My Prayers for Oklahoma’s “Oilfield Prayer Day”

oilfield-prayer-day

Oklahoma’s Governor Fallin has declared October 13, 2016 to be “OilField Prayer Day.” Here is the full text of the official proclamation:

  • Whereas, Oklahoma is blessed with an abundance of oil and natural gas, allowing the state to be a prosperous producer of these valuable resources; and
  • Whereas Christians acknowledge such natural resources are created by God; and
  • Whereas the oil and gas industry continues to produce countless opportunities for wealth generation for Oklahoma families; and
  • Whereas Oklahoma recognizes the incredible economic, community and faith-based impacts demonstrated across the state by oil and natural gas companies; and
  • Whereas Christians are invited to thank God for the blessing created by the oil and natural gas industry and to seek His wisdom and ask for protection; now, therefore, I, Mary Fallin, Governor, do hereby proclaim October 13, 2016, as “Oilfield Prayer Day” in the state of Oklahoma.

In response to this proclamation, I have decided to offer my prayers for “OilField Prayer Day,” in advance of the official day set aside by Governor Fallin. Here are my prayers:

  • I pray that Governor Fallin will adhere to the Establishment Clause of the Religious Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and not prefer or promote one religion over another or over no religion in her role as governor of the state of Oklahoma.
  • I pray for a diversified, clean energy based Oklahoma economy that will be good for both people and the planet.
  • I pray for education and training of employees who have lost their jobs and livelihood in the oil and gas bust so that they will be able to participate fully in a more diversified clean energy based economy in Oklahoma.
  • I pray for a 7% gross production tax on oil and gas wells instead of the current 2% (and for a number of years it was 1%), which is much lower than the national average, including all of the contiguous states.
  • I pray that the income from a 7% gross production tax will be used to help cover the cuts Oklahoma has made in basic public services, including more cuts to state per pupil spending on education than any other state in the entire United States since 2008 (and that includes the years we were experiencing an oil and gas boom).
  • I pray oil and gas companies will be made to pay for all the earthquake damage they have caused in our state, including paying for all earthquake insurance premiums and deductibles.
  • I pray that Oklahoma and its politicians will respect science and recognize the reality of climate change and finally put people and the planet over profit for the few.
  • I pray that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will permanently reject efforts by Oklahoma Gas and Electric to put extra use fees on distributed solar and wind power for residences and businesses.
  • I pray that during this oil and gas bust that Oklahoma will finally learn the lesson that unless we move away from a mono-economy based on oil and gas to a diverse economy based on clean energy that we will never break the cycle of boom and bust in our state.
  • I pray that we will not have an oil and gas industry induced earthquake that will cause human injuries and/or loss of life and that we will have the wisdom to stop the waste water injection that is causing thousands of earthquakes in Oklahoma.
  • I pray that Oklahoma will stop being one of primary contributors through its policies and practices to the creation of an unlivable climate for the human community and much of the rest of life.

Governor Fallin wanted all Oklahoma Christians to pray for the oilfields, and I am a Oklahoma Christian, so I have prayed and will continue to pray that generations to come will not look back on our generation with disgust that we ruined the possibility for them to enjoy a livable planet. Amen.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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