The Indianapolis Star's Matthew Tully finds an unlikely moderate hero in Speaker of the House Pat Bauer:
Instead of making a scene by suspending official House prayers, as the GOP did last year, Bauer read an inclusive, four-sentence prayer that covered all the bases -- humility, responsibility and a plea for guidance. It wasn't a prayer to remember, but that's why we have churches and synagogues.Instead of exaggerating and prohibiting official prayer, as Republicans did in 2006, Bauer went for compromise. He said the carefully worded offering, which the state attorney general had looked over, would have to do while an ongoing challenge of past prayers winds through the courts.
I'm sorry to harp on this issue, but it continues to baffle me. Those who keep pushing for a sectarian prayer know that's inappropriate, whether it's constitutional or not; it uses the imprimatur of the speaker's podium to exclude all religions but one. And those who push for an inoffensive, nonsectarian prayer know that such a prayer is no prayer at all -- it speaks merely to religious sensibilities and is addressed to no specific deity. This is just shameless posturing on both sides and a waste of taxpayers' time and patience.