The Charlotte, North Carolina, police department has made it clear that Jesus is not welcome at its functions. According to the Associated Press, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has informed its volunteer chaplains that they are not to mention Jesus’ name when they pray at official ceremonies. The Charlotte Observer reported that the new policy was announced by the head of the department’s volunteer chaplain program, Major John Diggs, who explained that the goal was to make sure the chaplains were sensitive to the variety of religions practiced by the department’s more than 2,000 employees. “This is not in any way an effort to demean anybody’s Christian beliefs,” Diggs assured. “It’s to show respect for all the religious practices in our organization. CMPD is not anybody’s church.”
Sixty-six members of Congress have penned a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking him to address what they say is an “alarming pattern of attacks on faith in the Air Force.” According to the Air Force Times, the congressmen blame Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz for cultivating the attack on religious expression, which they say includes removing Latin references to God in an Air Force unit logo, deleting Christian references from a missile training course, taking Bibles off an Air Force accommodations checklist, and prohibiting commanders from informing Air Force service members about Chaplain Corps programs.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 21 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over-enforced its own laws when it fined the Fox and ABC networks for incidental obscenities uttered during televised awards shows and a brief display of nudity during an episode of a police drama series. But the High Court refused to issue a larger ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC’s broadcast decency measures, meaning that the enforcement agency will be free — for the foreseeable future, at least — to keep broadcasters on a short leash relative to potentially immoral and obscene broadcast content.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America’s largest Protestant denomination, made history June 19 when it elected the Rev. Fred Luter its president, the first black leader in the SBC’s 167-year existence. Luter was chosen in his native New Orleans, where the SBC was meeting for its annual denominational conference, and where Luter pastors Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.