A federal judge in Texas ruled Thursday that the government cannot prohibit a Houston preacher from saying Jesus Christ while delivering an invocation at an upcoming Memorial Day ceremony to be held at the national cemetery in the city.
The Rev. Scott Rainey, the pastor at Living Word Church of the Nazerene, has given the invocation at the Houston National Cemetery for the last two years, each time ended the prayer with a reference to Jesus.
But a month ago, Arleen Ocasio, the director of the cemetery, asked to review Rainey’s prayer before the ceremony this Monday, according to court papers. The pastor agreed, but four hours later, she responded with an email saying that while it was very well written she asked that it commemorate veterans from all cultures and religious beliefs — in other words, not just those who believe in Jesus.