Baylor denies accusation that chapel speaker prayed to ‘mother mystery’ at service

The campus of Baylor University, a private Christian school in Waco, Texas.
The campus of Baylor University, a private Christian school in Waco, Texas. | (Photo: Baylor University/Matthew Minard)

Baylor University has denied accusations by a conservative student group that a recent chapel service included a prayer to Mother Nature or “mother mystery.”

On Feb. 12, Native American author and poet Kaitlin Curtice spoke at a scheduled chapel service at the Waco, Texas-based Christian school. During her opening and closing prayers, she did not name God or Jesus, but used the word "mystery." 

Following the chapel service, the Baylor chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas expressed multiple concerns with Curtice's remarks in her 40-minute lecture. A video of Curtice's talk and prayers can be seen here and at the bottom of this article. 

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“Very disappointed that the Chapel staff has elected to ignore our conversation last year and chose to bring in another speaker, Kaitlin Curtice, whose message ignored the gospel and instead focused on woke politics,” tweeted Baylor YCT last week.

“As Christians, we don’t pray to ‘Mother Mystery.’ We believe in ‘one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages ...’”

In another tweet last week, the student group went on to label Curtice as the “most recklessly anti-Christian speaker yet” to speak at a Baylor chapel service.

However, Baylor Assistant Vice President of media and public relations, Lori Fogelman, told news station KWTX that no such prayer happened.

Fogelman told KWTX that, after reviewing videos of three chapel sessions, they could not find an instance in which Curtice gave a prayer to “Mother Mystery” or "Mother Earth."

However, in a video of her remarks posted by Baylor Chapel on Vimeo, Curtice can be heard giving an opening and closing prayer, each addressed to "o mystery," and she describes the Creator as " ... the one who is not here or there, not this or that ..."

She also spoke at one point of trying more to listen to "mother earth as she speaks" as she reconnect to the Native American side of her family. 

In a response to the allegations, Curtice also denied using the term “mother mystery” and defended her overall remarks at the service.

“I mean, I spoke on decolonizing our spirituality by breaking down systems of white supremacy. Who doesn’t love that? Now I know who doesn’t love that,” she replied on Twitter. “Also I’ve never used mother mystery in a talk but definitely going to now.”

In response to the denials, the student group stands by their initial claim, telling Relevant magazine in comments published Tuesday that they had multiple sources.

“We have had several people confirm to us that they also heard her say that, and the College Dems Presidents statement also matched up with that,” Baylor YCT, told Relevant. “If she did not say that, we would apologize for specifically highlighting that, but it was only one of many problems."

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