The GOP majority in the MN state legislature invited controversial “Reverend” Bradlee Dean, who advocates the killing and or incarceration of gays, to make the opening “prayer” for today’s session. Dressed in a track-suit, Dean used the time to question the religious affiliation of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Quite apart from questions about the separation of church and state, or how appropriate it is to invite a person who favors limiting civil rights to set the tone of a legislative session, what this extremist advocates is not a very Christian message/attitude.
If you don’t follow MN politics it might be useful to recall that as in several other states the MN legislature switched from a Democratic to a GOP majority during the 2010 election cycle. Preaching a centrist “laser-focus on jobs” message during the campaign which also featured lots of last-minute attack ads, Republicans at the state house have spent no time on job creation, instead debating the inclusion of a new State Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage (which isn’t currently legal in MN anyway) and disenfranchising voters by requiring photo ID (even though the evidence of election fraud is very slim, and it’s mostly favored Republican candidates.)
Today, however, on a day when a vote on putting that anti-gay amendment on the next ballot was anticipated, many MN Republicans are forced to be distancing themselves on this hot-button issue — while the real work of reaching a budget-balancing accord to address the state’s projected deficit before the end of the session languishes despite Governor Mark Dayton’s repeated overtures for a compromise.