Published On: Mon, Jun 25th, 2012

Police chaplains told to stop using Jesus in their prayers

Police graduations, promotions and even memorials will move towards nonsectarian prayer in North Carolina as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has asked its chaplains to stop including Jesus in their invocations at official department ceremonies.

As the News Observer reports, the omission of Jesus has created friction between the separation of religion and state.

Major John Diggs, who heads the department’s volunteer chaplain program addressed the move which reportedly will effect over 2,000 police employees.

“This is not in any way an effort to demean anybody’s Christian beliefs,” Diggs said. “It’s to show respect for all the religious practices in our organization. CMPD is not anybody’s church.”

Police Chaplain Terry Sartain reportedly got the news shortly before he was to perform the invocation at a promotions ceremony last month. When he was told not to use Jesus in his prayer, he asked to be excused.

“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.”

Diggs said Sartain won’t have to.

If a chaplain is uncomfortable with a nonsectarian prayer at a particular event, Diggs said the department will respect that and find a replacement.

Jesus Wept painting by James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836-1902) Brooklyn Museum public domain

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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