Pastor invokes Jesus Christ at the Houston National Cemetery
On May 30, 2011, the pastor of Living Word Church of the Nazarene, Scott Rainey, gave the invocation at the Houston National Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day observances.
Pastor Rainey delivered the prayer in this ceremony the previous two years, but was nearly prevented from praying this year. The director of the cemetery Arleen Ocasio told the pastor because he referred to Jesus Christ he could not deliver the prayer.
The pastor believed he had to protect his First Amendment rights and the freedom to practice religion. He filed suit and Judge Lynn N. Hughes agreed with Pastor Rainey and ruled that the Veterans Administration’s decision was unconstitutional. She also believed their denial amounted to censorship and religious discrimination.
Prayers being offered to God in the name of Jesus Christ have been common in United States functions, particularly for Memorial Day and veteran’s day services.