A Lesson For 'Dr. Chaps' On How The Internet Works

Over the last week or so, we have written several posts featuring statements that have been made by "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program and elsewhere, including one in which he asserted that Texas state Senator Wendy Davis is "ruled by a demon of murder" and ought to be prosecuted.

As we generally do, we uploaded that video to YouTube so we can embed it in our post and so others can do the same.  Of course, since this is the internet, things posted on it sometimes attract unfriendly and unpleasant comments ... but according to a statement put out by Klingenschmitt on Friday, we are going to be held criminally liable for a few random comments left by completely anonymous users on one of the internet's most popular and heavily trafficked sites because, by failing to remove them, we are now supposedly encouraging "the assassination of pro-life Christian leaders":

In their most recent post on YouTube.com, RWW plagiarized (without consent) and posted (using their own web-site logo) part of an original PIJN NEWS television broadcast created and copyrighted by Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD, in which he criticized a pro-abortion Texas legislator. Within 24 hours, six anti-Christian followers of RWW published written death threats against the chaplain on RWW's youtube page.

Three of those posts, still active on YouTube as of 16 Aug, call upon RWW's followers to kill Chaplain Klingenschmitt:
1.       can we murder this fu**
2.       I don't think he's a fetus. So yeah, you could murder him and still be pro-life.
3.       Another white a** cracker pu*** that needs a .45 Caliber renovation.

Three other followers of RWW stated they wished the Chaplain would die, or had been murdered by an abortionist, or praised the demon of murder.
4.       What a pathetic little bi***. Can't wail till these people die out.
5.       Don't diss the "deamon of murder", I've met him. He's not a bad guy.
6.       This guy is a sh** person and would have been better if he was aborted.

The Chaplain takes these death threats seriously, and has notified the F.B.I. and YouTube. He said, "Sadly, Right Wing Watch fails to watch themselves, or censor death threats from their blog, making them an accessory after the fact. I asked RWW to delete their death threats, but so far they refuse, which makes me believe their blogger Kyle Mantyla and his supervisors at People for the American Way (including President Michael B. Keegan and Chairman Lara Bergthold) now encourage the assassination of pro-life Christian leaders. If such fate should befall me or anyone in my family, I hold RWW immediately responsible, yet I do pray that God will show mercy upon those who hate Christians, and soften their hearts to repent, so the Lord Jesus Christ will forgive their sins. I return their curses with a sincere prayer that God will bless them and save them from their sins and demons, in Jesus' name, Amen."

The fact that Klingenschmitt thinks that our fair use of clips from his program is "plagiarism" gives you a sense of just what sort of legal scholar we are dealing with, so it is no surprise that he also thinks that we are somehow responsible for random comments posted on YouTube.

So imagine our joy when "Dr. Chaps" took his tale of intimidation straight over to Rick Wiles' End Times radio program on Friday afternoon where Klingenschmitt threatened that he was going "to file conspiracy after the fact" charges against us - whatever that is supposed to mean - while Wiles openly asserted that we are intentionally hoping to get people killed:

Klingenschmitt: I have received six death threats in the last twenty four hours from followers of Right Wing Watch, which is a subset of People For the American Way, which was I think started by Norman Lear and a lot of communist funding went into that.

But when they attack you, when they attack me, they don't police themselves.  It's funny how Right Wing Watch doesn't watch their own followers because their own followers now - the conversation on their YouTube page began something like this: 'well, I wish that Chaplain Klingenschmitt had been aborted' and then this other guy said 'can we kill him?,' no, this other guy said 'I can't wait for him to die,' and then another guy said 'can we murder him?' And then someone responded 'yes, we can murder him' and then someone else responded 'he needs a .45 caliber renovation.'

Wiles: This is on the website of Right Wing Watch?

Klingenschmitt: It is.

Wiles: This is on the comments section.  They're always accusing conservatives and Christians of being hatemongers, but the Right Wing Watch and the Southern Poverty Law Center, these are the real hatemongers and they are deliberately trying to get somebody murdered.

Klingenschmitt: I left a message with the FBI and then I left messages [with PFAW and they] still have not removed the blogs, so now I'm back on the phone with the FBI this afternoon.  If we need to, we're going to file conspiracy after the fact or accessory after the fact criminal charges against these leaders because even though they know about it, they're doing nothing to constrain these death threats when are on their site threatening to kill me with a .45 caliber weapon.

...

Wiles: What these communist groups are doing is that they are fomenting such vehement hate against Christians that they really are hoping that somebody will go off their rocker and kill one of them.  That's really what these people are trying to do.

Obviously, these comments are not posted here on Right Wing Watch, as both Chaps and Wiles repeatedly asserted, since we don't have comments on this blog! The comments were posted by anonymous viewers on YouTube, which is a forum that we do not moderate or generally even read and for which we most certainly are not responsible.

But if "Dr. Chaps" wants to waste tens of thousands of dollars attempting to hold us criminally responsbile for random comments left by strangers on the internet, we wish him the best of luck. 

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