Navy Chaplain Prepared to Starve to Death…In Jesus Name

Navy Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt has just about completed the 18th day of a hunger strike because he was reprimanded for delivering an inappropriate evangelical eulogy aboard ship last month.  While the ideological lieutenant claims that his Christian faith is being suppressed by removing the common Christian prayer closing of ‘in Jesus’ name’, a closer examination shows that the real offender here is Lt. Klingenschmitt.

The US Military is one of the few government organizations that still begin and/or conclude just about every ceremony imaginable with a prayer of some sort.  This in itself causes serious concerns, but the military is steeped in tradition and slow to change.  In 1991 the Department of Defense did make a sweeping change throughout the chaplain’s corp in realizing that not all of its service-members were of the Christian faith.  The new directive merely required that chaplains across the board deliver non-denominational prayers when not engaged in a ‘specific’ religious service.

Doesn’t seem too much to ask, considering the federal government is funding this religious activity.  So when chaplains are praying at military funerals, graduations, change-of-commands, etc… they are to deliver a generic prayer and when they’re preaching at their faith’s service, mass, temple, etc… they can say pretty much whatever they want.

The Navy allows chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Allah or any other deity during chapel services, [Naval] spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey said.

At other public events, “Navy chaplains are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of all those present,” she said, “and may decline an invitation to pray if not able to do so for conscience reasons.”

Now in typical fundamentalist fashion, Lt. Klingenschmitt calls out the Christian oppression card.  Feeling that somehow the the Navy rules don’t apply to him, since he is ordained by God, he has directly violated the regulations on numerous occasions and is now lobbying congress the White House to change the DOD’s position.  So he’s not being told to do anything that violates his religious belief, he’s upset that he cannot force his belief system on others.

How is he doing this?  Well with assistance from the Christian Coalition, he has amassed some 175,000 signatures and sympathy from 74 congressmen.  His main tools are daily prayer services outside of the White House and not eating anything.  In an interview with FOX News neo-con, Sean Hannity, Klingenschmitt says he is prepared to go all the way and ‘die’ for this this cause.  I wonder if Klingenschmitt is aware that if he fails to eat or submit to medical treatment he will be in violation of yet another Naval regulation that will put his survivor benefits in jeopardy?

My real hope is that Klingenschmitt’s actions will cause the federal government to rethink the role of religion in the military altogether.

Orignially posted on: S.I.M.U.

More info: The Washington Times

12 thoughts on “Navy Chaplain Prepared to Starve to Death…In Jesus Name

  1. My first response was “Go ahead. Let him starve!” While that’s still my basic attitude, I’d hate for him to become a martyr. We don’t need another bigoted evangelist “hero.”

  2. How is he doing this? Well with assistance from the Christian Coalition, he has amassed some 175,000 signatures and sympathy from 74 congressmen.

    Unless they’re all willing to starve with him, I don’t think the support counts for much.

    His main tools are daily prayer services outside of the White House and not eating anything.

    Yeah, I’ll believe that when he starves to death…

  3. At eighteen days they are all slipping him Ensure in his water… I’ve seen far to many people live off of that stuff

  4. As a Master-At-Arms, it is my job to enforce the rules and regulations of the United States Navy, and as such it is my duty to apprehend those whose behavior is outside the bounds of what is permissible. Lt. Klingenschmitt is in violation of several articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and must be prosecuted at once. His conduct is unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman and his defiance for regulation and order makes him an unsuitable candidate for military service.

  5. Sounds like Lt. Klingenschmitt is taking lessons from the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi. Fasting has Been a very successful way of drawing attention to issues and reaching individuals in a non-violent manner in the past. With 173,000+ signatures and congressional sympathy I would almost bet that the military would tread very lightly when setting any
    kind of punishment down via the UCMJ. Im certain Military Leadership doesn’t want it’s actions to be mis-interpreted as a “military attack on christianity”. Im quite certain it isn’t a prefect Navy anymore Master-At-Arms Neodromos.

    As for military prayers, I heard very few in my career. None at ARMY change of command ceremonies,
    None at Award ceremonies of any kind. I’ve attended ARMY, AF & USMC promotions and retirements and have yet to hear a peep about god.
    Even when the presence of a chaplain was mandated (like mando suicide prevention training) chaplains
    left religion out of it. They would let you know that they were available and where thier chapels were but that was it. The only places I ever heard about god in the military was wedding ceremonies.
    Else it was “Kill ‘em all and let god sort ‘em out”. Thats it.

  6. With 173,000+ signatures and congressional sympathy I would almost bet that the military would tread very lightly when setting any kind of punishment down via the UCMJ.

    When I listed those figures it was sort of tongue-in-cheek. 175,000 signatures is hardly representative considering roughly 666 million Americans are so-called Christians.  The same goes for 74 congressman, since less than ten are members of the US congress.

    The military, as you know, has a habit of treading rather lightly on all administrative types of punishment.  Barring the commission of a crime, several counsellings need to be made, paperwork filed, and an allotted time to correct the deficiency.  I would bet the house that if the good Lt. dons his uniform and delivers another prayer in public, he will have bigger problems than sneaking ensure.

    As for military prayers, I heard very few in my career. None at ARMY change of command ceremonies, None at Award ceremonies of any kind. Iโ€™ve attended ARMY, AF & USMC promotions and retirements and have yet to hear a peep about god.

    Unless your semi-new to military service or serve under an atheistic command, I find this difficult to believe.

    Promotion, retirement and award ceremonies almost never have a chaplain involved unless it involves a flag officer, division CSM or a top-tier award.  I had a chaplain present and praying at my DSSM award ceremony.  Army soldier of the year ceremony – prayer.  Army ball – prayer.  Iraq War deployment – prayer by everyone.  End of Cold War installation turnovers – egotistical prayer. Kosovo deployment – hateful prayer.

    The protocol for military graduation ceremonies is to always have an invocation unless the situation proves to be inappropriate.  An example was when I finished special forces Q school, there were only a few of us and only those with a direct need to know were allowed to interact.

    If you haven’t been privy to ceremonies involving lots of prayer, count yourself lucky and hopefully you’ll ETS (separate) before you do.

  7. I just want him, when he dies, to find himself at the feet of Thor, or Zeus ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Had I the opportunity, I would have apprehended the LT, already. That, however, is not an option. Granted, Qoayn is probably right, because of the administrative aspect and the media focus I doubt he will face courts-martial. My point was that he should. Our rules and regulations are in place for everyone to follow. Christian, officer, a thousand signatures, none of it matters. What matters is that he swore an oath of allegiance, and he has an obligation to follow it.

  9. I saw this goofball on a morning news show not too long before Christmas.  He appeared almost orgasmically excited about the prospect of being a martyr for the lord.  It was pretty creepy to watch.  The interviewer finally cut him off before he actually came all over himself.

  10. Wow! someone thinks I *may have* been somewhat right
    for once.  Lets see if I can mess it up now.. I
    guess it’s not fair since I’ve seen stuff like
    this dealt with in piss-poor fashion before Neo.

    I just love the everyone gets the same punishment
    under UCMJ mentality. No one individual is special in the military.
    Unfortunately, that mentality seems to be less adhered to in recent history.
    Most everyone thinks they’re special or exempt.

    Dont get me wrong, I would love to see this
    chaplain made an example of.. not because he’s
    a chaplain but because he’s special and in need
    of correction.

    Award the good deeds equally and punish those who fail to uphold standards
    without special favor or regard. Let both groups serve as an example of discipline
    to the rest of the fighting force at large.

    So much for functioning as a unit. I bet recruiting is waaay down after this.

  11. DS, I ETSd in 2001. Was more than glad to leave
    with a pair of balls still. I’m sure I would have grown a pair of bitch tits and become entirely inept at everything before too long if I had stayed.

    ..heard nary a prayer other than to get home after a bender without ending up in the brigg.

    “God’s” phone rings:

    What? Some poor schlub wants supernatural driving ability and stealth at 4 AM? Granted!

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