Commissioner explains stance on prayers

By Jason Hawk

July 1, 2014

To the editor:

Earlier this year, the board of commissioners agreed with my request to start our meetings with a prayer. Since then, we have had different religions represented at the board meetings with positive responses. The only negative is from those who want to speculate what is in my mind and heart. Let me provide you with a little background that may alleviate some of your suspicion.

I am a Christian, and Jesus Christ is my savior! As a Christian, I believe that anything is possible through Christ. My request to have an opening prayer is not a stunt, it’s who I am. I believe in the power of prayer.

I am not ashamed to pray in public, to ask God for guidance and help, I embrace it. When the Supreme Court ruled that a prayer in a public meeting doesn’t violate the separation of church and state, I was excited! I told the reporter that called me for my reaction that I would introduce having an opening prayer at the next board of commissioners meeting, which I did. I am grateful that my fellow commissioners agree with the power of prayer.

I understand why people may be skeptical. Many elected officials avoid religion, or conceal their faith, because people make it controversial. Some people do not believe in God, or are unsure of his existence. Others are concerned with a particular faith being imposed upon people by their government. Let me assure you that there is no intent to force any belief upon any individual, and all Lorain County citizens will be treated with respect. At the same time, I would ask you and others to avoid any attempt to restrict the expression of my faith. I believe in God and the power of prayer.

I hope you see now that I am not the type of official who conceals my faith, or avoids controversy. I will always do what I think is right for the people of Lorain County, and I am willing to stand up for my beliefs, even if that means that I am standing alone.

Tom Williams

Lorain County Commissioner