Opening day for legislature

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Kevin Rader/Political Reporter

Indianapolis, Jan. 4 - For the first time in 189 years the House of Representatives did not start with a prayer. That was done in the back of the chamber before the gavel fell.

Afterwards Speaker Brian Bosma (R - Indianapolis) explained his decision to the entire body. "We are a nation of laws, even laws that we disagree with."

The Speaker says he asked the attorney general to appeal a ban on overtly Christian prayers from the floor of the House.

The ruling does not affect prayer in the routunda.

"I come against it through the blood of Jesus Christ, saying get your hands off this Statehouse," said La'Shar Sharp. "I proclaim unity in the name of Jesus Christ that there will be love and understanding and that your name will be mentioned in our Statehouse and our government."

Democratic Minority Leader Pat Bauer said he agrees with the Speaker's appeal, but Representative David Orentlicher says there are more important issues before the body than a lawsuit by a Quaker, two Catholics and a Methodist minister.