The politics behind McDonnell's prayer policy
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has brought Jesus Christ back to the prayers of the Virginia State Police. But is there politics behind this move?
Republican McDonnell has decided to rescind a policy of the previous governor to make any public prayer at State Police functions nondemoninational. In doing so, McDonnell has allowed the use of Christ's name in the prayers. In 2008, six volunteer State Police chaplains resigned when Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine ordered that any such prayers not be linked to any particular religion.
It might make sense for McDonnell to do this, since he is a devout Roman Catholic. But, then again, so is Kaine.
There could be another reason. The State Police have been muttering about other McDonnell policies that they consider dangerous to public safety, such as raising the state speed limit to 70 miles per hour on rural highways and keeping gun controls lax.
By some accounts, McDonnell actually ordered State Police officers to quit moaning and get with the program. It could be that McDonnell thinks that making prayers more Christian will make his other policies easier for the State Police to accept.
| April 30, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories: Va. Politics, Virginia, police, religion, transportation
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