“…in Jesus name”

Posted: September 25, 2008 in Just "Why?", Politics, Soul Food

RICHMOND, Virginia, Sept. 25 /Christian Newswire/ — Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is defending why his administration forced the sudden resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly “in Jesus’ name.” Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty single-handedly created then enforced a strict “non-sectarian” prayer policy at all public gatherings, censoring and excluding Christian prayers, then accepted the resignation of five chaplains who refused to deny Jesus or violate their conscience by watering down their prayers.

House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith and Delegate Charles W. Carrico, (R-Grayson) both issued public statements defending the chaplains, questioning Governor Kaine’s role in terminating the chaplains, and vowing to introduce legislation protecting police chaplains’ right to pray according to their own conscience.

Defending Flaherty’s persecution of Christian Chaplains, Governor Kaine pretended he himself was being persecuted, saying through his spokesman: “It is disappointing that Del. Griffith would make such a political attack on Gov. Kaine about his faith.”

Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who was also fired in 2007 for praying “in Jesus name” in uniform (but won the victory in the U.S. Congress for other military chaplains) (more…)

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Comments
  1. Saundra says:

    I think you have to admire the officers. They are not willing to deny Jesus. Soon it will be a crime to pray in public at all if we don’t start talking to our representives. It is a sad day when Jesus’ name must be left out of prayer. Our country was founded on beliefs in God, I think we need to put God back in our schools and hearts.

  2. PhillyChief says:

    Oh please with the sensationalism. It’s never going to be a crime to pray in public. Stop being such a drama queen.

    As agents of the government (which these chaplains are, just like the police, paid through taxpayer money), they must remain not just non-denominational, but nonsectarian. There are Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and whatever else attending ceremonies and serving as police who are willing, every day, to risk their lives to protect others. The least that can be done is for these chaplains to respect their beliefs and not insist on invoking Jesus.

  3. Thuyen says:

    “As agents of the government (which these chaplains are, just like the police, paid through taxpayer money), they must remain not just non-denominational, but nonsectarian. There are Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and whatever else attending ceremonies and serving as police who are willing, every day, to risk their lives to protect others. The least that can be done is for these chaplains to respect their beliefs and not insist on invoking Jesus.”

    In actuality, no one is being drama queen or sensationalizing.

    If one prays in order to please others, then that is hypocrisy. Christ warned against that kind of prayer. Christ told us specifically how to address our God, via the Lord’s prayer. Christian chaplains’ duty is first to their God. Not to men. As Peter said, we obey God, not men.

    To ask chaplains or any other Christian to pray generic prayers devoid of meaning of who our God is is to tell us we need to pray to please others, not God.

    Not happening.

    To ask anyone not to pray to the God of that person is to restrict that person’s free exercise.

    As to your statement that this restriction only applies as long as the person works for the government, my point remains. Christians become chaplains or pastors to be ministers of the word. Not to play the role of feel good for others at the expense of what they believe is the truth and at the expense of preaching Christ.

    To abandon the calling of ministers of the word is to abdicate the duty of which they are called to their pastoral position in the first place.

    In actuality, it is sheer nonsense to say this is all about respect beliefs of others. If people don’t like their prayers, don’t attend those public services of those chaplains.

    If anything, it is people refusing to respect the beliefs of those chaplains.

    The first amendment was NEVER about restricting the public practices and prayers of the clergy. It was to limit the federal government from abriding the free exercise of religion.

    What happened here is blatant abriding of free exercise of religion.

  4. PhillyChief says:

    So then you are affirming that Christians are incapable of fulfilling the duties of the chaplain job. So what’s the problem?

    As for your view of the first amendment, you’re correct, but for private citizens, not public. Once you’re on the taxpayer’s dime, you can’t do whatever you want. Honestly, that’s true no matter what job you have. There are dress codes, conduct codes, and so forth for every job.

    Now no one is saying they can’t pray privately anyway they want. The arguments I’m hearing seem confused about this.

  5. Thuyen says:

    “So then you are affirming that Christians are incapable of fulfilling the duties of the chaplain job. So what’s the problem?”

    No, you affirming that you hold to freedom of religion does not extend to Christian chaplains. Chaplains who have to hide their beliefs are no chaplains at all.

    “As for your view of the first amendment, you’re correct, but for private citizens, not public. Once you’re on the taxpayer’s dime, you can’t do whatever you want. Honestly, that’s true no matter what job you have. There are dress codes, conduct codes, and so forth for every job.”

    Then I guess you got problems with founding fathers who have no problem praying in public.

    “Now no one is saying they can’t pray privately anyway they want. The arguments I’m hearing seem confused about this.”

    No, the arguments come from people who actually know our history and know the first amendment as it is intended. It was never designed freedom from religion. It was a restraint on the federal government to infringe on rights of citizens to express their faith, either privately or publically.

  6. Thuyen says:

    “So then you are affirming that Christians are incapable of fulfilling the duties of the chaplain job. So what’s the problem?”

    More, I am saying those who demand chaplains not on their faiths publically are denying the rights of chaplains to be chaplains. I am affirming that those like you are in fact demanding they be incapable of fulfllling duties of chaplain job.

    The job of ministers of God is not to please men. Period.

  7. Thuyen says:

    “There are dress codes, conduct codes, and so forth for every job.”

    That does not extend to religious discrimination which is the case here.

  8. PhillyChief says:

    It’s not religious discrimination to deny invocation of a specific faith. In fact, it’s discriminatory to have prayers for a multi-faith group which only invokes a specific faith. These Christian chaplains are insisting that they be permitted to not just deny the rights of people from other faiths to a prayer service, but impose Christian prayer upon them, and that simply can’t be tolerated.

    There’s an old saying that my right to swing my arms ends at the tip of your nose. That doesn’t change just because I may be swinging my arms for Jesus.

    Your reference to the Founders praying in public escapes me. I have no idea what you’re referring to. There is no “Jesus” in the Declaration or the Constitution. The Establishment clause is very clear about the government’s role regarding religion and as state employees, these chaplains are agents and representatives of the government and as such, cannot make actions which imply government establishment of or favoritism to one faith over another.

    We all know that you’d be furious if at a police ceremony, a chaplain lead a prayer to Allah or Vishnu. We also know that if those chaplains cried persecution or argued religious discrimination for being chastised for doing such a thing, you’d all laugh out loud. What you’re all forgetting is your arguments here are arguments which may one day lead to what I described. There may come a day when a chaplain leads everyone in prayer to Allah or some god you’ve never even heard of, and you’ll have no right to complain if these Christian chaplains win their case.

  9. PhillyChief says:

    oops, I forgot to close the italics tab after Declaration.

  10. Thuyen says:

    “It’s not religious discrimination to deny invocation of a specific faith. In fact, it’s discriminatory to have prayers for a multi-faith group which only invokes a specific faith. These Christian chaplains are insisting that they be permitted to not just deny the rights of people from other faiths to a prayer service, but impose Christian prayer upon them, and that simply can’t be tolerated.”

    No, you insist on denying rights of chaplains to pray to their own God.

    But if you insist in making this argument, Hindus can say praying to one God (as Jews, Muslims, and Christians do) discriminate against them since they hold to multiple gods.

    Freedom of worship goes for those leading the worship, not just the worshippers.

    The government telling chaplains how to lead worship is actually establishing its own brand of religion, where there is no real deity of worship- just someone’s imagination as to how all religions would agree to.

    And as to your statements there is no Jesus in the Declaration, study a little more on the mindset behind the Declaration. Who influenced the thoughts behind the Declaration? Locke and Blackstone, both affirming law of nature and the latter also known for the term pursuit of happiness. Both of them were heavily cited by the founders.

    How did Locke defined the law of nature. He defined the law of nature by citing Romans 1:14-15 saying it is God’s law written in the hearts of all men (in Reasonableness of Christianity and Second Treatise on Civil Government), using Cain as an example (in Second Treatise on Civil Government). Locke also said that the law of nature refers to the moral aspect of the Mosaic law, and that Christ fulfilled that law.

    Blackstone wrote in Commentaries on Common Law that pursuit of happiness refers to obedience to the God of Scriptures, and that the two are linked together.

    And the Declaration was not the only public statements of founders around.

    We also have the state constitutions as well.

  11. Thuyen says:

    Treaty of Paris:

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/paris/text.html

    In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.

    It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch- treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse , between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony; and having for this desirable end already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris on the 30th of November 1782, by the commissioners empowered on each part, which articles were agreed to be inserted in and constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France and his Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly; and the treaty between Great Britain and France having since been concluded, his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles above mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say his Britannic Majesty on his part, David Hartley, Esqr., member of the Parliament of Great Britain, and the said United States on their part, John Adams, Esqr., late a commissioner of the United States of America at the court of Versailles, late delegate in Congress from the state of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said state, and minister plenipotentiary of the said United States to their high mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, Esqr., late delegate in Congress from the state of Pennsylvania, president of the convention of the said state, and minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the court of Versailles; John Jay, Esqr., late president of Congress and chief justice of the state of New York, and minister plenipotentiary from the said United States at the court of Madrid; to be plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the present definitive treaty; who after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers have agreed upon and confirmed the following articles.

  12. Thuyen says:

    http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/state.html

    Religious Clauses in State Constitutions

    ——————————————————————————–

    Delaware; Article 22 (1776) “Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust…shall…also make and subscribe the following declaration, to whit:
    ‘I,_____, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration'”
    Delaware; Article VIII, Section 9 (1792) “…No clergyman or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office in this State, or of being a member of either branch of the legislature, while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral or clerical functions.”
    Georgia; Article VI (1777) “The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county…and they shall be of the Protestant religion…”

    Georgia; Article LXII (1777) “No clergyman of any denomination shall be allowed a seat in the legislature.”

    Georgia; Article VI (1777) “The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county,…and they shall be of the Protestant religion…”

    Kentucky; Article II, Section 26 (1777) “No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society of sect…shall be eligible to the general assembly…”

    Maryland; Article XXXII (1776) “…All persons, professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection their religious liberty…the Legislature may, in their discretion, lay a general tax and equal tax, for the support of the Christian religion.”

    Maryland; Article XXXIV (1776) “That every gift, sale or devise of lands, to any minister, public teacher or preacher of the gospel, as such, or to any religious sect, order or denomination [must have the approval of the Legislature]”

    Maryland; Article XXXV (1776) “That no other test or qualification ought to be required…than such oath of support and fidelity to this State…and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.”

    Massachusetts; First Part, Article II (1780) “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe…”

    Massachusetts; First Part, Article II (1780) “The governor shall be chosen annually; and no person shall be eligible to this office, unless…he shall declare himself to be of the Christian religion.”

    Massachusetts; Chapter VI, Article I (1780) “[All persons elected to State office or to the Legislature must] make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.

    ‘I,_____, do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth…'”
    New Hampshire; Part 1, Article 1, Section 5 (1784) “…the legislature …authorize …the several towns …to make adequate provision at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality…”
    New Hampshire; Part 2, (1784) “[Provides that no person be elected governor, senator, representative or member of the Council] who is not of the protestant religion.”

    New Jersey; Article XIX (1776) “…no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right…; all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect…shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature.”

    New York; Section VIII (1777) “…no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall, at any time hereafter, under any pretense or description whatever, be eligible to, or capable of holding any civil or military office or place within this State.”

    North Carolina; Article XXXI (1776) “That no clergyman, or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of being a member of either the Senate, House of Commons, or Council of State, while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral function,”

    North Carolina; Article XXXII (1776) “That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments,…shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

    Pennsylvania; Declaration of Rights II (1776) “…Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged to any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship.”

    Pennsylvania; Frame of Government, Section 10 (1776) “And each member [of the legislature]…shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.:

    ‘I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder to the good and the punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.'”
    Pennsylvania; Article IX, Section 4 (1790) “that no person, who acknowledges the being of a God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this commonwealth.”
    South Carolina; Article III (1778) “[State officers and privy council to be] all of the Protestant religion.”

    South Carolina; Article XII (1778) “…no person shall be eligible to a seat in the said senate unless he be of the Protestant religion.”

    South Carolina; Article XXI (1778) “…no minister of the gospel or public preachers of any religious persuasion, while he continues in the exercise of his pastoral function, and for two years after, shall be eligible either as governor, lieutenant-governor, a member of the senate, house of representatives, or privy council in this State.”

    South Carolina; Article XXXVIII (1778) “That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed…to be the established religion of this State.”

    Tennessee; Article VIII, Section 1 (1796) “…no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature.”

    Tennessee; Article VIII, Section 2 (1796) “…no person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”

    Vermont; Declaration of Rights, III (1777) “…nor can any man who professes the protestant religion, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right, as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiment…; nevertheless, every sect or denomination of people ought to observe the Sabbath, or the Lord’s day…”

    Vermont; Frame of Government, Section 9 (1777) “And each member [of the legislature],…shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.:

    ‘I do believe in one god, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the scriptures of the old and new testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the protestant religion.'”

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