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GOP invites anti-gay ‘minister’ to give opening prayer to MN legislature (UPDATED)

by rachel_nygaard on May 20, 2011

In a surprising move, considering the GOP insists that the anti-gay marriage amendment is not about hate and discrimination, ‘Reverend’ Bradlee Dean was invited to give opening prayer in the Minnesota House of Representatives today. Dean is known for his hate-filled fiery rhetoric, calling the ‘execution of gays moral’ and “on average, gays molest 117 people before they’re found out”.

While the opening prayer in the Minnesota legislature is supposed to be nondenominational, a fact that Dean acknowledges, he goes on to list only Christian denominations of faith. Going on to infer that President Obama is not Christian. “This isn’t about the denominations but rather the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus, as every president and up until 2008 has acknowledged.”  
State Representative Karen Clark (DFL – Minneapolis) and State Senator Scott Dibble (DFL – Minneapolis) responded to Dean’s presence.

“In my 30 years in the House, I have never seen such a hateful person be allowed to deliver the opening prayer,” Rep. Clark said. Bradlee Dean has a documented record of hate speech, and has suggested that extremists who call for the execution of American gays are morally justified. The decision by GOP leadership to allow his intolerance, fear and outright bigotry into the ‘people’s house’ is reprehensible. Minnesotans are a peaceful, loving and caring people. It’s this spirit of togetherness and shared hope that the House of Representatives should strive to embody. The Republican leadership should be ashamed of themselves. It reveals the underlying hateful nature of the anti-gay constitutional amendment movement.”

“In this time of divisiveness, it’s disgraceful and appalling to see the Speaker of the House of Representatives — the body that is supposed to represent all Minnesotans — invite hatred into the opening prayer,” Sen. Dibble, a former House member said. “Instead of providing a message of inclusion and hope, the House began this day with hate and discrimination. Mr. Dean has a long and well-known record of intolerance, something that should have no place in the legislature, let alone in a prayerful blessing. This morning’s action is a sad commentary on House Republican leadership’s apparent ambivalence for supporting the equal rights and beliefs of all Minnesotans.”

Speaker Zellers apologizes for house prayer.

JacobGrippen May 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

And I end with this, I know this is a nondenominational pray, prayer in this chamber. It’s not about the Baptists, it’s not about the Catholics alone or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans or the Presbyterians, Evangelicals or any other denomination but rather the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus as every President up until 2008 has acknowledged and we pray it in Jesus’ name.

BlueCollar Daughter May 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Bradlee Dean prayer found so offensive by some, MN House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, restarted the floor session with another prayer by House chaplain, Rev. Grady St. Dennis.

cowboymac12 May 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Korea to Iwo Jima to Vietnam? Really, that’s how it happened?

ericf May 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

“Chaplains” aren’t chosen at random. Legislators take turns picking them. Who invited him? When it comes to fighting the imposition of theocracy, we should make Dean the MNGOP’s albatross.

Joe Bodell May 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

so sez Tom Scheck on teh tweets.

seano May 21, 2011 at 12:16 am

Per the Chanhassen Villager:

Leidiger said the incident was far more than he expected and he didn’t do any screening of Dean and wasn’t familiar with any anti-gay positions he may hold. Leidiger said he wanted to distance himself from any “radical anti-gay views.”

As Rep. Winkler said, that means that Leidiger and Zellers are the only two Republicans around who didn’t know who Dean was.

ericf May 21, 2011 at 1:02 am

and then pretended he knew nothing about him.

JML May 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

Not buying Leidiger’s excuse. More likely he just didn’t care.

Jackie May 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

This practice needs to stop,and should have been stopped years ago …along with “God bless America ” at the end of every political speech.  

Gavin May 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm

The unintentional reinforcement of the good-religious-nut/bad-religious-nut distinction.  We should stop flattering the superstitious.

kendalkillian May 21, 2011 at 12:22 am

The most telling part of the Dean clip is the last twenty seconds. Dean ended with the incredibly offensive words Jacob transcribed above and then Speakers Zellers continued on like nothing happened. He recognized Dean and promoted his church. Yes he has later apologized, but much like Zellers “voting is a privilege not a right” incident, his initial response was very very telling. Either he wasn’t listening or it didn’t faze him.  

ericf May 21, 2011 at 1:02 am

Zellers seems to have the political sense to pick up on when something has gone wrong, but not the ability to guess at it ahead of time.  

JML May 21, 2011 at 1:14 am

Zellers’ eventual response was good, but it smells like the work of staff who realized how bad this was when their boss didn’t have a clue.

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