John Husted does the right thing. He wants more control over statehouse opening session prayers and ordered full implementation of a system of prior prayer review. Good job John. Thanks for this. Since Reverend Keith Hamblen’s abuse of the rule and shameful promotion of his religion in the public sphere, the House Leader is being forced to tighten the screws a bit.
I’m sure he’ll get flack from the so-called Christian Right, but this is something the speaker knows he has to do. Hamblen gave him an easy out. It would have taken more political courage to do it before the fact, but still props to John for taking a stand.
House issues prayerful reminder
The Ohio House and Senate open their sessions with prayers from visiting members of the clergy. Not all prayers, however, are acceptable. Last week, a pastor from Lima used a prayer in the House that several times mentioned Jesus, spoke favorably of church-sponsored schools and mentioned the day’s legislative agenda, including a strip-club bill. Afterward, House Clerk Laura Clemens, on instructions from House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, sent members a memo.
The memo said that all prayers must be submitted in writing three days in advance to the clerk’s office for approval. The memo reminded members that “the United States Supreme Court has ruled that prayers for public functions must remain non-denominational, non-sectarian and non-proselytizing.”