Thursday, July 25, 2024

City Manager Dictates Chaplains Can Pray, But Can’t Say Jesus

Imagine this. In Carlsbad, CA, a city manager has stirred up a storm by allowing Christian Chaplains to pray but forbidding them from uttering the name Jesus. It’s like saying you can smoke but not exhale or drink, but the water better not be wet.

First Liberty Institute is a nonprofit Christian conservative legal organization based in Plano, Texas. It is prominent in legal circles regarding Christian rights and litigates in First Amendment cases concerning religion. It is often referred to as a law firm.

They report that Carlsbad City Manager Scott Chadwick has decreed that the chaplains for the city’s fire and police departments cannot conclude prayers by saying, “In Jesus’ name.” 

JC Cooper is a local pastor who has volunteered as a police chaplain for the city’s police department for six years. Denny Cooper’s father has served in a similar role for the Carlsbad Fire Department for 18 years.

First Liberty States that the chaplains:

“Provide support, encouragement, and prayer to first responders as they face traumatic situations. Recently, Pastor JC Cooper was asked to give the invocation at the police department’s award ceremony. As he has always done, the pastor concluded his prayer “consistent with his long-held beliefs, ‘in Jesus’ name.’” 

That phrase, consistent with Christian prayers, apparently triggered snowflake Chadwick. He then informed Pastor Cooper that he was no longer to use the phrase “In Jesus Name” in his prayers or invocations, and if he did, he would be subject to discipline. Snowflake Chadwick stated that he could use any other name in place of God. However, he could not use the “Son of God, Jesus.” 

It seems that the snowflake mimicked a decision made in 2023 by the city council to stop including pre-meeting invocations in their agenda, a practice that had been in place since at least the 1950s. At the time, several individuals supported the decision to remove the invocation from council meetings, citing the widely misunderstood “separation of church and state,” a concept not explicitly mentioned in the First Amendment.

Mark Packard is a City Council member who obviously has a better understanding of the First Amendment than the radical left:

“This would be a return to the good values that we have had for so long in Carlsbad.” He noted that Congress starts each legislative session with an invocation and reminded members that courts have ruled such readings are not a violation of the non-existent “separation of church and state.” 

Snowflake Chadwick tried to justify his unconstitutional position by trotting out the mindless leftist excuse that praying in Jesus’ name “constituted harassment of non-Christians and created a hostile work environment.” 

According to the Christian Post, First Liberty’s Legal Counsel, Kayla Toney, stated that the snowflake’s analysis was wrong. 

“This is not a true or accurate understanding of the law, which has always protected the prayers and expressions of religious Americans. Ironically, the city manager’s order has created a hostile environment for the Chaplains and many other people of faith living in Carlsbad.” 

Toney explained that the Supreme Court had upheld city officials’ right to have religious invocations at their meetings. 

“In Kennedy v Bremerton, the Supreme Court overruled the ‘Lemon Test’ which was used to purge expressions of faith from public life. Now the Court looks to history and tradition, and our nation has a long tradition of public prayers by chaplains according to their sincere religious beliefs. So, there’s a lot of work left to do, but also good reason for hope.” 

“In a 2014 Supreme Court decision, the high court ruled 5-4 in Town of Greece v. Galloway that a New York town could use ministers to pray Christian invocations as part of their official meetings.” 

In response to the Carlsbad mandate, First Legal stated:

“Because the chaplains cannot in good conscience erase the name of Jesus from their prayers, this order deprives first responders of the solace and spiritual strength that the Chaplains’ volunteer ministry has provided for nearly two decades. Therefore, we urge the City Council to return to its longstanding practice of inviting the Chaplains to pray freely in accordance with their sincere religious beliefs.” 

First Liberty believes the snowflake’s decision “stems from a misunderstanding about the law and Supreme Court precedent” and “has offered to assist the City in developing a constitutionally appropriate chaplain policy.” Best of all, they are willing to do so free of charge. 

First Liberty concluded that the censoring of city chaplains:

“Betrays the history and traditions of our country,” and instead, they should follow the Supreme Court’s clear statements with respect to prayer and allow them to pray according to their sincere religious beliefs.”

This is one case in which the snowflakes will lose and lose huge. The left loves to throw their weight around, but this group of clowns has no foundation to base their argument on, and First Liberty will stand by the Chaplains … “In Jesus Name.”