Ohio's Leaders Promote Prayer, Faith and God

Former Browns Linebacker, Chris Spielman promotes Intelligent Design as he addresses annual Ohio prayer meeting.
by Kirk Rattray

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 14 that "righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people " On May 2, our nation celebrated the National Day of Prayer with petitions, proclamations and prayer breakfasts.

The first National Day of Prayer was proclaimed in 1775 by the Continental Congress, but lasted only a few years. The idea languished in the halls of Congress until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, called the nation to " a day of prayer and humiliation." In 1952 President Truman enacted legislation to set aside a specific date, and finally, in 1988, President Reagan signed into law the observance that the National Day of Prayer would be the first Thursday of May each year.

The 9th Ohio Prayer breakfast was held in Columbus and attended by various government luminaries, clergy and citizens. Ohio State University head football coach Jim Tressel gave the invocation.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell spoke, and humored the crowd by quoting his grandmother. "Prayer is like bathing- once a month is not enough." Blackwell, reared in Cincinnati by godly parents, displayed his knowledge of history by quoting presidents during his speech. James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution said that, " we have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it...(but) upon the capacity for each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Blackwell continued by claiming that " the quickest way to dissolve civil government and to wreck civil society is to attempt to run God and faith and prayer out of the Public Square." He finished by quoting George Washington, who said during his farewell address that " the two indispensable supports of our liberty are religion and morality."

Key note speaker Chris Spielman, former Lions and Browns linebacker, gave testimony and updates of his injury - induced retirement and wife's second battle with cancer. He then surprised the audience by revealing his support of the Intelligent Design position. The "modern day Braveheart" said, " there is an Intelligent Designer who created us to discover that joy is love and to share that love with each other."

Cleveland also prayed last month. The Cleveland Leadership Prayer Breakfast, led by former Reality One CEO, Tony Ciepiel, met downtown at the Renaissance Hotel. The meeting was inaugurated with the Pledge of Allegiance, and Mayor Jane Campbell greeted all. After Old and New Testament readings, area businessmen prayed for national, state and local leaders. Newsman, Obie Shelton performed two hymns on his violin and keynote speaker J. Stanley Oakes Jr. addressed the audience.

Mr. Oakes exemplifies a life dedicated to Christ. He worked for 30 years for Campus Crusade for Christ. Since 1997, he has supervised the transformation of the suburban, predominantly white, King's College into a racially diverse, multinational university located inside the Empire State building.

Given a bird's eye view of the events of Sept. 11th, the King's College sprang into action. In 3 days, a booklet was written, and within 10 days over one million copies had been distributed! "Remembrance" memorialized the godly victims of 9/11, gave scriptures of good vs. evil, and laid out the plan of salvation. Mr. Oakes bragged that even these Herculean efforts were beaten by his wife. Within one hour of the attack, she and friends were in the streets, handing out water and holding up the hand-lettered sign " May we pray with you?"

Finalizing his address, Oakes echoed the Columbus sentiment. He addressed the importance of the melding "the two subjects you're never supposed to talk about; religion and politics," warning that avoiding either leads to damnation or communism. He then volunteered the "fourfold," blessings of a relationship with Christ- "pardon you from sin... power to live... peace with God, self and others, purpose, in life." Ever the servant of God, the man who doesn't really "enjoy talking about religion... but about how someone can come to know God" led the audience in the sinner's prayer.

There are considerations to link all of the Ohio Prayer Breakfasts.

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