By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
March 3, 2021
Someone has said that many prayers go to the dead-letter office of heaven for want of sufficient direction. That was likely the case for a prayer offered before the North Carolina Senate by Julie Mayfield on Tuesday, February 23rd.
Mayfield, who is also a State Senator from Buncombe County, told other Senate members she was raised in the Episcopal Church, but now finds
herself not subscribing to any particular religious tradition.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said that he was not present when Mayfield’s prayer was offered, but he was alerted to it by certain Senate members and legislative staff.
“They found the prayer troubling,” said Creech. “So I got a copy of the audio from the Senate Clerk’s office and listened to it.”
Here’s a transcript of the prayer:
“Holy one of many names and all colors, spirit of justice and whose love has no boundaries, instill in us a love big enough to overcome judgment, a love tenacious enough to dissipate fear, a love courageous enough to reach out to those who injure us the most, a love tender enough to hold our own fragile selves.
“Holy creativity in your constantly birthing of new possibilities, open our eyes to new visions that grasp our common humanity and reveal fresh ways of uniting, mending, and bridging. Bless us in our celebration of diversity. We have only to notice a creation teeming with diversity to know your delight [inaudible] difference.
“A light green of lunar moth, brilliant orange of a maple tree, the intricate design of the swallowtail butterfly, are a healing balm for our eyes. In summer evenings, cicadas, crickets, and tree frogs create a summer chorus to sing us to sleep.
“The finch, chickadee, titmouse, and cardinal offer spring mornings wake-up songs, with their varying note and sounds. All a part of the family of things, all a part of one holy pulsing web, each a thread in the hands of a loving spirit, weaving us together in a colorful tapestry. Tree and toad, wolf and woman, moth and man, [inaudible], one holy pulsing web of light. We are all kin. We are all kin.”
Rev. Creech said that he rarely comments on other people’s prayers. But in this case, he thought it was appropriate to mention such public prayers were a perfect example of non-specific religious expressions which are meant to avoid offenses in the public arena.
“I mean by this, that such prayers are not made to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. They aren’t addressed to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor offered in Christ’s name. They are made to a generic god. It pains me to say it, but it’s really idolatry. I acknowledge that in our system, we welcome people of every religious persuasion. Still, Judeo-Christian values built this country,” said Creech. “I agree with Noah Webster who said ‘the religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his apostles.’ So when we appeal to God, who truly is ‘the spirit of justice and whose love has no boundaries,’ seeking his help and guidance, it should be to the God of our fathers, the God of our nation’s founders. To do otherwise is offensive to God. That’s not very smart at a time when we need him so desperately.”
Creech said that Mayfield’s prayer is also indicative of this age’s spirit, as described in Romans chapter 1 of the Bible.
Romans 1:21-23 reads:
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
“Mayfield doesn’t bow down to a graven image, but in principle, her prayer extols the creation as somewhat equal with the Creator, and makes man equal with the creation, when the Bible says God gave humanity dominion over the creation. When we see this kind of thing, the apostle Paul tells us in Romans that this is evidence of a culture that has abandoned God. This is what the real issue is with her prayer. It’s indicative of our entering a post-Christian era. Such prayers may sound sublime in some ears, but it’s absolute rubbish,” added Creech.
Article XI, Section 4 of the North Carolina Constitution refers to the state as “a Christian state.”