Terri Bonoff slams Rev. Dennis Campbell's Jesus talk in Senate

Categories: Religion

Terri Bonoff takes on a controversial pastor and prayer.
The Rev. Dennis Campbell was pretty straight forward about what he expected out of state senators when he offered an opening prayer at their Monday session: Fealty to Jesus.

"And we pray, Lord, that you help us to show reverence to the Lord Jesus Christ and the word of God today," he said

But that's a problem if you're Jewish, like Sen. Terri Bonoff, Democrat of Minnetonka.

She's raising a stink because Campbell's prayer violated the simple request made of all faith leaders when they are invited to offer an invocation at the Capitol: Be polite and have some respect for everyone in the chamber.

"In an effort to be respectful of the religious diversity of our membership (Christian, Jewish and possibly others among them), we request that your prayer be interfaith and nonsectarian."

And that's a problem for Sen. David Brown, Republican of Becker. Us poor Christians are being persecuted, he told the Pioneer Press, because "there just seems to be intolerance for the name of Jesus on the Senate floor."

That persecution complex carried over to Bonoff's Facebook page, where some commenters cast themselves as victims. [Note: The comments were removed on Wednesday.]

bonoff facebook.jpg
Since Campbell didn't see fit to respect all faiths with his prayer, Bonoff wants the Senate rules amended to "require" rather than "request" that all prayers non-sectarian. That should be an easy sell in a Legislature whose Republican majorities were elected with a big assist from conservative Christian groups.

Campbell, meanwhile, insists he meant no harm. "Christians love Jews," he told the Star Tribune.

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