Monday, February 26, 2007
Rank and file Navy chaplains all over the country have been speaking out against Gordon Klingenschmitt's false claims of persecution by the Navy. Evangelical Navy chaplains from all denominations simply cannot believe how many conservative evangelical civilians have simply accepted Klingenschmitt's "sky is falling" account of religious repression in the Navy without checking how his story squares with the truth. A cursory look into Klingenschmitt's claims is more than enough to repudiate his wild accusations. Every one of Klingenschmitt's claims of religious persecution has been investigated by proper authorities and has been found to be baseless fabrications.
Below is a copy of an email sent from a conservative Navy chaplain to the Conservative American Union, sponsors of the 34th Annual Conservative Annual Political Action Conference (CPAC) concerning their scheduling of Gordon Klingenschmitt to give the invocation at the conference.
Sent: Tue 2/20/2007 6:23 PM
Subject: Gordon Klingenschmitt
I'm a conservative, Republican Christian Navy Chaplain who in most things would agree with you. I cannot believe that you have a man like Gordon Klingenschmitt giving the invocation at your meeting. This is embarrassing. The man is a liar who has used alleged discrimination against him, discrimination that in every case has been disproved by Inspectors General, Courts, and EEO investigations. If what he said was true I would support him, but you guys should know better. If you had anyone with any real military background go through his web site and read all his crap you would find out that he is a fraud. There may be some cases of actual discrimination against Christians, in fact I know that there are, but Klingenschmitt is not one of them. Good luck, I'm tired of this kind of acceptance and legitimization of Klingenschmitt's story by conservatives who should know better. Klingenschmitt's dissembling makes Bill Clinton's actions look principled. I'm tired of conservative leaders that I used to respect sinking to such lows. Maybe that's why we lost the last election and will likely lose the next. You guys are killing us. And by the way Klingenschmitt is no longer a chaplain. He is mere a undesignated line officer because he lost his endorsement and because of his poor performance as an officer. The court martial he brought on himself did not have his new endorsement accepted. Give him the microphone and you will lose the support of many conservative, Christian Chaplains who routinely pray in Jesus name without a problem, no thanks to Klingenschmitt. I've been in the military 25 years serving as a line officer and chaplain and I too gave up rank to come in the Navy, as does everyone who comes in at a higher rank from another service to the Chaplain Corps, Medical Corps or Judge Advocate General Corps. If you guys keep this up and decide to let him do the invocation at the Presidential dinner don't ever count on my support. The least you guys can do is have someone actually research his claims, read his website and look a the Wikipedia article about him (that he himself initially began) before you embarrass yourself.
One Concerned Chaplain (actual name redacted)
Somehow, Gordon Klingenschmitt was able to get himself on the schedule to appear with Vice President Cheney at this year's CPAC. Imagine the scene, a former chaplain who lost his professional qualifications due to his criminal misconduct gives the invocation at a conference with the Vice President as a scheduled speaker. What an embarrassing situation! Who in their right mind would have ever invited a convicted officer, who was forced to resign his ordination from his church because of his criminal behavior, to appear with the Vice President of the United States? Undoubtedly, Klingenschmitt would have used his appearance at the conference as some sort of a validation for all of his unseemly behavior since he transferred to the Navy to serve as a chaplain. Thank God that the CPAC organizers heeded the message above and disinvited Klingenschmitt. At least this saves the world from yet another Klingenschmitt spin-machine story. It seems that the truth about Klingenschmitt and his propaganda machine is finally getting out.
FLASH: NEW UPDATE!!!
(NOTE: Updated on 28 February 2007)
On 28 February 2007, Gordon Klingenschmitt posted an old copy of the CPAC Agenda listing him as scheduled to deliver the invocation at the Presidential Banquet on 1 March 2007 on his personal website in an attempt to make people believe that he was still appearing on stage with the Vice President despite his knowledge that his appearance was cancelled. Klingenschmitt posted this even though he was informed earlier this month that he was disinvited by CPAC organizers. (CPAC replied to "One Concerned Chaplain's" email on Monday, 26 February 2007 at 7:50 PM stating that Klingenschmitt was neither attending nor participating in the event.) He also posted this webpage listing him as a chaplain when, in fact, he lost the right to refer to himself as a serving chaplain since he lost his professional qualifications back in October 2006. He is currently an undesignated Navy officer without any current qualifications whatsoever awaiting discharge for loss of professional status.
The current CPAC Agenda lists J. William Lauderback of the American Conservative Union as the person scheduled to deliver the invocation at the banquet. Why would Klingenschmitt post an inaccurate, outdated copy of this webpage with the title "Chaps invited to pray with Vice President Cheney (Thursday night)" on his personal website when he knew that doing so was a total deception? What possesses a man to publish such distortions on such a regular basis? This is yet another piece added to the voluminous evidence of the dishonesty and fraud that the Klingenschmitt propaganda spin-machine produces on a regular basis.
FLASH: NEWER UPDATE!!
(NOTE: Updated on 1 March 2007)
The Klingenschmitt propaganda spin-machine is already in full swing with the following headline on his personal website: "CHAPS BOOTED FROM NAVY FOR 'DISOBEDIENT' PRAYERS AND SERMONS...CNO FORBIDS PRAYING WITH VICE PRESIDENT". The DC Court of Appeals dissolved its emergency stay on Klingenschmitt's discharge from the Navy on 28 February 2007. Klingenschmitt will finally discharged from the Navy by the end of the 1st day of March 2007. The reason for his discharge is his loss of professional status, his well-documented poor performance, his misconduct, and his criminal conviction. The fact that Klingenschmitt prayed had nothing to do with his discharge. His troubles are solely the result of his poor choices and criminal activities. Klingenschmitt's false claim in this headline makes about as much sense as saying that Charles Manson was sentenced to life in prison because he prayed before murdering. Had Manson prayed, it would have not changed the fact that he was still guilty of the crime of murder. Gordon Klingenschmitt prayed while committing a Federal crime. The fact that he prayed during the commission of his crime does not alter the fact that he committed a crime. Gordon Klingenschmitt was convicted of the commission of a Federal crime--NOT FOR PRAYER! It is time for Klingenschmitt to finally come clean and begin telling the truth about what happened and why.
The Klingenschmitt propaganda spin-machine has been caught in yet another deception. Yesterday, I cut and pasted the following headline from Klingenschmitt's personal website "Chaps invited to pray with Vice President Cheney (Thursday night)." Today, I just noticed today that Klingenschmitt inserted the word "was" in the the headline to make it appear that he was not being deceptive yesterday. This blog had hundreds of hits yesterday after I posted the first update. Too many people already know about the deception.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Secetly Taped Conversations While Serving as a Chaplain
Gordon Klingenschmitt continues in his never-ending quest to become a household name.(Phrase freely adapted from "People for the American Way") It amazes me that so many good evangelical Christians have fallen for his Goebbels-like propaganda without taking the two minutes required to realize that he is full of empty, hot air. Klingenschmitt's tireless propaganda machine employs the NAZI philosophy that if one tells a lie long enough and often enough, people accept it as truth. The following quote was posted by MiddleLinebacker on the talk page of Klingenschmitt's attempt at writing his own autobiography on wikikpedia!
"However, with all due respect I must inform you that you do not seem to comprehend the deceit and dishonesty that has accrued to Ks constant spins and untruthful redaction of the facts. For instance, his autobiographical paragraph has been edited to read, 'he is currently fighting to have a new endorsement from Chaplaincy Full Gospel Churches recognized by the service.' The Full Gospel Churches organization is recognized by the Department of Defense as a legitimate endorsing agent and their status has never been questioned. The legitimacy of the endorsing agent is not Ks problem. His problem is that his record was reviewed and he was found to be unsuitable for service as a chaplain or an officer.
"Why is that so difficult for you and others to understand? He has received sub-standard performance reports and has been convicted at a Special Court Martial. He disobeyed an order of a superior commissioned officer. The military is built on a foundation of discipline and obedience and failure to obey an order is an extremely serious offense. Teamwork and being a team player is of the essence of military bearing and military success. K has proved from day one that he hasn't the ability nor the inclination and intent to be a team player. The presiding judge at his court martial referred to Ks 'sui juris' status. Indeed, he has proved time and again that he is 'a law unto himself.' K has never been disciplined nor has he been chastised for praying in Jesus' name. He has chosen to introduce this element and insert it into every phase of his argument because he knows that he cannot defend his repeated illegal actions and conduct."
"His ploy is to deceive you and others who do not seem to know the true facts about his untruthful and unethical behavior and to influence you to believe that he has and is suffering religious persecution. He employs the typical propaganda tactic of 'if you say it long enough, loudly enough, and with great passion the masses will believe it.' K goes on and on about losing everything and how he would do it all again. The public needs to know that in a letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel he said words to the effect of 'if you will give me some financial compensation I will drop all of my complaints and waive any right to any future complaints that I might have.' So much for his noble, altruistic concern for others and for the celebrated righteousness of his cause. MiddleLinebacker."
Why is it that so many people have chosen to believe Gordon Klingenschmitt's shrill, unsupported accusations of religious persecution by the Navy? Literally hundreds of commissioned officers, serving as Navy chaplains, say there is no systematic persecution against Christians in the Navy. Why is it that so many people have chosen to believe the word of one chaplain, a convicted criminal, over hundreds of chaplains who remain faithful to their churches and their oaths of office?
Monday, February 12, 2007
In an article on WVEC.COM (http://www.wvec.com/news/military/stories/wvec_military_011207_klingenschmitt.31ca068a.html), Gordon Klingenschmitt seems to be elevating himself to messianic or, at least, saintly status because of his misconduct and subsequent conviction at a Special Court Martial. WVEC.COM quotes GK:
- "This fight cost me everything. My career is over, my family is now homeless, we've lost a million dollar pension, but Congress agreed with me and rescinded the Navy policy, so chaplains are free again to pray in Jesus name. My sacrifice purchased their freedom. My conscience is clear, the fight was worth it, and I'd do it all again. Because of my sacrifice other chaplains will have the liberty I was denied. Praise be to God, in Jesus name."
GK's assertion that his "sacrifice" purchased my freedom as a Navy chaplain to pray in Jesus' Name is both absurd and extremely disturbing. It also borders on blasphemy. In my eleven years as an Active Duty Navy chaplain, I have freely prayed in Jesus' Name and in the Trinitarian formula (In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit) without incident or complaint. I was freely praying this way in public before and during GK's tenure in the Navy. GK did not purchase my freedom to freely pray. If anything, GK hindered more chaplains from freely praying than he helped. In my opinion, the Department of the Navy never would have issued the now rescinded restrictions in SECNAVINST 1730.7C had it not been for GK's unbecoming anctics.
No, GK did not purchase my freedom through his "sacrifice." What he did was not a sacrifice--it was MISCONDUCT. Quoting a popular Marine Corps expression, GK chose the wrong foxhole to die in. It was his choice. The tragedy is that it was unnecessary. It is not anyone's fault, but his own, that GK picked the wrong fight in which to engage. We had no problems in the Chaplain Corps concerning praying "In Jesus' Name" before GK came in. Nor, did we have any problems doing so during his time in the Navy. Simply put, GK "sacrificed" his Navy career for absolutely nothing. Personally, I find it offensive that GK has chosen to cloak his misconduct in language that should be reserved for our Savior. Jesus Christ's true sacrifice puchased my Freedom--NOT Klingenschmitt's misconduct! GK's "sacrifice" did not purchase me anything. The use of redemptive language like this should be reserved for Jesus and His true sacrifice, not for the misconduct of a chaplain who seemed intent on making his career a train wreck.
Another thing that strikes me as seriously lacking honor, is GK's complaint to WVEC that he is now "homeless." How does a man who is getting a $99,000 severance package have the gall to claim that he is going to be homeless? That is beyond me. How can a man who is going to get paid 18.5 months of his salary as severance pay honestly claim homelessness? To me, that seems to be somewhat less than honest. I agree with CDR Stephanus and CDR Q, GK is very fortunate that he did not get what he really deserved. He is very fortunate that his Command is treating him with much more kindness than he showed to them.Originally posted by USMC Padre (used by permission)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
- G. Klingenschmitt must be operating in a different reality than every commissioned officer I know. About the same time he made the outrageous claims you wrote about, he made yet another unbelievably crazy statement on Beliefnet. He said: "Because the misdemeanor court did not have the power to kick me out of the Navy, ... I immediately predicted the Navy would find some other way and, sure enough, they have," he said Thursday (Jan. 11). http://www.beliefnet.com/story/209/story_20953_1.html No kidding! Who wants a convicted officer serving in the military? It must be pointed out that G. Klingenschmitt's conviction would have been a felony conviction had his command referred him to a General Court Martial rather than a Special Court Martial. The fact that he is not a felon today is more of a testament to the restraint & mercy granted him by his command than to the Navy's impotence.
- Of course, the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard would seek to administratively separate from active duty ANY OFFICER who was convicted in a Court Martial. What is he thinking? The Navy does not want a convicted criminal serving in such a senstive leadership position as a chaplain. It is the duty of all commissioned officers to set the standard for behavior within the services. That is why there is no Good Conduct Medal for officers in any of the military branches. Officers are expected to hold themselves to a higher standard, period. Officers get no "brownie points" for conducting themselves honorably and within the law and requlations. Commissioned officers all know what the expectations are before we accept our appointments. Why is is so difficult for G. Klingenschmitt to understand such a basic concept of honor? What mother or father would want their son or daughter to serve under an officer who is a convicted criminal? For that matter, what Sailor, Marine, Coastguardsman, soldier, or airman would want to go to a chaplain who was convicted in a Court Martial? I don't know too many who would want to do so.
- Of all officers, chaplains are held to an even higher standard of conduct that any one else. When a chaplain engages in such unprofessional and unseemly behavior as G. Klingenschmitt had, administrative separation is definitely to be expected. Had he accepted Captain's Mast under Article 15 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, G. Klingenschmitt would have still probably been separated from active duty, because of the combination of his poor performance and his misconduct.
- G. Klingenschmitt, himself recognizes that he has tarnished his reputation later in the same article I quouted above. "Klingenschmitt had been affiliated with the Evangelical Episcopal Church. He ended that relationship after his court-martial, and is now affiliated with the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches. He said he made the change because he felt the guilty finding of the court-martial no longer permitted him to "maintain a spotless reputation" that was part of his covenant with the Evangelical Episcopal Church." ibid. Klingenschmitt admits that his reputation and honor is spotted by his criminal activities. What makes him think that any of the services would want him to continue serving with such a record? Also, what does that say about G. Klingenschmitt's attitude towards his new church? If he thought his criminal conviction disqualified him from ordained ministry in one church, then why doesn't he think it disqualifies him from being ordained in his new church? Again, what makes him think that his failure to "maintain a spotless reputation" qualifies him for continued active service as a commissioned officer?
"In answer to your rhetorical question, "Does this man have no shame?" the answer is a resounding and unreserved, "No, this man has no shame whatsoever." Have you seen and heard some of his comments on radio interviews and in comments to the Baptist Press? He doesn't bother to tell folks that he isn't being "evicted" but that he is merely required to vacate quarters as all others are required to do on receipt of orders. He doesn't tell how he deceptively got extended base passes on false grounds and then took them to housing as proof that he was being permitted to remain in housing. Of course, all of this was discovered and overturned. When he talks about his wife being at home having to pack everything in boxes, he doesn't bother to tell the public that the Navy provides a free move. He doesn't tell the public that the Navy will pull a van up to his door, send packers in to pack everything and then load it, transport it to the next home, unload it, unpack it and put it in place. He doesn't tell the public that he has chosen to do a "Do it yourself move" and all expenses of the move will be paid by the Navy. He says that he is losing his house and his car (?) and will be without a job but he doesn't tell the public that the Navy is giving him a severance check of between $96,000.00 and $100,000.00. The formula for severance pay is 10% of base pay multiplied by number of years of active duty. He unashamedly told one radio interviewer that he turned down an Air Force move to Washington and a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel to take a demotion to Lieutenant and become a Navy Chaplain. In the first instance, he didn't have enough time in grade as a Major to be promoted to LtCol and besides that, we know that the military doesn't just give you a promotion for taking a set of orders. There is a board and selection process in every case. Also, most of us are sick and tired of hearing how he took a demotion to become a Chaplain. Everybody who crosses over to become a Chaplain takes a demotion if they are senior to the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenant is the entry point rank. There is no virtue in making such a choice; it is simply a matter of necessity. And yes, I agree that his "biography" should be removed from Wikipedia. Furthermore, I am a bit tired of hearing well-meaning people make excuses for him and bemoan his "bad luck" in the Navy. He hasn't had bad luck. He has made bad choices and there is sufficient evidence to prove that he has done this willfully and with unethical and deceptive intent. This person brings shame and dishonor to both the title of Naval Officer and Navy Chaplain."
After having been away on Navy business for a few months, I decided to check back in on this article and the rest of LT Klingenschmitt's propaganda only to find some whoppers!
I agree with CommanderQ that there has to be some dishonesty going on with Kling.'s claims of "eviction." CommanderQ wrote: "G. Klingenschmitt even posted two letters from Base Housing and the command which indicates that he was somehow trying to finagle staying in his government quarters beyond his eligibility period. (With his track record, one has to seriously wonder whether he was trying do so fraudulently.) Then, he has the gall to call this an "eviction notice" on his website! Everyone on active duty, both officer and enlisted, knows that government military quarters are available only for as long as one remains on active duty. (Widows/widowers of military personnel killed in action are given six additional months after the death of their loved one.)"
Wait just one minute. If Klingenschmitt had BUPERS orders directing him to detach from active duty NO LATER THAN January 2007, how could he have convinced the CIVILIAN housing contractor that he would have access to DoD facilities until the first of March? It certainly could not have been from telling them the truth! Kling. is not retirement eligible AND he is past the 8 year minimum service requirement. Therefore, when he detaches, he will be a complete civilian with no military affiliation, active, reserve, or retired, whatsoever. He knew that he was going to lose access to all DoD facilities on the end of January 2007. So--how does he convince the civilian contractors that he had one more month of access than he was allowed by law? I would venture to say that he probably did not convince them by being completely honest to them about the true facts of his situation.
For Klingenschmitt to call this an eviction is shamelessly dishonest. If Kling. somehow would have made it to retirement, he would have had to vacate military quarters just the same, because his eligibility has changed. This is not eviction! Part of every active duty member's compensation package includes either military quarters or the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). Whenever anyone leaves active duty, he or she loses the housing part of the compensation package just as much as the basic pay portion. This happens to literally tens of thousands of Sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsman who leave active duty every day. Yet, they don't call it eviction because they all understand that you quit getting paid after your employment ceases. It seems weird to me that an educated man like Mr. Klingenschmitt just can't figure simple things like this out. What makes Kling. think that he rated tax-payer funded quarters for one month after he lost his job with the Navy? Who was he trying to cheat? You, me, and every other tax payer, that's who. Does this man have no shame?
Just from my quick reading of the two pdf files on Kling.'s website, I could easily figure that something was not kosher in Klingyland. For example, his website lists his BUPERS orders with this comment: "6) Chaplain is ordered by Admirals (who claim to speak for the President?) to separate from Navy" Those orders are signed by the Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel. AND, YES, he does speak for the President in matters such as this. When they are speaking officially for the Navy, they are speaking for the President. Kling. must have forgotten that officers are commissioned by the President, not by their own authority. In Klingyland, it seems that one is only accountable to himself. Every other commissioned officer in the US Armed Forces, except Mr. Klingenschmitt, knows that we all serve at the pleasure of the President.
Some more integrity issues...Kling. keeps claiming that he was convicted of violation SECNAVINST 1730.7C (now rescinded). That is false. He was convicted of violation Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (not rescinded) disobeying a lawful order or regulation. The lawful order he disobeyed is found in US Navy Regulations, 1990 (also not rescinded). It is an explicit prohibition of wearing one's uniform to attend (let alone speak at) political or partisan meetings. The fact that he shot off a quick prayer "in Jesus' Name" (which, by the way, I do publicly all the time without any problems) did not nullify the fact that he the meeting was a partisan gathering in protest of the very Navy that gave him the uniform! He was not being denied the right to go, as a private individual in civilian clothing. He just couldn't go in uniform. On Kling.'s personal website, he even acknowledged that attending in uniform was wrong when he characterized it as "civil disobedience." It seems to me that Klingenschmitt felt that he was on a crusade to save the Navy from itself. The problem was, who was going to save the Navy from Klingenschmitt? It is just sad that it took this long for him to be thrown out of the Navy.
This article needs to be changed to either reflect Klingenschmitt's huge integrity problems OR reduced or deleted because he is not a prominent enough figure to rate an encylopedia article in the first place. I vote for deleting it completely.