So, here's this Navy chaplain been convicted of disobeying a direct order by his offering prayers in uniform at an event: http://www.abpnews.com/1366.article
Now, let's understand that the Lieutenant may, indeed, be a loose cannon. I've known quite a few loose cannons in various organizations; even been accused of being such in my time. For all I know the guy is a general pain in the ass.
And let's also understand that the Powers that Be are good and true, both as believers and as officers. They're just trying to serve God and Country, too.
Finally, let's understand that there ARE times when one might use a prayer that did not specifically include the Name of Jesus.Having said all that,
I want to say that any order to a Christian minister NOT to use the Name of Jesus in prayer is invalid on the face of it,
both as a matter of law (citing the First Amendment) and as a matter of Christian conscience ("for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved").
I am reminded of an event years ago at the University of Evansville -- a United Methodist institution, served by ordained UM chaplains. Some of the non-UM trustees (Jewish, in this case, I believe) objected to some chaplain praying "in Jesus' Name" at a commencement ceremony. So the President of UE simply forbade the chaplains to use the Name of Jesus in prayers at University events. Just like that.
All of which prompted me to ask, Who the HELL does this guy think he is?
Well, I made a charge at it and was ignored, but I did protest. But it rankles a bit still.
The world is full of people -- some of them running Christian institutions, all of them well-intentioned -- who are scandalized by the Name of Jesus. Which is what we are told in Scripture to expect. The Cross is a scandal to some, a folly to others. But we Christians are expected to proclaim that Name -- and NO OTHER -- when we are challenged on it.
What it comes down to is this. There are many Christian prayers that don't necessarily use the Name of Jesus. I've been known to use them. And there are times when maybe I want to be particularly sensitive to visitors, etc. But if I were to be ORDERED
not to use that Name, every prayer I prayed
from then on until that order was lifted would be one long paean to Jesus.