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Prayer Controversy

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 07:16 PM EST
A pastor's prayer at a county commissioners meeting is stirring controversy in Polk County.

The pastor was invited to pray before the meeting, which is a regular occurrence at these meetings. However, it's what was in this prayer, the topics of divorce, homosexuality, and abortion, that has people talking.

Preaching the gospel is common place inside the Trinity Lutheran Church. It's where for the past six years, Pastor Thomas Olson has prayed.

Last Monday, it was in a new venue with a new audience.

Pastor Thomas Olson, Trinity Lutheran Church, "I came to that meeting having been invited to speak the voice of the Church of Jesus Christ."

It's what was in Olsons prayer, at the Polk County Commissioners meeting that started a debate.

Brenda Drake, part time resident, "I thought it was very good, very nicely done."

Sylvester Durandette, resident, "this is crazy, the guys ignorant."

Olson's prayer discourages live in sexual partners, homosexuality, and abortion.

Casa Bacot, resident, "dishonest men of 40 years ago, I think that's terribly inappropriate."

Brenda Drake, "well you know that's what this country was founded on, and you don't want to be subjected to it, then don't go."

Here is another argument made by some:

"Keep the prayers out of the government for crying out loud, separation of state and church," said Durandette.

"No I don't see separation of church and state being involved in this at all," said Pastor Olson.
 
Olson, says since it was Presidents Day, he was highlighting what our founding fathers believed.

Pastor Olson, "my prayer I thought would be best focused on a concern for what our nation needs the most. And that it begin at the local level."

"It's just not appropriate to say your beliefs in front of someone who may believe differently to you," said Bacot.

Olson says if he was asked back to give an invocation, he'd agree.

Here's a statement from the chairman of the Polk County Commissioners:

"The county attorney is reviewing the county's policy on legislative prayers offered in the form of invocations at the beginning of board of commissioners meetings. The county attorney will provide the board with the current policy. Any changes will announced at the next commissioners meeting."

The chairman wouldn't comment further.Prayer Controversy


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