GOP scrubs mention of prayer
- May 21, 2011 - 6:43 PM
House DFLers are upset that a legislative journal scrubbed mention of the controversial religious leader who gave a divisive prayer before Friday's floor session.
Democrats on Saturday wanted to know why the Journal of the House, the historical record of the day's legislative work, had no mention of pastor Bradlee Dean offering the prayer. Dean had said that Jesus Christ is the "head of the denomination ... as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged."
"I am not trying to make this a difficult thing, but I think it's important to have this civic discussion," said DFL Rep. Terry Morrow, who questioned the omission of Dean's name on the House floor.
Republican Speaker Kurt Zellers, who took the unusual step of publicly apologizing to House members Friday after the prayer, said the omission wasn't out of line because no quorum was present when Dean spoke.
Dean's prayer caused such an uproar that Republicans restarted the session and had the Rev. Grady St. Dennis, the House chaplain, give a new prayer. The official House journal lists St. Dennis as offering the Friday prayer.
Zellers said the Pledge of Allegiance and the prayer are a custom on the House floor, but that they are not technically part of the session. Omitting Dean's name doesn't pollute the accuracy of state records, he said.
"It was my decision, and I stand by my decision," Zellers said.
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