Tell a friend


Email sign-up

defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind

Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt presses issue of sectarian prayer

Continued from the page, "Christocrats build power in the military" (Go back)

Court blocks dismissal of evangelical Navy chaplain

Chad Groening,, February 5, 2007

After a long battle over his right to pray in Jesus' name while in uniform, a U.S. Navy chaplain who was supposed to be discharged from the service on January 31 got a last-minute reprieve from a three-judge federal panel, allowing him additional time to appeal his termination.

An evangelical Navy chaplain says an 11th-hour miracle has allowed him to stay in the service at least another week in order to appeal the Navy's decision to fire him for disobeying an order by praying in Jesus' name while in uniform. Continue

Court blocks dismissal of evangelical Navy chaplain

Chad Groening,, February 5, 2007

After a long battle over his right to pray in Jesus' name while in uniform, a U.S. Navy chaplain who was supposed to be discharged from the service on January 31 got a last-minute reprieve from a three-judge federal panel, allowing him additional time to appeal his termination.

An evangelical Navy chaplain says an 11th-hour miracle has allowed him to stay in the service at least another week in order to appeal the Navy's decision to fire him for disobeying an order by praying in Jesus' name while in uniform. Continue

Defiant Navy Chaplain to Be Discharged

Adelle M. Banks, BeliefNet, January 14, 2007

A Navy chaplain who was involved in a controversial protest of prayer policies in front of the White House has received orders to be honorably discharged at the end of the month (January).

Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt said his removal from the Navy is imminent after a federal judge denied his efforts to halt Navy action against him. The chaplain was reprimanded Jan. 3 after a military jury determined in September that he disobeyed an order by holding his protest. Continue

Navy Chaplain: Ousted on grounds overturned by Congress

Ken Walker, Baptist Press, January 16, 2007

While the Navy has rescinded a regulation that restricted chaplains from conducting public worship outside of Sunday chapels, an evangelical claims the military branch is firing him for violating that guideline.

A chaplain at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Va., Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt has been ordered out of the Navy as of Jan. 31, cutting short a military career that began 15 years ago as a missile officer in the Air Force.

"We’re being evicted from our home and I have no job," Klingenschmitt, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, told Baptist Press. "We’re in God’s hands. We’re accepting speaking invitations and will pursue whatever opportunities God presents." Continue

USMC Chaplain who took a stand says Navy is retaliating

Ken Walker, Baptist Press, January 16, 2007

A Marine chaplain involved in a lawsuit alleging discrimination against evangelicals claims the U.S. Navy is retaliating against him for speaking out against its religious policies.

Lt. Cmdr. Gary Stewart said he is being transferred on short notice as retribution for challenging a statement by former Chief of Chaplains (and current U.S. Senate Chaplain) Barry Black at a congressional meeting last June.

Stewart has filed a complaint with the Department of Defense’s inspector general, asking for an investigation of alleged illegal retaliation. Continue

Navy setting up 'civic religion,' lawsuit charges
Complaint alleges embattled chaplain punished for praying 'in Jesus name', November 3, 2006

A lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Navy on behalf of Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt by a public interest law firm whose founder says the basic issue to be determined is whether the government can control how people pray.

"There's a Unitarian system of religion that's aimed at Christians," John Whitehead, founder of the The Rutherford Institute, told WND. "It boils down to that. We're seeing it all across the country, with council prayers, kids wanting to mention Jesus. What's going on here is it's generally a move in our government and military to set up a civic religion." Continue.

Navy chaplain guilty of wearing uniform at protest

Sonja Barisic, The Daily Press (Hampton Roads, Virginia), September 13, 2006

This is the local paper's coverage of testimony at Klingenschmitt's court martial and a news conference outside the courtroom. It contrasts the matter-of-fact prosecution testimony (Klingenschmitt has been in the military long enough to be able to recognize an order) with the defendant's declaration that "Today, praying in Jesus' name became a crime in the United States Navy." The report says that deposed Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore was present to testify at Klingenschmitt's trial, but did not because the defense attorney decided not to put on a defense. Outside the courtroom, Moore told the paper: "What this case is about is praying in Jesus' name. I don't think the persecution of Chaplain Klingenschmitt is over." Klingenschmitt's wife begged the court not to dock his pay, which covers her medical costs. Klingenschmitt vowed to appeal. Continue.

Navy Chaplain Found Guilty in Prayer Case

by Adam Hochberg, All Things Considered, National Public Radio, September 13, 2006

A jury of five officers finds a Navy chaplain guilty of disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a protest near the White House. Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, an evangelical Episcopalian, persisted in mentioning Jesus in prayers despite the Navy asking him to stay nondenominational in his work.

Klingenschmitt, a three-year Navy veteran, spurned a quiet disciplinary hearing, and opted instead for a more public court-martial. His case has gained wide attention among some Christian conservatives, who see it as one of religious discrimination. Click here to continue reading, or for an audio link to Hochberg's report.

Faith Under Fire: Congress tackles chaplains' right to pray
Klingenschmitt says senator's proposal would 'add insult to my injury', September 16, 2006

In the wake of a Navy chaplain's punishment related to a public event in which he prayed "in Jesus' name," Congress is debating several versions of a bill to address the religious liberties of military ministers. Continue.

Navy Chaplain Guilty; Court-Martial Fails to Address Prayer Regs
"In Jesus' name" not ruled on.

by Pete Winn, Focus on the Family, September 14, 2006

A military jury recommended today that a Navy chaplain receive a letter of reprimand for disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a news conference held outside the White House gates.

The jury also recommended that Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt forfeit $250 pay per month for a year, but suggested that the monetary punishment be suspended.

But Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, said Klingenschmitt's court-martial overshadowed the real issue which still needs to be addressed — whether regulations for chaplains issued by the secretary of the Navy are constitutional. Continue.

Navy chaplain fined, reprimanded for disobeying commander's order

Robert Marus, Associated Baptist Press, September 14, 2006

NORFOLK, Va. -- A Navy chaplain who has accused his superiors of violating his religious freedom has been convicted by a court-martial for appearing in uniform at a rally to protest military policy on chaplains.

A military jury in Norfolk, Va., recommended Sept. 14 that Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt be docked $250 a month in pay for the next year and sent a letter of reprimand. The day before, they convicted him of violating a superior officer's orders by wearing his uniform at a March 30 press event in front of the White House. Click here

Judge Roy Moore to Testify in Court Martial of Navy Chaplain Who Dared to Express His Faith While in Uniform

News release, September 11, 2006

ARLINGTON, Virginia, Sept.11 /Christian Newswire/ -- “Lt. Klingenschmitt deserves our prayers and support for his dedication to duty and religious freedom”, declares Judge Roy Moore, who will testify on behalf of court martialed U.S. Navy Chaplain.

A court martial hearing will convene at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia on Tuesday (September 12) for U.S. Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who is facing court martial for praying in his faith tradition (in Jesus name) at a public event while in uniform. Continue

Court hearing held for praying chaplain
Minister argues he was targeted after leading prayer in Jesus' name, August 15, 2006

Lawyers for an Evangelical Episcopal Church priest who has served as a U.S. Navy chaplain argued on Monday that the court-martial counts against him are unfair and should be dismissed.

Gordon James Klingenschmitt is charged with refusing to follow an order and wearing his uniform at a March 30 event in Washington, D.C., where he prayed on the steps of the White House. Continue

Chaplain Under Fire for Christian Prayer Feels Navy Trial May Be Rigged

By Chad Groening, AgapePress, July 6, 2006

An evangelical Christian U.S. Navy chaplain facing a court martial later this summer says the deck is really stacked against him in his upcoming legal battle. The Naval officer, who stands accused of praying in Jesus' name near the White House while in uniform, has embarked on a costly campaign to fight for his religious freedom, his free speech, and his military career. Continue

Navy chaplain's complaint ruled 'without merit'

By Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times, July 6, 2006

A Navy review has concluded that a complaint from a ship chaplain was "without merit" when he charged that his commanding officer censored and harassed him by discouraging the use of certain Bible quotations.

But Navy Lt. Gordon J. Klingenschmitt said the investigative report actually backs up his complaint, even though the chief investigator sided with the commander. Continue

Navy chaplain at center of prayer controversy to be court-martialed

By William H. McMichael, Marine Times via, May 19, 2006

NORFOLK NAVAL STATION, Va. – An evangelical Navy chaplain who attended a press conference and offered a prayer “in Jesus’ name” at the event while in uniform will be court-martialed for disobeying his commanding officer’s order not to do so.

Chaplain (Lt.) Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, who on May 3 rejected an administrative hearing on two charges, now faces a single charge of disobeying a lawful order from a commissioned officer, according to Lt. Cmdr. Bob Mehal of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

"I am innocent," Klingenschmitt said May 19. "And I will prove my innocence at court-martial." Continue

In the news: Christianizers in the military
Anti-semitic attack on Air Force Academy graduate

by, May 11, 2006

May has brought forth new reports about Christianizers in the U.S. military. Most significantly, an Air Force general used his military email account to send 200 of his Air Force Academy classmates a pitch for a Republican congressional candidate that focused on the man's Christian credentials. The Jewish academy graduate who shared his copy of the email with reporters was attacked by an old-style anti-Semite and the candidate.

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans rebuffed an effort to call for sensitivity in the Air Force's policy for chaplains. Issued in February, that policy delighted Christocrat because it allows chaplains to offer sectarian prayers at official occasions. Lastly, a zealot Navy chaplain, Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, got his fight for sectarian prayers back into the news. Continue

Clergyman Prayed In Uniform Outside White House
Navy Chaplain May Face Court-Martial For Praying

Associated Press, May 4, 2006

NORFOLK, Va. -- A chaplain stationed at Naval Station Norfolk said he could face court-martial for praying in uniform outside the White House.

Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt said he prayed at a March 30 protest opposing Department of Defense rules forbidding military chaplains from invoking the name of Jesus Christ. He's accused of violating an order not to appear in uniform at news conferences in support of personal or religious issues.

The issue seems to hinge on whether his praying at the event was permissible participation at a bona fide religious service. Klingenschmitt is rejecting non-judicial punishment in favor of trial by court-martial.

In addition, he's filing a complaint against the Navy claiming the threat of punishment against him amounts to religious harassment and he's appealing to the White House to end what he claims are the military's attempts to take reprisals against a whistle-blower.

Testing the Faith: Clergy to protest at White House
Will ask Bush to reverse policy limiting chaplains' prayers, December 20, 2005

"According to a statement from the National Clergy Council, Christian leaders from various denominations will hold a news conference outside Lafayette Park just north of the White House to protest what the group calls an 'escalating crisis' over chaplain prayer policies." Click here to read the report.

Military chaplain fired for praying in Jesus' name

By Julia Duin, December 21, 2005

WASHINGTON -- To pray -- or not to pray -- in Jesus' name is the question plaguing an increasing number of U.S. military chaplains, one of whom began a multiday hunger strike outside the White House yesterday. Click here to read the report.