The opening prayer from Pennsylvania Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Centre/Clinton) continues to make headlines, as the Christian has been attacked for her prayer that mentioned Jesus.
Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net) Executive Director Gary Dull said that, as one who has had several opportunities to open both the PA House and Senate in prayer, he is thankful there is still enough respect for God and America’s great Judeo-Christian heritage for those prayers to continue to be offered in the state and trusts that freedom will continue.
“As far back as the time of Pennsylvania founder William Penn, God’s Name and His Word have been prevalent in the official representations of our Commonwealth,” Dull said. “In fact, Penn dreamed to establish in Pennsylvania what was referred to as ‘The Holy Experiment,’ in which a colony would be founded that guaranteed religious freedom. But that freedom was based upon the truth of the Holy God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ, as it states in John 8:32: ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’
“The preamble of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: ‘We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution…’” Dull continued. “Beyond that, it does not take long for a person to notice when visiting the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg how many Bible verses are posted throughout that beautiful edifice. Certainly, Jehovah Elohim, the God of the Bible, has been respected by many both in word and in voice within those walls over the years.”
Even though prayers are not offered simply to make public statements, they are offered to ask God for His wisdom and direction in doing His will, which is why the House and the Senate open their sessions in prayer, Dull added.
“Often in doing so, Scripture verses are quoted that may be an offense to some people,” he said. “In fact, Isaiah 30:9 says that spiritually rebellious people ‘will not hear the law of the Lord.’ So we should not be surprised when some people object to the Word of God when it is read, spoken or used in our prayers. When a person prays a ‘Christian prayer’ to the Christian God of the Bible, it only stands to reason that Christian and biblical terms will be used in that prayer. That may and will offend some people but that does not mean that such a freedom should be taken away. It has been reported that Rep. Stephanie Borowicz’s Christian prayer offended the first Muslim woman to be elected to and sworn into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Movita Johnson-Harrell, and that it was called ‘Islamophobic’ by some. But it was a Christian prayer that was given, and thus Christian words and concepts were used. Obviously, a Muslim prayer, if it was given, would have used Muslim terms. In our Commonwealth, as well as in our nation, people have the freedom to pray as they desire, and we all must pray that such a great freedom will last for generations to come. It is this freedom that has caused America to be blessed beyond any nation on earth, and if that blessing is to continue then the freedom to pray in the public square, including in governmental buildings, must prevail.”