As our nation prepares Memorial Day observations from coast to coast, one Houston pastor is celebrating a court victory that will allow him to utter ‘Jesus Christ” in a Memorial Day invocation.
Rev. Scott Rainey, lead pastor at the Living Word Church of the Nazarene, was informed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, that a prayer he had prepared for a public observation of Memorial Day needed to be edited because of his use of Jesus’ name. Rainey’s prayer included a recitation of the Lord's Prayer and closes with one reference to Jesus. It was to be delivered at the Houston National Cemetery.
Rainey appealed for a restraining order that would allow the prayer to go forward as planned. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes sided with Rainey. Hughes issued the restraining order, providing this justification:
"The government cannot gag citizens when it says it is in the interest of national security, and it cannot do it in some bureaucrat's notion of cultural homogeneity...the right to free expression ranges from the dignity of Abraham Lincoln's speeches to Charlie Sheen's rants."
Our nation’s cemeteries are filled with rows upon rows of crosses that pay tribute to fallen heroes. It is only just that Christ’s name, forever linked to the cross and the virtue of sacrifice, can be safely proclaimed on a day when we commemorate those who gave their lives for us.