Navy Chaplain Crosses The Line
Back in December, I wrote about a Navy Chaplain who was complaining that the politically correct Chaplain Corps was putting too many restrictions on his freedom of religious exercise. I explained why I thought LT Gordon Klingenschmitt was wrong, and opined that his "hunger strike" at the White House was tacky, but said that "I guess as long as he's not in uniform, he's probably not breaking the letter of any laws..."
It looks like now that he's crossed the line, and is apparently being brought up on charges for appearing at a press conference in front of the White House late last month, in uniform, to "call attention to what they said are restrictions on military chaplains who pray in Jesus’s name".
"Klingenschmitt said he received a letter Friday from Capt. Lloyd Pyle, commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Station, summoning him to a captain’s mast, an administrative hearing that could result in a reprimand. He said he has not decided whether to accept the summons or to insist on his right to a court-martial.
"Pyle’s letter said the chaplain violated Navy regulations by “wrongfully wearing his uniform while attending and participating in a news conference in support of personal views on political and religious issues.”
Fair enough. Since he's not attached to a ship, he has the right to waive Captain's Mast and request trial by court martial. In the next paragraph, though, Klingenschmitt completely jumps the shark:
"Klingenschmitt called the charge “an attack against my religion” and “a reprisal in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.”
I suppose the Whistleblower Protection Act provides protection for self-important jerks as well as anyone else, but since he seems to have made his complaints to the press, rather than a Congressman or other designated person, I'm not sure he'll get very far with this line of defense. Especially since there are no restrictions on praying in Jesus' name at designated Christian worship services; it's only when it is reasonable to expect that there would be personnel of other faiths present that it's considered "bad form" to do so.
Don't get me wrong; with very few exceptions, military Chaplains are wonderful officers who perform a great service. This guy is one of the exceptions.