Skip to comments.Jurors want reprimand for Navy chaplain
Posted on 09/14/2006 10:29:02 AM PDT by Dubya
NORFOLK, Va. - A jury recommended Thursday that a Navy chaplain receive a letter of reprimand for disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a political news conference at the White House.
The jury also recommended that Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt forfeit $250 pay per month for a year but suggested that the monetary punishment be suspended.
Rear Adm. Frederic Ruhe, commander of the Navy's Mid-Atlantic Region, must decide whether to approve the recommendation.
The jury of five officers at Klingenschmitt's special court-martial determined Wednesday that he had disobeyed a superior officer's order prohibiting him from wearing his uniform during media appearances without prior permission.
Klingenschmitt said he believes he was punished for making a political speech in uniform because he prayed in Jesus' name. He had argued that he was allowed to wear his uniform if conducting a "bona fide worship service."
"I will continue to pray in Jesus' name, I will continue to worship in public and I will not be broken," he said Wednesday.
He said he would appeal the conviction and fight to remain a chaplain. He said senior naval officials had already decided to fire him before the March 30 event, which protested Navy policy requiring nondenominational prayers outside of religious services.
Last December, the chaplain went on an 18-day hunger strike in front of the White House over the right to invoke Jesus' name outside such services.
An interesting point that you are managing to miss.
The military is a unique environment. A servicemember may be required, under pain of court martial, to attend a command activity.
Now, there is no civilian counterpart to this.
When someone offers prayers in Jesus' name at a command function that has mandatory attendance, that's essentially telling those in formation that their religious beliefs just got put on hold so the chaplain can spout off in the manner in which he would like. That elevates the chaplain's rights above the rights of the sailors.
Like I said, would you be comfortable with forcing Christian sailors or soldiers to stand in formation, under pain of court-martial if they leave before being dismissed, while a Muslim chaplain prays Islamic-specific prayers to Allah, and/or reads from the Koran?
But are they required to give the speaker an audience?
Yes and yes.
Which part of mandatory do you not understand about the military? You can actually get sent to jail, and get a felony conviction, for not showing up for a change of command ceremony.
"Like I said, would you be comfortable with forcing Christian sailors or soldiers to stand in formation, under pain of court-martial if they leave before being dismissed, while a Muslim chaplain prays Islamic-specific prayers to Allah, and/or reads from the Koran?"
This is a majority Christian Nation for the small minority that arent then they could sit quietly. This is nothing new, all things are not equal - trying to make them so is wrong.
Or as Aristotle said...
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
"Which part of mandatory do you not understand about the military? "
Lets try again...does an atheist have a right to have the preacher silenced for using the term God? If no then why not?
Appearing at a press conference (by definition a media event) in uniform is what got him in trouble.
He intentionally defied a lawful order from a superior officer.
He is making this case about religion when that is not the issue at hand - the courts martial case is about his conduct as an officer.
Wait a minute. Are you really arguing that rights--what they are, and who has them--are now solely a matter of majority opinion?
Does the preacher have the right to have the atheist listen to him, on pain of a felony conviction and jail time if he leaves?
Or does the atheist have the right to walk away?
"Oh contraire, sas. I do believe it is you who are reacting to the story and not thinking it out. The Chaplain violated a number of rules of the UCMJ and was convicted of violating a direct order not to participate in a political rally while in uniform. He could have had the book thrown at him, but they only through a page at him."
You are correct, to people that respect the military enough to have learned at least a little about it, this is very basic stuff.
No one can disobey a direct, lawful, order, and when off duty,
soldiers cannot illegally use their uniforms to indicate that they are participating in an event as a formal representative of the military services.
By the way you seem to have noticed that these guys are turning the thread into a theological argument.
He and others had gathered in front of the white house to protest the rule that military chaplains were not allowed to pray "denominational" prayers at public gatherings or events while in uniform. He was ordered not to wear his uniform to this event. In direct violation of that order, he wore the uniform to that event and held a press conference in his uniform and then gave a prayer in the name of Jesus in front of the crowd and the press.
The event was a political event. A political event is not simply a democrat or republican rally. I would thave thought that I would not need to explain that to a freeper.
Now if you think everything he did was just hunky dory, then you are probably about as intelligent as he is. I don't mean that as a compliment.
"Wait a minute. Are you really arguing that rights--what they are, and who has them--are now solely a matter of majority opinion?"
Are you really trying to suggest that all cultures and religions are equal? Should we have voting ballets in the 200+ languages? Or perhaps all world religions should be represented at every public function? You cant be serious can you?
You did not answer my question. One more time - if you believe the military is correct in silencing the preacher because he is recognizing his faith (not just some general faith) and might offend a sailor who is Muslim, then should the atheist have the right to have the preacher silenced?
Its obvious that you answer this with a question because you know the logical truth.
What's obvious that you didn't even read the story! The arguments you are making are wholly irrelevant to the case. The guy's a flaming nutcake who disobeyed direct orders from his commanding officers in pursuit of his own self-serving, self-aggrandizing agenda. This has NOTHING to do with freedom of religion, free speech or political correctness run amok.
What irritates me most about all this is that our "born again" president as Commander in Chief of all military and naval services could restore the Christian chaplains' right to pray in Jesus' name with just an order to the Chiefs of Staff. Unless I miss my guess by a country mile, the "no Jesus name" policy was not the result of an injunction from some anti-Christian civilian judge. I would bet dollars to donuts that it was simply an order issued by politically correct Pentagon brasshats, and Bush could countermand that order if he wanted to. If Muslim chaplains were ordered not to pray to Allah, you can bet the farm that Bush would use his authority to make sure that the order was rescinded before the ink dried.
Why is it that of all religions practiced in the US today only Christians are treated like 2nd class citizens, or in this case 2nd class soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors? Would George Washington have ordered his chaplains not to pray in Jesus' name at Valley Forge just because a few pagan Indians in the Continental Army might take offense? Would Lincoln or Lee have ordered that only innocuous generic prayers be offered by chaplains before the fighting began at Gettysburg just because a handful of Union or Confederate soldiers might be atheists? I don't think so.
The military doesn't allow certain types of prayer at mandatory formations. The prayer permitted are so vague as to be useless, and the military would do well to eliminate them.
If a chaplain believes he cannot offer a prayer without using Jesus's name, then he can decline to particpate in the event.
Some atheists want to eliminate the prayers entirely for the reason you suggest. I think, in the end, they will be successful - but the military reason for prohibiting certain prayers in mandatory formations is related to morale, not religion.
A commander might prohibit one prayer based on expected adverse reaction from a significant part of the formation, while allowing another. A heavily atheist troop formation might well have all prayers stopped.
This has some relation to perceived bias in favor of Christians in the military. I think that is totally false - if anything, I'm inclined to think the reverse - but it is up to COMMANDER judgment - not CHAPLAIN.
AND...this moron is being punished for wear of his uniform at a political event. It is DISHONEST of him to claim it was a religious service. He is a LIAR! and is bringing shame on Christ with his dishonest actions.
He should be booted out ASAP.
The guy's a flaming nutcake "
Flattery will get you no where....
"disobeyed direct orders"
Hmmm...direct orders to do what - pray in the name of Jesus? Then why does the military even have chaplins? You know we need to have all faiths represented - not one religion is better than the others if that is what you are saying. Moral relativism....yeah libs like it too.
He has a higher power than his commanding officer. Better to be right with him than a mortal human.
Rules which are obviously contrary to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are unjust. This is where you and I differ - he is obligated as a Chaplin in his faith to practice according to his understanding of the bible. His allegiance is to a higher power asking him to refrain from performing this function is like asking a surgeon not to tell a patient the truth about their disease. If the military service does not want him to cite his specific faith then they should get rid of all preachers - talking about God without a personal passion is like eating food without taste buds."
It is clear you are enjoying busting these veterans chops, if you knew anything about Chaplains you wouldn't be making these ridiculous arguments.
Chaplains are clergy that work in institutions usually for the government. In the military they are still regular GIs that fill a job.
They are not preachers or evangelists, they are Chaplains and they operate within the rules and laws of such, and they sure as hell still fall under the military law they work under and administer.
I have a lot of respect for chaplains and requested an Airborne one for my wedding, I even requested a transfer to chaplain's assistant at one point, my favorite book is "Praise the Lord" by an Airborne chaplain.
These guys read the article, they understand the military and military chaplains, but you ignore the story, ignore their points and in a quiet hostile manner just keep misdirecting everything in a very obtuse manner.
As a fellow Christian I think you are very misdirected with your energies.
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