November 20, 2008

Clergy Led Prayer Back in Indiana House of Representatives

The Indy Star reports that this week, for the first time since January 2006, the Indiana state House of Representatives opened its session with a prayer led by a clergyman. In late 2005, a federal district court enjoined sectarian prayer in the House, but in late 2007 that decision was reversed by the 7th Circuit that held plaintiff lacked standing. In 2006, House members had gathered at the back of the Chamber to pray. In 2007 and 2008, the House Speaker read a nonsectarian prayer from the podium. But now clergy-led prayer has returned. Rev. Matthew Barnes opened Tuesday's session with a non-sectarian invocation that asked for God's guidance and blessings, but did not mention Jesus.