Will “Chaps” Swing The Election?

Last week we wrote about Gordon Klingenschmitt’s – or, as he’s known to his allies, “Chaps” – latest crusade to save the jobs of several police chaplains in Virginia who, he says, were forced to resign by Gov. Tim Kaine after they refused to stop offering prayers in Jesus’ name.  Of course, that was not the case at all, as both Kaine and Virginia State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty pointed out – but that doesn’t matter to Klingerschmitt who knows an opportunity for self-aggrandizement when he sees one and has now organized a press conference with a variety of other Religious Right C-list activists who are threatening to hold a rally and swing the election if they don’t get their way:  


WHO: Bishop Gerald O. Glenn (Apostle, Church of God in Christ, Who’s Who In Law Enforcement), Victoria Cobb (The Family Foundation of Virginia), Mark Goodell (Christian Coalition of Virginia), Rev. Rob Schenck (National Clergy Council), Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt (The Pray In Jesus Name Project), and all pastors in Virginia are invited to attend and briefly address the media.

WHEN: 1:00 pm EST, Wednesday, 1 October 2008.

WHERE: General Assembly Building, 1000 E. Broad St, Richmond, Virginia (First Floor Press Room near House Room C).

WHAT: Prominent Christian leaders in Virginia will address the media, revealing a letter they presented to Gov. Kaine last Friday in which 86 Virginia Pastors vowed to mobilize their people to vote, in response to the Kaine Administration’s verbal ban on public prayer “in Jesus’ name,” which forced 6 State Police Chaplains to resign.

Copies of the letter, with the names of 86 pledging Virginia Pastors, (and the details of what they want), will be available to all press or media personnel who personally attend on October 1st. All others may view the letter (on October 2nd) at www.PrayInJesusName.org

Depending on Gov. Kaine’s response to this letter, the unified Pastors are contemplating bringing their churches together for a state-wide prayer-rally to honor the chaplains, entitled “Virginia, Stand Up For Jesus,” on November 1st at 10am at the Capitol Square Bell Tower, (900 Bank Street), Richmond, within earshot of the Governor’s Mansion, just three days before the election.

“This could impact the national election, since Virginia is such a close race,” said Former Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt. “These 86 Pastors pledged to mobilize their people to vote accordingly, so the courage of these six Police Chaplains who were forced to resign because they prayed ‘in Jesus name,’ could turn America’s head on November 4th. Just imagine if all churches in Virginia united at a prayer-rally to Stand Up For Jesus on November 1st, near the Governor’s mansion. But first, we’ll wait to see how Gov. Kaine responds to our letter.”

I can tell Klingenschmitt that Kaine will probably say what he’s been saying all along: that he “gave no directive to the state police; there is no mandate prohibiting police chaplains from mentioning Jesus Christ. No one has lost their jobs or positions because of this.”  

So Klingenschmitt, Schenck, and the others ought to just save themselves the trouble of hosting their little press conference and get right to work on planning their extremely influential rally.