Virginia State Police Reinstate Controversial Prayer Policy | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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 That policy was rescinded after a U.S. appeals court upheld a rule requiring prayers at Fredericksburg city council meetings to be non-sectarian.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

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Linguist Dan Jurafsky uncovers the fishy origins of ketchup and how it forces us to rethink global history. He also teaches us how to read a menu to figure out how much a restaurant may charge.
NPR

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Linguist Dan Jurafsky uncovers the fishy origins of ketchup and how it forces us to rethink global history. He also teaches us how to read a menu to figure out how much a restaurant may charge.
NPR

Obama To Announce Large Ramp Up Of Ebola Fight

The U.S. military plans to establish a medical base in Liberia to help stop the Ebola epidemic. It will build 1,700 new treatment beds and train up to 500 health care workers every week.
NPR

Minecraft's Business Model: A Video Game That Leaves You Alone

Microsoft is buying the company that created the video game Minecraft, which has a loyal following in part because of the freedom it allows players — including freedom from pressure to buy add-ons.

Leave a Comment

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