A crackdown on prayers in the Senate
The Baltimore Sun's Gadi Dechter sends over this dispatch from the State House:
A J-bomb went off in the Maryland Senate this morning, Julie Bykowicz tells the basement, who tells you.
During the morning prayer, a pastor from Bowie uttered the name of Jesus. This is a no-no, because it is considered insensitive to non-Christians, and possibly unconstitutional.
Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller shook his head in disgust as the name was said and later said the prayer would not be journalized.
He ordered the secretary of the Senate to review prayers from now on.
This was the latest in several times this session that visiting pastors failed to refrain from mentioning the name of their Messiah, despite admonitions from Senate leadership to keep it ecumenical.
The House of Delegates used to have this same problem, so several years ago they simply decided to have delegates recite prayers instead of having visiting ministers, rabbis, priests and imams do the honors.
Still, lawmakers in the House also slip up occasionally. Earlier this session, Del. Donna Stifler, a Harford County Republican, mentioned the “prince of peace,” a reference to Jesus, in her convocation, though she quickly corrected herself and said she meant to say “God.”