Friday, June 22, 2012

Jesus Banned from Charlotte, N.C. Police Chaplains

Volunteer chaplains leading memorial services, graduations, and other ceremonies for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) are now barred from saying "Jesus" or "Christ" at such public events.

For background, read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public?

-- From "Charlotte police chaplains told to leave Jesus out of prayer" by The Associated Press 6/21/12

Maj. John Diggs says the goal is to be more sensitive to all the religions of the more than 2,000 police employees. Diggs says the policy is not designed to diminish anyone's Christian beliefs. But he says the police department is not a church.

Diggs says the department will find replacements for any chaplain who has trouble with the policy.

Diggs says the department's employees include Muslims and Jews. He says all six of the chaplains are Christian.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "CMPD chaplains told to stop invoking Jesus at public events" by Mark Becker, WSOC-TV9 (Charlotte, NC) 6/19/12

“When I heard this I was sad," said Pastor Terry Sartain, who has been a chaplain with CMPD for seven years.

"It's past time when they should've made a policy," said Jim Gronquist, a former Methodist minister who has been a practicing lawyer and member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gronquist said it's important to keep the separation between church and state -- in this case, between specific faiths and the police department.

Controversy is nothing new to the police chaplains. Several resigned two years ago when the department took on a lesbian chaplain.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Police chaplains told not to use 'Jesus' in official prayers" by Michael Gordon, Charlotte News Observer 6/20/12

“Jesus is all I’ve got for a blessing,” said Sartain, pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in west Charlotte. “Now I’ve got to find a balance. I want to serve the officers and their families. I don’t want to jam my beliefs down anybody’s throat. But I won’t deny Jesus.”

The Rev. Russ Dean of Park Road Baptist Church said . . . he yearns for the day when rabbis, imams or Baptist preachers can offer the opening prayer at a Panthers’ game in their own way.

“Until then,” Dean said, “we are really asking people of diverse faiths to become a part of some homogenized pseudo-faith, a public religion that is offensive to all because it attempts to offend none.”

The N.C. legislature . . . often opens with Christian invocations, a practice that the American Civil Liberties Union has asked lawmakers to stop.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.