Gordon Klingenschmitt is a D-list right-wing activist who made a name for himself by getting bounced from his position as a Chaplain in the Navy and parlaying that into a career as a right-wing martyr. Since then, he’s hooked with various right-wing groups to warn that pastors will face prison is any sort of hate-crimes legislation is enacted and joined Rick Scarborough for several of this one-day crusades to save America.
But through it all, Klingenschmitt’s primary mission has been to serve as the Tom Joad to the oppressed chaplains on this nation, constantly on the look-out for any situation he can exploit to serve his own ends … and here he rides to their rescue once again:
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is defending why his administration forced the sudden resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly “in Jesus’ name.”
Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who was also fired in 2007 for praying “in Jesus name” in uniform (but won the victory in the U.S. Congress for other military chaplains), weighed in:
“Governor Kaine campaigned like a Christian to get our votes. But now, instead of governing like a Christian, or respecting his own chaplains’ First Amendment rights, his administration forced the resignation of five police chaplains, simply because they prayed publicly ‘in Jesus’ name.’ These five chaplains lost their jobs for honoring Christ. They’re heroes of the faith, because they refused to deny Jesus when ordered to by the Kaine administration. If they contact me, they will be honored through my web-site: www.PrayInJesusName.org. And now Governor Kaine pretends he’s the martyr, because we question why his administration forced them to resign for praying to Jesus? He’s still got a job, they don’t. Governor Kaine isn’t the martyr, he’s the persecutor.”
Of course, if you bother to actually read any of the coverage of this, you quickly find out that Kaine in no way forced anyone to resign and that the policy was actually implemented by the Superintendent of State Police:
In a statement, Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the State Police superintendent, said he asked chaplains to offer nondenominational prayers at department-sanctioned public events but that the request does not apply to private ceremonies or individual counseling.
Flaherty said his decision was in response to a recent federal appeals court ruling that a Fredericksburg City Council member may not pray “in Jesus’s name” during council meetings because the opening invocation is government speech.
“While the executive staff and Col. Flaherty are highly respected and provide great leadership, this is just a policy several of us could not agree with when it comes to the issue of individual prayer,” said Trooper Rex Carter, who resigned as a chaplain in August … Since August, six of 17 chaplains have resigned.