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Minnesota Senate Leader: No Tougher Prayer Requirement

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ST. PAUL  (AP) — Minnesota’s Senate majority leader says she doesn’t want to strictly require that opening prayers in the Senate chamber be nondenominational.

The content of Senate prayers became an issue this week after several Jewish senators said they were uncomfortable during a prayer by a Baptist pastor from St. Cloud who made multiple references to Jesus and Christianity. The Democrats want to require instead of simply request that all visiting religious leaders avoid faith-specific prayers in favor of nondenominational invocations – and never invite them back if they don’t.

But Republican Majority Leader Amy Koch says she’s not going to get into “editing prayer.” She says the Senate invites leaders from numerous faith traditions to pray and notifies them that Senate members come from a diverse background.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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