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A federal judge slapped down the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last week saying it could not stop a pastor from using the words “Jesus Christ” in his Memorial Day invocation at Houston National Cemetery.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes wrote in his order “The government cannot gag citizens” as he granted the Rev. Scott Rainey’s motion for the court to intercede. Judge Hughes added “The right to free expression ranges from the dignity of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches to Charlie Sheen’s rants.”
Rainey, lead pastor at the Living Word Church of the Nazarene, asked Hughes to prevent the cemetery’s caretaker, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, from telling him what he can say in a prayer on Memorial Day after the agency asked him for the first time to submit the prayer for review. Rainey said he was shocked at the request.
VA: Holiday prayers mentioning Jesus (or whomever) can go on