In the shadow of mourning at the Cathedral of St. Paul today, about 100 people were in a more celebratory mood.
The Minnesota version of a National Day of Prayer was held on the grounds of the Minnesota Capitol. Minnesota politicians were not at all shy about participating, despite the ongoing controversy about linking government with religion. Last month a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that a federal government declaration of a National Day of Prayer violated the U.S. Constitution.
Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, subbing for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, read his proclamation declaring a day of prayer for Minnesota, then stood by as a pastor prayed over her and declared the superior power of Jesus.
House Speaker Margaret Kelliher was asked to speak, but declined, opting instead to join other lawmakers as the pastors prayed over them. Before that, however, Sen. Terri Bonoff, who is Jewish, offered a Hebrew prayer, “so we can feel included.”
Not everyone was thrilled with the event’s timing. Sen. Linda Higgins posted this on Facebook:
Disrespectful? You decide.
After the funeral at the Cathedral, the cortege did not pass the Capitol grounds where the rally was being held.