Opening Prayers in Maryland Senate Spark Debate

January 30, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On January 30, 2003 The Washington Post reported that "while some lawmakers have complained about ministers praying 'in Jesus's name,' some religious leaders are saying they don't see why they should eliminate Jesus from a prayer to accommodate other faiths... The matter arose when, in recent Senate sessions, some ministers didn't stick to the Senate policy of making the blessings ecumenical... The latest episode came last week when the Rev. Reginald Thomas of Greater Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church in Baltimore ended his prayer with the phrase, 'in Jesus's name...' It was the third time the matter had arisen since the lawmakers convened earlier this month. Sen. Leonard H. Teitelbaum (D-Montgomery) had complained the previous week because a Laurel preacher invoked Jesus in his prayer, and Sen. Larry E. Haines (R-Carroll) offered a prayer invoking Jesus just the day before Thomas offered his invocation."