Controversial Opening Legislative Prayer in the Heart of Paganistan

On May 20th, a crowd gathered in front of the Minnesota legislature to protest an amendment declaring marriage as legal for one man and one woman only. Bradlee Dean, pastor of the Old Path Church of Minneapolis, delivered a rant disguised as an opening prayer. As a sign of respect for all religious traditions most guest clergy at a legislative assembly offer a non-denominational prayer. Dean makes it very obvious that he believes non-denominational means Christian sects only.

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VIDEO: Bradlee Dean, who has said he “approves the death penalty for gays” is invited by House GOP to give opening prayer on the Minnesota House floor. At the conclusion of the prayer, Speaker of the House Zellers notes Dean as the “House chaplain of the day.”

According to the Star Tribune newspaper Dean’s guest prayer was arranged by Rep. Ernie Leidiger, R-Mayer. Leidiger said “he was unaware of Dean’s view of homosexuality, calling it “radical thinking” There is no excuse for Rep. Leidiger to not know what he was getting into. Bradley Dean is one of the most outspoken Christian evangelists in the US. His anti-gay rhetoric is on the radio and on his website. youcanruninternational.com/ His opening statements listing US wars and honoring soldiers and the DVD on his website have him coming across as God’s champion in the ultimate war of Good vs Evil. You Can Run But You Can’t Hide is a traveling teen ministry. Jason at the Wild Hunt Blog has a great post put together with actual audio and other news about Dean stating gays should be put to death. wildhunt.org/blog/2011/05/quick-notes-michele-bachmann-eilish-deavalon-and-a-catholic-fertility-ritual.html

As spiteful as the prayer was, it drew members of the legislature together, across party lines, to discuss how they would respond. Dean’s words unified members in respect for all faiths.

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VIDEO: Rep. Morrow responded to Dean’s divisive comments

The marriage amendment vote was postponed.

Disabled representative John Ward delivered a moving speech about how he’s experienced discrimination and was against the marriage bill.

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VIDEO: Rep. John Ward speaks in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

However, the peace didn’t last long. On May 23, the amendment passed at midnight and will be voted on by Minnesota citizens in 2012. At the close of the five month legislative session Minority leader Tom Bakk said the Republicans’ principles “are so burned into their souls that it’s almost like a religion or a cult.” (Star Tribune video www.startribune.com/video/122482739.html)

On the playground a child took action to stop classmates from bullying Rep. John Ward. If only adults in our world would act as mature.

Reference:

Star Tribune “After divisive pastor starts House session, speaker apologizes” by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/122326544.html

RationalWiki “Paganistan” entry rationalwiki.org/wiki/Paganistan

About Tara Miller

Tara "Masery" Miller is a panentheist Gaian mage living in the Ozarks with her husband and pets. She's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. She writes the Staff of Asclepius blog. She's also a new author and editor with Megalithica Books. If you would like to be notified when Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness will be available please email her at tara.miller21 (at) gmail.com Donations for the blog can also be sent through PayPal to the same email.


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