Minnesota House Republicans invited anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide to give the morning prayer. The prayer was so offensive to many legislators that House leadership brought in the chaplain to redo the prayer.
Dean has made many controversial statements as pastor of You Can Run, including advocating the incarceration of gays and lesbians, that the LGBT community is trying to usher in Sharia law in Minnesota, that gay men molest an average of 117 children “before they get caught,” and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians. His prayer on Friday touched off a firestorm at the Capitol as the LGBT community was rallying outside the House chambers against a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment.
Dean said during his prayer, “I know this is a nondenominational chamber,” he said listing off a litany of Christian denominations and leaving off any mention of Judaism.
Then he took a dig at President Obama, insinuating that he is not a Christian. “The head of the denomination is Jesus as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged, in Jesus name.”
Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, rose to speak out against the prayer. At first he was at a loss for words.
“I want to express a deep level of concern about what occurred in this chamber this morning,” he said.
He said the fact that the House restarted the prayer was an indication that something went wrong. “I take that as an acknowledgment that there is legitimate cause for deep concern among the members and the staff and among the people of Minnesota.”
Today hope was crushed by the words of a single speaker,” he said. “Mr. Speaker, I do trust and hope that we understand the gravity and the severity of the prayer that has been given to the people within this chamber and out.”
“I’m shaking right now because I’m mad,” he concluded. “This cannot happen again.”
Already this year, in the Minnesota Senate, Republicans invited a pastor who gave a sectarian prayer that caused concern among that chamber’s non-Christian members.