Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Prayer in the Indiana House

This has been an interesting story to watch unfold, as a federal court tries to tell a state legislative body how to conduct its business. However, unlike most state legislative bodies and spineless executives, the Indiana House looks like they are going to call the federal judge's bluff.

To no one's surprise, the power-hungry judge is a Clinton appointee. Much to my surprise, the bold legislators who are willing to defy the judge's injunction are Democrats, while the spineless all-talk-no-walk crowd is led by Indiana Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican. Family Research Council, which has been following the episode and lawsuit that resulted in the injunction, is supporting Bosma, wrongly in my view, and plans to let Bosma speak at Justice Sunday III.

Personally, I like what I am hearing from Terry Goodin, a Democrat serving in Indiana's House, who sees no point in praying in a context where mentioning Jesus Christ is prohibited:

"Really, who do you pray to? If you're offering up a prayer, you're praying to a deity. You don't offer prayers to just an open space. I will give the same type of prayer that's been given for 100 years. I won't change my words because of someone in the judicial branch who tells me I must."

What I love are the threats by the federal judge to insure compliance. What is he going to do - walk into the House and physically stop the legislators? The executive branch controls the enforcement mechanism, Your Honor, and your threats do nothing but escalate a possible constitutional crisis.

Call his bluff, Speaker Bosma, for the law and people are on your side.

Good post Rob. And don't forget, this is more than telling the Indiana House what to do. This is dictating what a private citizen can say in a public building--and the judge is asking the Speaker to serve as the enforcer.

My understanding is that if someone mentions the Jesus word, or "savior", that the Speaker will be held accountable.

What a joke. Private citizens are allowed to come into the house and offer the prayer. Hopefully the Supreme Court will accept this case, for I don't think they'll side with the judge's skewed logic.

There are no rules by the legislature that say only Christians may open with a prayer, or that only Jesus as savior may be said. Anyone is allowed to pray--it just happens that the majority of prayers were Christian--which probably reflects the religious demographics of Indiana. However, all prayers were not by Christians.
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