Oklahoma lawmakers voted on whether to include a prayer in the official record, largely because the minister praying was gay.  As David Waters at the Washington Post reported:

Oklahoma legislators demonstrated the divisive power of state-sponsored prayer last week when — apparently for the first time there — a routine motion to enter an opening prayer in the official record was met by opposition.

The prayer was delivered by Rev. Scott H. Jones, pastor of Cathedral of Hope in Oklahoma City.Jones paraphrased the so-called Prayer of St. Francis, asking God to give “these elected representatives of your people courage and wisdom, that they might be instruments of your peace, sowing love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, union in place of discord . . . “

The discord began even before Jones began to pray. In his opening remarks, he acknowledged people in the gallery — “dear friends, my wonderful parents, and my loving partner and fiance, Michael.” Jones is gay. So is state Rep. Al McAffrey, Oklahoma’s only openly gay legislator, the man who invited Jones to pray and who made the motion to enter the prayer in the record.

It all was a bit much for state Rep. John Wright who objected. The prayer was then put to a vote. Sixty-four representatives voted to include the prayer, 20 voted to strike it from the record, 17 abstained — so it’s now official.  read more

The prayer of St. Francis can’t be the problem, so it must be that if someone is gay and they are praying that all of a sudden the entire prayer and all listening to the prayer are tainted in some gay way.  That means that a lot of people who were present at the Sunday concert in Washington when Bishop Gene Robinson prayed should watch out.  

This tangentially reminds me of when the first Hindu prayer was offered in the United States congress and some Christians went nuts.  Apparently, those who argue for prayer in public schools and other institutions really mean Christian prayer by a certain kind of Christian.  It’s all or nothing folks, either you have no prayer in public spaces or you make room for prayer from people and traditions with whom you do not agree. 
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