Klingenschmitt, who runs "The Pray in Jesus' Name Project," was court-martialed from his job as a chaplain in the US Navy in 2006 for appearing at a religious-right protest in his military uniform, which is against military regulations. But Klingenschmitt says he was court-martialed for praying in Jesus' name.
But now Klingenschmitt is determined to have prayers in Jesus' name at Lodi City Council meetings. What is it with these loony Christians who want to foist their prayers on us at government institutions? Don't they read their own Bible?
Jesus said "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret..." (Mathew 6:6, KJV).
The Lodi city bylaws only permit non-denominational prayers at their city council meetings. Apparently, this allows for a wide swath of the gullible superstitious hordes to be content. But if you allow prayers in Jesus' name at these meetings, then you open up a big old can of worms. Because, to be fair, you'd have to allow people of all religious stripes to have their denominational prayers as well, whether they be Muslims, Hindus, Satanists, Scientologists, Raelians, Rastafaris, Wiccans, Flying Spaghetti Monsterists, and so forth.
One can't but help wonder what Klingenschmitt and other Christian fundamentalist nutjobs would make of that. I doubt they'd be pleased, and I don't doubt they'd fight against these other prayers because America is a "Christian nation."
But the truth is that America is a pluralistic nation, so, as far as government sponsored prayers go, it's either all or nothing: all manner of prayers or no prayers at all. I'd prefer the latter.
Klingenschmitt is so far off the deep end that he offered up a prayer for the deaths of Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Praying for someone's death is called an "imprecatory prayer," and guess what? It's in the Bible, so it must be okay.
Here's Klingenschmitt's imprecatory prayer:
Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus' name. Amen.
What a fine upstanding Christian this Klingenschmitt fellow is.