Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Navy Chaplain Fights for Right to Pray in Jesus' Name

AgapePress reports a U.S. Navy chaplain says his attorney is asking a military judge to throw out a charge that he deliberately disobeyed an order by praying while in uniform at a press conference in front of the White House earlier this year. Lieutenant Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who has been fasting and lobbying for the right to pray in Jesus' name, was scheduled to appear in Norfolk, Virginia, for a court martial pre-trial hearing earlier this week. According to an AP report, Klingenschmitt requested a court martial rather than accept a reprimand for appearing in uniform at the March 30 press conference in Washington, DC.

The press conference featured Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and called on President Bush to issue an executive order affirming the right of chaplains to pray as they see fit. Klingenschmitt says all he did at this event while in uniform was to say a prayer for America's armed forces from the Book of Common Prayer, an invocation ending with the words "through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen." If found guilty, Klingenschmitt could be fined up to $35,000, or two-thirds of his annual salary. If the judge decides not to throw out the case, the court martial against the Navy chaplain will begin on September 11.


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