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(VIDEO) Is This Prayer Before the Legislature Offensive?

“Prayer today may as well been dedicated to ‘Mother Earth’” tweeted Alexandria Rep. Mary Franson (R-11B).

Once again a prayer before the state Legislature is creating controversy.

On Friday, Rev. Grady St. Dennis, the House chaplain, said the following prayer:

"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."

That rubbed Alexandria Rep. Mary Franson (R-11B) the wrong way. That same afternoon Franson, who previously called Earth Day a “Pagan holiday,” tweeted:

“House Floor prayer today may as well been dedicated to "Mother Earth", coincidence? I think not. 2nd offensive prayer in a month. #mnleg”

Franson was also upset about a prayer “during gay advocacy group Outfront Minnesota's lobbying day at the Capitol,” according to City Pages.

Prayers are a recurring source of controversy at the Capitol. Last year, controversial pastor Bradlee Dean made waves when his prayer targeted those who don’t believe in Jesus. House leadership later said Dean’s prayer was inappropriate and a mistake.

What do you think? Is St. Dennis’ prayer offensive? Is Franson too quick to take offense? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Smarter Than You April 20, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I'm actually more offended by her offense of the prayer. Sounds like the behavior I would expect from a teenager. Franson needs to grow up.
Timothy Larsen April 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM
The prayer was of a single focus, but he stated why in his preface. Overall, it seemed to be asking us to be responsible in our care of the earth, which is something that God asks of us. He didn't pry to mother earth, and he called on the Creator. This Christian takes no offense.
David J Rotert April 21, 2012 at 03:33 PM
If I can get by the fact that it is metaphysically troubling (if not wholly incorrect), I would hope Franson will agree to let it go. We should probably just eliminate prayer altogether, but better to give homage to the earth than adhere to a doctrine of 1st Century fantasy.
Steve Millman April 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM
A Chaplain's prayer should be non-denominational, so as to include everyone and offend no one. I saw nothing wrong in his call to a higher power to teach us how to protect and defend this world, his creation. Only a narrow minded bigot would find offense in such a prayer.
Fabuladico April 22, 2012 at 07:52 PM
One of the troubles especially in America right now is that people are trying to please everyone and offend no one. That is, of course impossible. Someone will always be offended, if for no other reason because of the attempt to placate everyone.

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