The Minnesota House opening prayer and state Rep. Mary Franson are stirring controversy again.
The Republican from Alexandria said on Twitter Friday morning that the two-minute opening homily from House chaplain Rev. Grady St. Dennis, "may as well been dedicated to "Mother Earth", coincidence? I think not. 2nd offensive prayer in a month."
St. Dennis' sermon in its entirety was:
"Mindful that today marks the second anniversary of the oil explosion in the Gulf that erupted into one of the worst man-made disasters that our nation had ever faced and this Sunday, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, I offer the following prayer. Let us pray. Creating and redeeming God, You spoke and there was light that shaped the world out of nothingness. From the ground of the earth, you formed people, trees, animals, all to be part of earth's community. The Gulf oil spill revealed our interconnectedness with all of your creation. When the Gulf suffered, so did we suffer. We pray for the ability to take care of your creation above our own needs, recognizing we have struggled to be good stewards. Continue to teach us how to care for your world and to be stewards of your creation. Amen."
Both the prayer and Franson have set the House aswirl before.
This year, Franson made comments in a video for constituents that appeared to liken food stamp recipients to wild animals, sparking protests and death threats. Just Thursday, she tweeted that Earth Day was a "Pagan holiday."
Last year, the prayer that starts House sessions sparked an outcry over both the preacher and the content when firebrand paster Bradlee Dean was invited to speak.