: News

Virginia State Police Reinstate Controversial Prayer Policy

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Blatt

The Virginia State Police have reinstated a policy allowing chaplains to invoke Jesus in public prayers. Governor Bob McDonnell requested the change.

Until 2008, police chaplains in Virginia were allowed to lead public prayers according to their beliefs. That policy was rescinded after a U.S. appeals court upheld a rule requiring prayers at Fredericksburg city council meetings to be non-sectarian.

"The idea is that when the government itself prays it has to do so in a way that includes everyone, otherwise it undermines minority religions," says Kent Willis, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.

Religious groups asked McDonnell to reinstate the original policy. A spokesperson for the Governor says he does not believe the state should tell chaplains of any faith how to pray.

Willis says sectarian prayer by chaplains at police-sanctioned events is illegal, regardless of state policy. He says the ACLU will develop handbooks to explain the law and will consider legal challenges.

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
NPR

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Presidents And Food?

It's week two of the party conventions, and all these speeches are making us hungry. So we made a quiz to test your savvy about presidents and our favorite topic, food.
WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

NPR

Police Use Fingertip Replicas To Unlock A Murder Victim's Phone

Michigan State University engineers tried 3-D-printed fingertips and special conductive replicas of the victim's fingerprints to crack the biometric lock on his Samsung Galaxy phone.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.