Thursday, November 22, 2007

Indiana Senate Opens With Sectarian Invocation

Prayer in the Indiana legislature remains in the news. Now that the constitutional challenge by taxpayers to opening House sessions with sectarian prayer has been dismissed on standing grounds (see prior posting), the Indiana state Senate is getting into the fray. On Tuesday, State Sen. Dennis Kruse offered the opening invocation, and ended it with the words: "We pray this in the name and beloved power of our Lord Jesus Christ and for his sake, Amen." (Anderson, IN Herald Bulletin). Yesterday's Indianapolis Star says that Senate President Pro Tem David Long specifically permitted the sectarian prayer, concluding that the Senate was on safe legal ground now that the suit against the House speaker has been dismissed. However House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer said state Attorney General Steve Carter advised him not to permit sectarian prayer in the House because the 7th Circuit's standing opinion is subject to a pending motion for en banc review. ACLU attorney Ken Falk said that his organization would likely sue on behalf of someone who was subjected to the prayer if the Senate continues the use of sectarian invocations.