By Tyson Thorne

April 4, 2019

Borowicz Large

Jesus, I thank you for this privilege, Lord, of letting me pray, God, that I Jesus am your ambassador here today. Standing here, representing you — the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, the one who is coming back again, the one who came died and rose again on the third day. And I am so privileged to stand here today. So thank you for this honor, Jesus. God, for those who came before us like George Washington at Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln who sought after you at Gettysburg, Jesus, and the founding fathers in Independence Hall, Jesus, that sought after you and fasted and prayed for this nation to be founded on your principles and your words and your truths.
God forgive us. Jesus we've lost sight of you. We've forgotten you, God, in our country. And we're asking you to forgive us, Jesus. That your promise in your word says that, "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek your face and turn from their wicked ways, that you will heal our land." Jesus you are our only hope. God, I pray for our leaders: Speaker Turzi, Leader Cutler, Governor Wolf, President Trump -- Lord thank you that he stands by Israel, unequivocally Lord. Thank you that, Jesus, that we're bless because we stand by Israel and we ask for the peace of Jerusalem as your word says, God. We ask that we not be overcome with evil and that we overcome evil with good in this land once again. I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus. The one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

— A prayer opening a voting session by Stephanie Borowicz (R), Pennsylvania House of Representatives

I took the time to transcribe Ms. Borowicz prayer before the Pennsylvania congress word for word and in its entirety because some members of the house were offended and made outrageous claims regarding her prayer. Claims like "it's anti-Semitic" and "Islamophobic". Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the prayer is very pro-Israel, pro-Jerusalem and pro-Jewish in its nature. In what way is it anti-Semitic? I don't see it. As for Islamophobic, she never mentions anything remotely connected to Islam in the prayer. On it's face, there is nothing here about Islam.

To be fair, the prayer opened a session of the house wherein a new member -- a black, Islamic woman -- was being sworn in. The prayer was the opening of a legislative session, however, and did not take place immediately before Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell (D) was sworn in. Instead, another prayer was offered just before the swearing in ceremony by a Muslim Imam, in Arabic, and which quoted the Quran. This minor detail appears to be lost in most of the coverage of the event. If the critics are looking for inclusion I don't think they could have done better. Of course the detractors claim the prayer was non-inclusive and prompted one member of the house to actually shout "Objection!" during the prayer.

With all the facts in view, I understand how the repeated mention of Jesus' name and the pro-Israel stance could be insulting to Muslims. On the flip side, however, there is little about Islam that doesn't insult Christianity. Saying what one believes shouldn't be grounds for censure (as some have called for) or condemnation. We ought to be adults about it in the spirit of freedom of speech and religion. Some will undoubtedly suggest that perhaps all prayer should be removed from the Pennsylvania House altogether, so that none will be offended ever again. The truth is, Borowicz's detractors aren't interested in inclusion or in not offending people; they want religion in general removed from the political process. We've addressed before why this is bad idea:

Just as the separation of man from God is inadvisable, so too is the separation of God from government. A government that gives neither thought nor recognition of God is a government that cannot recognize God-given rights and that is not accountable to anyone higher than itself. — True Liberty

I have my own issues with Borowicz's prayer, like the fact that she takes a promise God made only to Israel and attempts to apply it to the USA, but overall I thought her prayer was accurate and properly invoked the Christian heritage of our great nation and its current support for Israel. Overall I give kudos to Stephanie Borowicz. What she did took courage and real faith. Would that all Jesus-followers were so.

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