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VA Lawmakers Dis Pastor, Walk Out During Prayer Warning Over Abortion, Gay Marriage

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Several members of the Virginia House of Delegates recently turned their backs on a black pastor and walked out of chambers when he prayed against abortion and gay marriage.

The Rev. Robert Grant of The Father's Way Church in Warrenton was invited to lead the opening prayer before the assembly on Tuesday.

But his prayer turned into a warning of God's wrath for laws that violate Biblical principles surrounding the unborn.

"I pray that you may understand that all life is precious and worthy of a chance to be born," he prayed. "God is the giver of life and people have no right or authority to take life. The unborn have rights and those rights need to be protected. They should never be denied the right to exist, the right to develop or the right to have a family," he said from the podium.

Grant continued by telling lawmakers, "The word of God has given us a warning: woe to anyone who harms an innocent child. Every one of you sitting here today can guarantee these rights to these little innocent children of Virginia."

"Please do not ignore their little voices. I pray for a heart change today and may the Lord God have mercy upon this leadership," he went on.

On the issue of gay marriage Grant prayed, "I pray that this chamber will uphold the Virginia family, that the bills and laws being passed will always protect the Biblical traditional marriage as God instructed the first man and the first woman in the Bible that the two shall be one flesh. That a man and a woman shall be fruitful and multiply."

He added, "We should never rewrite what God has declared."   

"If a state wants to use God's laws then it needs to be respected. It's not yours to change or alter its wording. The Bible is the copyright of God's word. Marriage is to join a biological male and a biological female in holy matrimony," said Grant.

Democratic Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn interrupted the prayer by banging her gavel and proceeding to lead lawmakers in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Washington Post reports that many Democrats and even some Republican lawmakers were offended by the prayer and stormed out.

Democratic Del. Luke Torian, who is also a pastor, told The Mercury, "It was totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House."

Del. Delores McQuinn said it "felt like condemnation."

"I don't know if he was ill-instructed or didn't realize what he was here to do," said Del. Matt Farris, a Republican.  "This wasn't the place or the time to do all of that."

"This is a time we need to be working together and not being divisive," said Farris.  

But Pastor Grant stands by his prayer.

"I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice," he told MRC. "If It's my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don't want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don't invite one."

CBN News has reached out to Pastor Grant for comment.


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About The Author

Charlene Aaron

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter, news anchor, co-host of The 700 Club, co-host of 700 Club Interactive, and co-host of The Prayerlink on the CBN News Channel. She covers various social issues, such as abortion, gender identity, race relations, and more. Before joining CBN News in 2003, she was a personal letter writer for Dr. Pat Robertson. Charlene attended Old Dominion University and Elizabeth City State University. She is an ordained minister and pastor’s wife. She lives in Smithfield, VA, with her husband.