August 8, 2009

CORRECTION: Gordon Klingenschmitt has supplied documentation that states he received an honorable discharge, so I've removed the headline that stated otherwise. My apologies for getting it wrong.

There are so many lying, hypocritical fundamentalists, why, I can hardly keep track of them all. But let's start today with former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, since his fabricated tale of woe has made him such a favorite of fundies sunk deep in their persecution complex (and this known liar is sending out fundraising emails warning Christians "Grandmas and unborn babies face extinction" under "ObamaCare"):

Gordon Klingenschmitt is a far-right Christian fundamentalist who claims he sacrificed his 16-year career in the military and a million dollar pension because he was targeted for praying publicly in Jesus’ name while serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy:

Klingenschmitt, who now runs a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, “The Pray in Jesus Name Project,” is also fond of boasting to his right-wing extremist followers that he demanded his own court martial because his superior officers prohibited him from praying in the name of Jesus.

But those claims are flat-out lies.

I know. You're surprised, right?

He was actually charged with disobeying an order and kicked out of the Navy for attending a political rally in front of the White House in March 2006 dressed in his Navy uniform, a violation of military regulations. Dozens of media reports over the years have since debunked Klingenschmitt’s dishonest statements about the nature of his court-martial.

Furthermore, what makes Klingenschmitt’s claims of religious persecution so unbelievable is the fact that there have been dozens of examples where controversial, apocalyptic “End Times” evangelists like Klingenschmitt have force-fed their brand of fundamentalist Christianity down the throats of thousands of active-duty military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq–in violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution–and the Department of Defense has turned a blind eye to the offenses, despite a mountain of complaints from the battlefield.

And he didn't walk away from his pension, as he claims. He tried to cut a deal with the Navy to keep it, and they said no. His lies are enough to make Jesus weep.

Via Irregular Times, Captain Norm Holcomb (a fundamentalist Christian himself), says:

I was the dishonored ex-chaplain’s supervisor for the past 2 years. I found him to be totally untruthful, unethical and insubordinate. He was and is contemptuous of all authority. He was not court martialed for praying in Jesus’ name. I sent him out in uniform every week to pray at various ceremonies and functions. He always prayed in uniform and in Jesus’ name. He was never told that he could not pray in Jesus’ name. In fact, the issue of prayer had nothing at all to do with his dismissal from the Navy. He disobeyed the lawful order of a senior officer. I am sure that you understand that Navy Regulations forbid any of us, regardless of rank or position, to appear in uniform in support of any political or partisan event.

[...] He appeared in direct support of a political event, demonstrating contempt for the order of his Commanding Officer and Naval Regulations that we all swear that we will abide by…. The ex-chaplain is a man without honor and you have accepted his story and in doing so you have had “the wool pulled over your eyes.”

And here's the text of a recent prayer this man of God offered up -- in Jesus' name, of course -- for God to strike down Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus' name. Amen.

And the greatest of these is Love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13

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