Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is defending why his administration forced the sudden resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly “in Jesus’ name.” Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty single-handedly created then enforced a strict “non-sectarian” prayer policy at all public gatherings, censoring and excluding Christian prayers, then accepted the resignation of five chaplains who refused to deny Jesus or violate their conscience by watering down their prayers.
House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith and Delegate Charles W. Carrico, (R-Grayson) both issued public statements defending the chaplains, questioning Governor Kaine’s role in terminating the chaplains, and vowing to introduce legislation protecting police chaplains’ right to pray according to their own conscience.
Defending Flaherty’s persecution of Christian Chaplains, Governor Kaine pretended he himself was being persecuted, saying through his spokesman: “It is disappointing that Del. Griffith would make such a political attack on Gov. Kaine about his faith.”
Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who was also fired in 2007 for praying “in Jesus name” in uniform (but won the victory in the U.S. Congress for other military chaplains), weighed in:
“Governor Kaine campaigned like a Christian to get our votes. But now, instead of governing like a Christian, or respecting his own chaplains’ First Amendment rights, his administration forced the resignation of five police chaplains, simply because they prayed publicly ‘in Jesus’ name.’ These five chaplains lost their jobs for honoring Christ. They’re heroes of the faith, because they refused to deny Jesus when ordered to by the Kaine administration.