Virginia House of Delegates Reverses Directive Which Forced the Offering of Generic Prayers at State Law Enforcement Functions

Virginia House of Delegates passes legislation reversing State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty's directive to offer generic prayers, avoiding invoking Jesus' name, at police department-sponsored public events such as graduations from the trooper training academy.


On Wednesday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill, 66-30, enough to override the promised veto of Democrat Governor Tim Kaine  --  which reverses an administrative order by the state police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty which prevents state police chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus at police department-sponsored public events such as graduations from the trooper training academy.  Virginia Christian Coalition participated in press conferences and other events leading up to the passage of this legislation.

At the federal level, Christian Coalition of America played a key role several years ago in ensuring that military chaplains may continue to pray in the name of Jesus by helping members of Congress such as Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC), Todd Akin (R-MO), and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) pass legislation ensuring that military chaplains have full religious freedom.

This past Wednesday, 15 Democrat delegates in the Virginia House and both independents joined 50 Republican Delegates in support of the bill, which the American Civil Liberties Union vowed to challenge in court if the Virginia legislature passed the bill over Democrat Governor Tim Kaine's veto.  

Republican Delegate Charles W. Carrico, a retired state police trooper, who drafted the legislation, was quoted in yesterday's The Washington Times:  "I do not want to interfere wtih anyone else's religion.  I am a Christian, and I will profess that.  The Christian faith happened to be the one under attack when this came about."

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