The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says it is changing the prayers it uses during police ceremonies to make them “non-sectarian.” What does that mean? It means no more “in Jesus’ name” at the end, apparently. That has the wingnuts up in arms, of course, but it’s still a bad idea.
In the past, volunteer chaplains have included Jesus’ name in their invocations at official department ceremonies, but the department wants the prayers to be more inclusive.
“Our goal is to certainly not demean Christianity in anyway, but make sure everyone feels included here regardless of what their faith is,” said Major John Diggs, head of the department’s volunteer chaplain program.
He says the move towards nonsectarian prayer came about last month after a discussion between six volunteer chaplains.Although CMPD believes the change is more inclusive to its 2,000 employees, some Chaplains are not in agreement.
“Not everyone agreed with our policy, but I believe all understand that the proceedings that we are asking for invocations to be delivered at are a government function,” said Diggs.
But it isn’t inclusive at all, it’s just slightly less overtly Christian. This distinction between sectarian and non-sectarian prayers is meaningless. Prayer shouldn’t be part of a government ceremony at all.