Navy Chaplain Fights Discharge To Last Hour




 
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February 1st, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Navy Chaplain Fights Discharge To Last Hour


Washington Times
February 1, 2007
Pg. 5

By Eric Pfeiffer, Washington Times
After a yearlong fight to overturn restrictions on prayer in the military, Navy chaplain Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt's career hangs in the balance while a federal appeals court decides his fate.
Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of Lt. Klingenschmitt's 15-year career after he was discharged for violating the military's prayer policy, which he has openly defied. However, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear Lt. Klingenschmitt's request for an emergency stay on his firing while he challenges the secretary of the Navy's ruling.
"The law is on our side," Lt. Klingenschmitt said, while adding that he was waiting until midnight last night before signing paperwork that would make his discharge official.
Lt. Klingenschmitt was stripped of his chaplain certification after being reprimanded for appearing in uniform at a press conference outside the White House last year. Lt. Klingenschmitt has fought to allow Navy chaplains of all faiths to hold services outside official military chapels.
Fellow sailors complained after Lt. Klingenschmitt conducted services for a deceased Navy officer outside what he calls the Navy's "unitarian program," which prohibited invoking the name of Jesus or other specific religious figures.
After a 2006 court-martial, Lt. Klingenschmitt then led a successful effort to have the ban on public sectarian prayer overturned. Before being overturned, the ban prevented military personnel from conducting public prayer in uniform outside of an official chapel or service.
Lt. Klingenschmitt has already been forced to leave his Navy housing facilities and says he will lose a $1 million Navy pension if the discharge goes forward.
"It was worth it. I would do it again," he said. "My sacrifice purchased their freedom."
Last year, the Senate specifically cited his case when they voted to overturn the Navy's prayer standards.
Yet despite a promise from former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to dispose of his case under the new rule, Lt. Klingenschmitt is still being discharged.
"Rumsfeld failed to keep his promises to the Senate," he said. When asked why his discharge is still going forward, Lt. Klingenschmitt said, "The secretary of the Navy is still defending the policy in federal court."
Last month, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. denied Lt. Klingenschmitt's request for an injunction, according to papers obtained by The Washington Times. Yesterday, Lt. Klingenschmitt's attorney, William J. Farley, filed another injunction request with the District's U.S. Court of Appeals.
"I want him to be able to continue his military career until he is ready to be done," Mr. Farley said in a phone interview. "He prayed in the name of Jesus and is being punished for it."
Supporters of Lt. Klingenschmitt's effort have crafted an online petition that has received several thousand signatures and has been passed on to new Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
"We have delivered him a letter," Lt. Klingenschmitt said. "His office confirmed for us that the letter has been received and that Secretary Gates is making it a top priority."
February 1st, 2007  
Gator
 
 
What is it with Military Officers who think they get to tell the Department Secretary or President what to do?

I believe the Military has tried to do its best and try and tap dance around the Religious isuse, in the Military all Religions are the same, as it should be.
I recall the Air Force had a problem not very long ago, with Military Chaplains trying to get Jews to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, which the Department did not allow.

Personally, I'd get rid of Lieutenant Klingenschmitt, if for no other reason than he thinks his Religion entitles him to tell everyone else they will do what he wants, or perhaps his God will get mad, or those of the same Faith will get mad.
Lieutenant Klingenschmitt can look back and perhaps say he took one for the Team (God Squad) but this trend of Officers thinking they get to disobey orders they do not like has got to stop, and stop fast, before Enlisted want the same right to disobey.
February 1st, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Sounds like they need to have a 48 hour stand down and EVERY:CEN:INGBODY enlisted and officers alike get retrained on their oaths and the UCMJ.
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February 1st, 2007  
Gator
 
 
Well, I wasn't there when he took his Oath, but I'm fairly certain he said "so help me God" at the end.

One would think someone so attached to his god would not wish to let his god down so easily.
 


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