The national religious freedom advocacy organization In God We Trust today called on Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine to reverse his administration's new policy forbidding state police chaplains from mentioning Jesus Christ in public prayers. The ban was issued by State Police Colonel W. Steven Flaherty to the chaplains earlier this month.
"This edict is unacceptable and unconstitutional and must be reversed immediately," demanded Bishop Council Nedd, In God We Trusts Chairman. "Governor Kaine must immediately rescind this decision and beg the state police chaplains who have resigned in protest to return to duty."
Virginia Delegate Charles W. "Bill" Carrico, Sr. first brought the ban on Jesus to light. Carrico is a former state trooper and will head up the grass-roots effort in Virginia in opposition to the new policy.
"In God We Trust will assist Delegate Carrico and oppose this policy with every means at our disposal. Our supporters in Virginia are absolutely furious that the Commonwealth's government would rather its state troopers go without chaplains than risk someone being offended by a Christian chaplain invoking the name of Jesus Christ."
According to published reports no one has lodged any complaints about the chaplains' prayers. Rather, the commonwealth simply decided to implement the ban in a an effort to prevent any possible future lawsuits.