How much Jesus is too much Jesus?

Sen. Terri Bonoff, who is Jewish, says the numerous mentions of Jesus and Christianity at the invocation of the Minnesota Senate floor session on Monday made her uncomfortable, the Associated Press says.

Here is the prayer from Pastor Dennis Campbell of Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud:

Pastor Campbell quoted John 3 14:16: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (No one comes to the Father except through me).” A non-Christian might disagree.

Sen. Bonoff said she wants Senate leaders to require prayers be non-denominational, but Sen. David Brown, R-Becker, says he believes chaplains who pray in the Senate should be allowed to say what they want.

Update 4:40 p.m. Here is the letter that is sent to invited pastors with the guidelines:


On the assigned day, come to the front of the Capitol, entering from Cedar Street on the east side. Pull up by the main steps (right below the golden horses) and tell the parking control person in one of the booths that you are the Senate Chaplain for the day. They will tell you where to park your car; there is no charge.

Go to the Senate chamber on the second floor, west wing, and introduce yourself to the Sergeant at Arms at the main door. He will direct you to the front of the chamber, where I will meet you. We will go over what you need to do at that time. Try to be at the Senate chamber 15 minutes before the start of session.

In preparing your prayer please keep in mind that there are women and men in the Senate. Also, 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, so it is inclusive of all Senators. Please keep your prayer brief, about a minute in length, and please refrain from addressing political issues before the legislature.

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  • Book of Mary

    John 3 14:16: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (No one comes to the Father except through me).”

    John’s kinda full of himself isn’t he?

  • Jim Shapiro

    @Book of Mary- Nice :-)

    Good ol’ John is most famous for his masterful recounting of his psychotic delusions, The Book of Revelation.

    To paraphrase Gandhi, “I like Christ, but why are so many Christians so silly?”

  • bsimon

    Might be interesting to invite an imam and find out how much Allah is too much Allah.

  • Bob Collins

    That’s a great idea. But you all will have to let me know the next time an imam calls people to turn to Allah as the way at the Senate.

  • bj

    Do we have tape on others? What have Rabbi said?

    Honestly I can’t believe she was offended to the point of saying so to a media person. Unless this was not the first time, and she had talked to leadership. Which should be the lead if it was the case.

  • The Big Dog

    Who gives the prayer when its the athiest”s turn?

  • boB from WA

    Unfortunately I was not able to respond right after you posted. 3 things:

    1)the scripture verse comes from John 14:6 not 3:16.

    2) The book of John was written to a community that was experiencing discord from within and from without. if you read the book there is a tension between the synagogue leaders and the followers of Jesus, which mirrors the conflict the community was dealing with. This passage is part of a larger discourse where Jesus is telling his followers farewell. As the disciples are experiencing some separation anxiety Jesus wants them to know that he will be with them and that they will no longer be separated from the father. As a community, there needed to be reassurance that not only would those of the synagogue have access to God, but those of the nascent christian community would as well.

    3) Despite rumors to the contrary, there are some of us in the christian community that would honor the guidelines set out by the senate. I believe there is a way to speak of God without alienating those of different faith traditions. there are some of who believe that God is bigger than one religion, and that God reveals God’s self in ways that are beyond our understanding.

  • Jim Shapiro

    @boB from WA –

    Your comments are inspiring to those of us who believe that the true message of Jesus is one of love, compassion and forgiveness, and tolerance of different perspectives that promote those goals.

  • Book of Mary

    awww- man Jim….

    seeee-

    you are a way better teacher than I am.

    I wrote something at boB earlier and deleted it.

    I like your answer better.

    nice one to you

  • Jim Shapiro

    @Book of Mary

    Thanks. I’m digitally blushing. I kinda believe that there’s a time for every purpose under heaven – A time to kick rectum, a time to recognize wisdom… A time to scream in outrage, A time to laugh at absurdity, etc etc etc

    But I will not accept the honor of wittiest comment on this topic.

    That goes to your’s about John being kinda full of himself – stigmata marked hands down :-)

  • scott

    The responsible thing would be for intelligent, reasonable citizens to stand up to the superstitious bullies among us who believe in gods, devils, ghosts, fairies, unicorns, astrology, space aliens, etc. and to state emphatically that prayers to and worship of these fictional fantasies has no legitimate place at all in the affairs of state. The US constitution is very clear on this.

    After witnessing the Bush administration’s systematic attack on science, it should worry us all when decisions at the highest level of government are made on “faith.”