Monday, January 11, 2010

The Rest of the Story

A Prayer Story from Fr. Sam's Files

State legislators got more than they bargained for when they asked local minister Joe Wright to bless the new session in prayer.

This is the text of the original prayer delivered January 23, 1996 by Pastor Joe Wright to the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka.

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and to see Your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good", but that's exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped othe gods and called it multi-culturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the port and call it the lottery.
We have negledcted the needy and call it self-preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and call it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted out neighbour's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by you to govern this great state.

Grant them you wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the centre of Your will.  I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Saviour, Jesus Christ.

This prayer which Reverend Joe Wright of the Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas delivered to the Kansas State House of  Representatives was similar to one delivered previously, at the Kentucky Governor's prayer breakfast in 1995 by Bob Russell.

Rev. Wright has been invited by a member of his church, one of the elected representatives to be guest chaplain, read the prayer and then departed.  He created a ruckus that erupted after he left.

Reportedly, one Democrat walked out in protest, three others spoke critically of the prayer and another blasted Wright's "message of intolerance."  The House minority leader Tom Watson, a Democrat said the prayer "reflects the extreme, radical views that continue to dominate the House Republican agenda since right-wing extremists seized control of the House Republicans caucus last year."  Democrat Rep. Jim Long said that Wright "made everyone mad."  The Representative that had invited Wright claimed that the House Democrats were only trying to make political hay out of a prayer that he supported himself.

As Wright said later: " I certainly did not mean to be offensive to individuals, but I do not apologize for the truth."   After over 6,500 phone calls to his office from around the world, and several television and news reports of the incident, the chaplain coordinator of the Nebraska Legislature read it there as well.

Some folks are a little touchy about their own sin.
A little does of truth might be good at the Provincial and Federal legislatures here in Canada.  What do you think?

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