When a call to “strengthen marriage as You ordained it for our good and Your glory,” was included in Pastor Jon Sanné’s opening day prayer in the Washington State Senate, it set off a major dust-off, according to Brian M. Rosenthal of the Seattle Times Olympia Bureau (Seattle Times, page A10 News, Tuesday, January 15, 2013).
“Completely inappropriate,” “Regrettable,” “Negative commentary about gays and lesbians … has no business being included in a prayer before this institution,” we’re among comments offered up by Democratic legislators following Sanné’s prayer. It is customary for prayers to be offered at the start of working days during session.
“I was just asked to pray. I wasn’t praying to the Democrats. I was praying to God,” Sanné said afterward. “If they come to that conclusion, then they’re reading more into it than they should.” Accusing Sanné of crossing several lines, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat, said it is unlikely that he will be invited back. Lawmakers approved gay marriage last year and Washington voters approved again it in November.
A letter is sent in advance to all who give invocations asking that the prayer be interdenominational and refrain from referencing specific legislation, “proselytizing or persuasion.” So, here is the question. Regardless of one’s views on traditional or gay marriage, or whatever one’s political persuasion may be, was Pastor Sanné within the bounds of appropriateness in asking God to “strengthen marriage” in his Senate prayer, or not? Were legislators appropriate or inappropriate in censoring the pastor?
What do you say?