A Pennsylvania pastor rejected by the state's House of Representatives will pray in the Senate instead.
The pastor is Gerry Stoltzfoos of Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg. He was asked to pray before the House by his own representative and sent officials a written prayer on their request.
"I wrote the prayer and sent it to them and they sent back a very short rejection notice," he recalls. "So I wrote back, 'I'm curious as to why.' And they said it had an offensive word. Can you tell me what the word was?' And they came back and said 'Jesus.'"
Stoltzfoos says he prays in Jesus' name because Jesus instructed him to do so in the Bible. He contends the censorship puts him at odds with his strongly held religious beliefs.
Stoltzfoos also told OneNewsNow that House Speaker Keith McCall stated that he was trying to avoid a lawsuit over church-state issues.
"Ironically, I've had two or three organizations now beg me to allow them to represent me in a lawsuit on the other side, so he may be creating a lawsuit more than preventing one. I don't know," he adds.
Stoltzfoos admits he wants no part of a lawsuit and is not showing off.
He claims he is simply standing by his religious discipline. Senator Rich Alloway (R-Pennsylvania) heard the story and has invited Stoltzfoos to pray before the state Senate on July 29.