Prayer at county commissioner meeting stirs debate

Published 6:22 pm Saturday, February 22, 2014

Editor’s Note: following is the text of a prayer read by Pastor Thomas Olson, with the Trinity Lutheran Church in Tryon, opening the Monday, Feb. 17 Polk County Board of Commissioner meeting. The prayer has caused debate in the community both  for and against Olson’s views expressed in the prayer as well as whether or not a prayer such as Olson’s should be allowed in a government meeting.

The Bulletin is writing an article to publish this week in the paper and welcomes the public’s views to include in the article. Feel free to comment under this post for a chance for your comments to be included in the article, or email your comments to


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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.

Pastor Thomas Olson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon