partners”.

    Who wants to bet this guy travels with a wad of scarlet letters in his pocket, and a sewing kit.

  5. So much for not invoking one faith, eh? And let’s throw in some bigotry too… very nice, Polk County. Well Done.

  6. Holy crapatoli. Glad I don’t live in Polk county…

  7. Well, that’s pretty horrible.

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