NC Police Department to Use ‘Non-Sectarian’ Prayers

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.

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  • lippard

    I don’t know what it is about law enforcement agencies and “non-sectarian prayer”–I’ve seen it happen at some law enforcement-sponsored conferences, e.g.,:

  • busterggi

    B….b…b…but…if you don’t say a name how will the gods know which of them its for?

  • What have Christians done to deserve such persecution?

    Anyone who doesn’t like Jesus’ name invoked by chaplains mumbling to an invisible man in the clouds during these ceremonies is perfectly free to move to another country.

  • Shplane

    Baby steps, I guess.

    Teeny, tiny, insignificant baby steps.

  • abb3w

    Hm. Ambiguous as to whether the “some Chaplains” that “are not in agreement” because they don’t think it’s more inclusive, or whether they’re just pissed they can’t favor Christianity as openly anymore. Anyone care to place bets before peeking?

  • baal

    Would the folks who are complaining about the change mind if the police in a majority muslim community consistently invoked Allah?

  • d cwilson

    @baal #6:

    Now, baal, you’re just being ridiculous. Freedom of Religion means freedom to be whaever flavor of Christian you want. We’ll even begrudgingly call it Judeo-Christian to keep our Jewish friends happy (At least until Jeebus comes back and tosses them all into the Pit). Remember, Christianity is all about freedom of religion.

    Islam is totally different, as they want to impose creeping Shariah law on us and we can’t have such religious-based laws here, that’s why we must stamp it out and live according the Bible just as the Founding Fathers intended when Jeebus rode his dinosaur into Richmond to give them the Declaration of Independence.

  • some bastard on the net

    Non-sectarian? Does it start with ‘to whom it may concern’?

  • oranje

    Maybe it’s my disposition, but I’ve always read “non-sectarian” as meaning “for all Christians.” I’m assuming that the vast majority involved in making such decisions really don’t see the problem with that, either.

  • Cuttlefish

    I remember, back in the days when I was a born-again, leading a prayer for a large group of people. I thought I was bending over backward to be inclusive (in hindsight, of course, I clearly was not–I just widened the number of Christian sects that were included), and was shocked to be chastised by a friend soon afterward. I had opened with “our heavenly father” (which, yes, was quite inclusive in comparison to what I was accustomed to), and was told in no uncertain terms that I should have opened with “our father, our mother”.

    I so did not feel included by that.

  • Timothy (TRiG)

    But it is absolutely possible to have a generic and universal prayer. (Seriously, read that. It’s hillarious and brilliant.)


  • jefferylanam

    There’s the prayer from Roger Zelazny’s Creatures from Light and Darkness:

    Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

  • F

    NC Police Department to Use ‘Non-Sectarian’ Prayers

    This will cut down on the expense of bullets and weapon maintenance, and cut down on unnecessary shootings.

    Or did they mean that they were replacing Miranda warnings with this?