Kentucky Pastor’s Legislative Prayer Hits Too Close to Home

By:  Dave Bohon
01/27/2012
       
Kentucky Pastor’s Legislative Prayer Hits Too Close to Home

A Kentucky seminary professor and pastor has drawn the ire of a few state politicians for a prayer he offered before the Governor delivered his annual budget address to a joint session of the state legislature. According to Lexington, Kentucky’s local NBC news affiliate, the Rev. Hershael York, who is senior pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort and a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, called “gambling a terrible thing just minutes before Governor Steve Beshear proposed casino gambling in Kentucky during Tuesday’s session.”

A Kentucky seminary professor and pastor has drawn the ire of a few state politicians for a prayer he offered before the Governor delivered his annual budget address to a joint session of the state legislature. According to Lexington, Kentucky’s local NBC news affiliate, the Rev. Hershael York (photo), who is senior pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort and a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, called “gambling a terrible thing just minutes before Governor Steve Beshear proposed casino gambling in Kentucky during Tuesday’s session.”

Specifically, reported Baptist Press News, York used part of his prayer time before the legislature to point out “the evils of gambling and how it entices the poor with a false hope to spend that which they cannot afford.” While beginning his prayer by asking God to give the lawmakers guidance and wisdom in the decisions they would make for the state, the Christian leader then shifted his focus, praying: “Help us to admit that we cannot truly love our neighbor as ourselves and then scheme to get his money by enticing him with vain hope. May [the legislators] not lead this state to share profits from an industry that preys on greed or desperation.”

He continued, asking God: “Help us to foster salaries and not slot machines, to build cars and enable jobs — not license casinos and seduce the simple into losing what they have. May our greatest concern not be that we get our share of the family’s losses, but that we foster a sense of hope and justice that creates opportunity and leads to success.”

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