As would be expected, Klingenschmitt sought to milk it right up until the last minute – literally – before his time in the military officially ran out.
Klingenschmitt had initially been scheduled to deliver the invocation at the CPAC Presidential Banquet before Vice President Cheney spoke, but was dropped, he claims, because of pressure from the Navy.
But Klingenschmitt wasn’t about to let that inconvenient fact prevent him from assuming his rightful place at CPAC – even if he had to wait until the convention hall was completely empty to do it:
In front of witnesses and God, a man who fought the whole of the U.S. Navy over his constitutional right to pray “in Jesus’ name” while in uniform has done just that, delivering a benediction at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington a short time after Vice President Dick Cheney had left the room.
“When the vice president was speaking I stood outside the room, and I waited until the event was over. … Then after everybody left, I decided that my last act as a Navy chaplain should be to pray in my uniform in Jesus’ name,” he said.
“So I went and put on my uniform, since I was technically in the Navy until midnight, and at 11:30 p.m. I took the stage at the CPAC conference and I said the benediction to the banquet.”
“I prayed in Jesus’ name in front of an empty room,” he told WND, with his wife and manager as witnesses.
Since Klingenschmitt is now “out on the street without a job,” he has begun “attending [Pat Robertson’s] Regent University and accepting speaking invitations.” Presumably, he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding speaking engagements – after all, Klingenschmitt’s manager surely must be able to find millions of empty rooms all over the country for him to commandeer as he continues his lonely crusade.