Last year, Gordon Klingenschmitt was elected to a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, despite the fact that he was a long-time Religious Right activist with a well-documented history of making outrageous statements. Unsurprisingly, Klingenschmitt's tenure in office has been racked with controversy precisely because he has continued to make those sorts of statements, but that did not dissuade Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum from agreeing to be interviewed by Klingenschmitt for his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program.
Klingenschmitt managed to interview Santorum when he was recently campaigning in the state and ask him about Indiana's effort to pass a law that would have granted business owners the right to discriminate against customers, particularly gay ones, in the name of "religious liberty."
Santorum falsely claimed that the original Indiana law was merely designed to protect religious "employees from discrimination at the workplace" and lamented that "those who are defending religious liberty backed down, they're not willing to take the fight and be called all sorts of names and take the blows for standing up for religious liberty in the face of a media onslaught that doesn't care about the truth."
Last month, a public school teacher sued his Colorado school district for allegedly allowing school officials to openly promote Christianity to students, claiming that a local pastor is regularly allowed to use the school's public address system to "preach his evangelical Christian messages" and that prayer meetings, Bible studies, and Christian events are held during school hours.
Among the complaints listed in the lawsuit is the allegation that this local pastor also hosts weekly Bible study session on campus over the lunch period, which students refer to as "Jesus pizza."
And Gordon Klingenschmitt, who happens to be a Republican member of the Colorado state legislature as well as a Religious Right activist, is outraged ... at this teacher for objecting, declaring on his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program — without a hint of irony — that teachers "don't have a right to impose religious views upon the students."
"If you don't want to attend their 'Jesus pizza,' that's fine," Klingenschmitt said. 'You don't have to attend, but you don't get the right to sue to attend their 'Jesus pizza' because you're a teacher. Let the students organize themselves and have their own event. That's what the Supreme Court rules!"
Aside from the fact that this teacher is not suing for the right to attend these religious events but rather to put an end to them, Klingenschmitt is bizarrely arguing that it is perfectly fine for school officials to sanction and promote Christian events during school hours whereas efforts to stop that from happening is an effort to "impose religious views upon the students."
As Miranda has noted several times in recent months, there is a deep rift within the anti-choice movement between the "incrementalists" who seek to ban abortion by gradually chipping away at access and legal protections and the "immediatists" who will only support efforts that seek to immediately and completely outlaw abortion.
Whereas the "incrementalists" are willing to accept some exceptions to anti-choice legislation for political reasons, "immediatists" decry such exceptions as a sell-out of the movement's core mission to outlaw and criminalize abortion.
Not surprisingly, Colorado Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt falls into the latter category, as he questioned the anti-choice bona fides of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for signing a law forcing women to get an ultrasound before seeking an abortion because the law still allows the women to get an abortion afterwards.
As Klingenschmitt explained on his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program, letting women still get an abortion after forcing them to undergo an ultrasound defeats the purpose of implementing anti-choice laws in the first place.
"Some of these ultrasound bills do inadvertently give permission to abort some children if an ultrasound is taken," Klingenschmitt said. "In other words, first you have to jump through all these hoops and then you can kill the baby. Those seven words — 'and then you can kill the baby' — are inadvertently in a lot of these so-called pro-life laws."
"My point is," he continued, "make them get the ultrasound but then you still can't kill the baby after you get the ultrasound."
On his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Gordon Klingenschmitt reacted to the recent vote by the citizens of Ireland to legalize gay marriage by declaring that the country needs a modern-day St. Patrick to rise up and rid the nation of the demonic "snakes" that are encouraging people to embrace sin.
"There was a time when it was said that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland," Klingenschmitt said, "and now I'm concerned that the snakes have returned to Ireland. And when I say snakes, I'm not talking about physical snakes, I'm talking about the demonic spirits inside of some of the people you see parading their sin in pride around the country, rejecting not just the Catholic Church but rejecting Jesus Christ himself."
"Jesus Christ defined marriage between one man and one woman," he continued, "and maybe it's time for another St. Patrick to go back into Ireland and preach the good news that Jesus can make you free from sin and drive out the snakes once again."
On his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Gordon Klingenschmitt hailed the news that former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had been sentenced to death, saying that Morsi’s death sentence was prophesied in the Bible as a sign that Egypt would "come of Jesus Christ."
Klingenschmitt said that he discerned "the spirit of freedom" upon current Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for leading a military coup that overthrew "the tyrant Morsi" who was trying to impose Islam on the nation. And in sentencing Morsi to death, Klingenschmitt said, Biblical prophecy is now coming to fruition.
"This is, perhaps, a fulfillment of Scripture," he said. "This was prophesied, these days were prophesied by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah in chapter 19. He said, and God spoke to him about a prophecy about Egypt — in fact, it was against the demonic spirits in Egypt at that time — but he said that the Lord would deliver them and give them freedom."
Citing a passage stating that God "will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian, brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom," Klingenschmitt said that we are now seeing this prophecy fulfilled and it will lead to a "great evangelistic explosion [in Egypt] and they come to Jesus Christ":
The Supreme Court recently rejected legal challenges to California and New Jersey laws banning the use of "ex-gay" conversion therapy on minors and Gordon Klingenschmitt is not pleased because now gay people will be unable to free themselves from the demons that control them.
As he explained on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, "there is a demonic spirit ... inside of the addict that is controlling the voluntary choices, or at least has contracted with them and is manifesting through them in this sinful addiction. And what is the only way to treat that? It's to get the Devil out and to get the Holy Spirit in."
In rejecting efforts to overturn bans on conversion therapy, Klingenschmitt said, judges are "cooperating with the demonic spirit inside of the homosexual addict and those judges are now reinforcing the sin and saying you cannot be delivered, you cannot cured, you cannot be healed":
While President Obama is bringing in thousands of Muslim refugees who will impose Sharia law in Walmart stores, gay people are provoking God into punishing America through drought and famine. But don’t look to pot to calm you down, as it is simply a tool that Satan will use to devour you.
Abbott has since tried to distance himself from the conspiracy theory, but Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., has demanded — and apparently received — a meeting with military leaders over the matter.
Jade Helm 15 is just the latest in a litany of far-right conspiracy theories about President Obama planning a military takeover of the country. While none of the theories has ever actually panned out, far-right pundits and activists keep inventing new ones, insisting that whoever doesn’t agree with them either doesn’t see the truth or is enabling Obama’s dictatorial agenda.
Remember: Obama’s plot against America goes all the way back to his birth…
1) Barack the Baby Communist
Faith 2 Action founder Janet Porter, who recently worked with Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and several GOP candidates on a film about how the gay rights movement will “criminalize Christianity,” revealed to WorldNetDaily readers just two weeks into Obama’s first term that she had learned through a chain email that the president had been planted as a baby by Russian communists who would use him to take over America.
“I can’t prove whether it’s true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn’t seem that far-fetched anymore,” Porter wrote, claiming that the letter was “not some e-mail scam” and that she personally reached out to its source to confirm the details.
According to the email’s author, during the early 1990s he met two Russian scientists, spouses “V.M” and “T.M,” who told him that “you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist” … named “Barack.” The Russians continued:
This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call ‘Ivy League.’ You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your president.
It’s all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won’t have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He’s gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America
The female scientist seemed to know a lot about this young man: “She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. ‘Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet …. [H]e will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.’ She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.”
As it turned out, every single word in this chain email was true! Maybe. And now, Obama is on the brink of taking over America with his secret squads of Obamacare militias, immigrants, African Americans and/or foreign troops.
2) Obamacare Squads
Before joining the Family Research Council, retired Army Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin released a video with the far-right group the Oak Initiative suggesting that Obama is leading a “Marxist insurgency” in the U.S. He claimed that Obama inserted into the Affordable Care Act a measure that would create a personal army reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts, warning that the president was “laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”
Porter joined in in 2012, claiming that FEMA Corps, which trains young people to work in disaster response, might actually be “a standing army to stifle dissent” and “part of a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches.” WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, who once alleged that Obama sent a secret signal to Muslims to “finish” the Holocaust against the Jews, similarly warned that Obama would soon “move to shut down and destroy all independent media” and would make sure that “his biggest critics will be rounded up in the name of national security.”
3) About That Executive Order…
In 2012, when Obama issued an emergency preparedness executive order similar to ones issued by presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, some right-wing commentators went ballistic since this time, the president was Obama!
“He is openly implementing martial law in this country,” InfoWars host Alex Jones said about the executive order. The executive order, Jones claimed, declared that administration officials would have the power to “secretly arrest Americans and disappear us any time they want” and build “the domestic security force that’s just as big and just as strong as the military Obama’s always talked about as the ‘FEMA Corps.’”
One congressman, then-Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, suggested that the president would use the executive order to seize total power. In fact, Stockman speculated that Obama may have deliberately brought Ebola to America in order to create a crisis to justify the implementation of his order granting himself “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything.”
4) Ebola! Remember That?
Last year, four people were diagnosed with Ebola while in the U.S., two after travelling from West Africa and two after caring for an Ebola patient at a hospital in Texas. In the eyes of conservatives, this was a widespread pandemic that was all Obama’s fault.
According to Stockman, Obama may have had an “intentional” plan to bring Ebola into the U.S. “in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth…. [T]here may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen. I hope that’s not that case but, as you know, this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda.”
Another far-right radio host, Laurie Roth, predicted that Obama would deliberately fuel an Ebola outbreak in order to “create a guise to declare martial law due to created outbreaks,” giving him the power to “control speech, food, travel and health care” and even “demand adults and children take some sort of mandated/mystery vaccination that kills off even more people”:
My prediction is that a forced vaccination plan from Obama and his administration is on its way. This will not only allow someone put in control (so Obama can’t be blamed) to release something potentially fatal into our system, but also act as a tracker – the complete end of our privacy and freedom.
Prior to the Ebola scare, Porter took to WorldNetDaily to predict that Obama would use swine flu to “round up American citizens” and force them into FEMA concentration camps. She also told WorldNetDaily readers that the president, emulating Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, would create “a food shortage” to see that people are “starved to death.”
5) Obama’s Race War Ruse
Since predictions about Obama’s dastardly plan to infect all other Americans with the Ebola virus in order to seize power didn’t exactly come true, conservative activists have turned to recent demonstrations over issues such as racial profiling as another Obama-orchestrated plot to take control of the country.
Others in the right-wing media took similar views. Wiles claimed that protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were all part of a plot to enable “Emperor Obama” to “start a civil war,” which would give him a reason to implement stringent gun control so people could no longer “protect themselves from tyrants.” His fellow conservative talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson said that Obama brought “chaos” to Baltimore just so “he can federalize the police departments around the country.” WorldNetDaily columnist Morgan Brittany claimed that the Baltimore riots were “planned” by the government, which she said is bent on “stirring up unrest” in order to give Obama the justification “to institute martial law to preserve order, form a national police force and postpone the 2016 elections.”
Savage, the conservative radio host, even went so far as to allege that Obama started the riots as a way to send arms to gang members under the pretext of preserving order: “It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets.”
In another interview, Pratt accused Obama of hoping to “bring violence” and “some kind of social implosion to America” as a way to keep power, with Solomon warning of “an explosion of attacks on haves by have-nots” and “more specifically on white haves by black have-nots; more specifically on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots.”
6) Bundy Ranch Standoff
The short-lived standoff between federal law enforcement and Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher and Fox News darling who refused to pay grazing fees for his cattle or to recognize the legal authority of the U.S. government, gave another opportunity for right-wing commentators to warn of an imminent federal takeover spurred on by Obama-instigated violence.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush pointed to the Bundy standoff as proof that “the federal government intends to control everything,” including “our food supply.” Denouncing President Obama as a someone who “embodies the diabolical Manchurian President, clandestinely working to destroy America,” Rush warned that the Bundy standoff might have been a test case for imminent FEMA camp internment.
“Do we wait until a family is slaughtered because they opened fire on government agents executing an illegal raid on their home?” he asked. “Do we wait until Department of Homeland Security operatives come around to arrest ‘domestic terrorists’ as designated by Harry Reid and ship them off to FEMA camps?”
Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt, who has since been elected to the Colorado legislature, said that the federal government dug “mass graves” near the ranch to hold the bodies of the “cowboys” they planned to murder. Wiles had a similar theory:
Civil unrest is brewing, the Obamanistas have tried a number of tactics to insult and infuriate the American people to respond with violence…. I expect dirty Harry Reid and his Washington sidekick Barry Soetoro will send federal agents back to Nevada this summer and my fear is that federal snipers will take out a bunch of cowboys and militia men.
Not only will Obama have loyal armies of doctors, AmeriCorps members, black protesters and gang members, but he will also, according to several conspiracy theorists, create a force of undocumented immigrants — specifically young Central American refugees escaping the drug war — to do his bidding.
Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen offered his own version of this prediction, alleging that the federal government was “going to give the illegal immigrants badges, they’re going to give them guns, and they’re going to put them in positions of authority over Americans in every way imaginable. So when you step out your door and there’s a knock at the door, you’re going to be looking at the new face of the state, which is the prior illegal immigrants that now have a badge and a gun and dominion over you.”
Gheen added that the Obama administration was “supporting the organized and well-funded illegal alien invasion of our homeland” and therefore has “the blood of many thousands of Americans on their hands that have been killed, injured raped and robbed by illegal immigrants,” warning that “center-right, Christian, heterosexual” men were particularly at risk.
Gheen even told Jones, the “InfoWars” host, that the young immigrants were the pawns and child soldiers of U.S. “elites” who want to subjugate patriotic Christians: “They’re willing to literally say and do anything that their new masters call on them to do to protect their position. Once Obama rams these ‘kids’ in, gives them their Obamaphone, enrolls them in Obamacare, puts them in a public school, pays for their housing, pays for their food…these people will do anything that their leaders call on them to do and I do mean anything.”
Alan Keyes wondered if Obama, whom he thinks wants to become America’s “Führer,” was “importing” immigrants “in order to facilitate what I think is an overthrow of our Constitution.”
WorldNetDaily’s resident health “expert” Elizabeth Lee Vliet claimed that the government would use a “flood of illegals” who carry exotic diseases to “overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a ‘new socialist order’ under federal control.”
8) Obama’s Atheist/Islamic/Canadian/Alien Army
Building off the birther conspiracy theory that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen and the general right-wing belief that he is not a real American, several conservative activists believe that the president will use foreign forces, outside of just immigrants and health care workers, to oppress Americans.
According to Bill Federer, a Religious Right “historian,” the Arab Spring was designed by nefarious forces who wanted to create a surge in Muslim refugees who would then settle in the U.S. in order to establish Islamic “sleeper cells.” Soon, these sleeper cells would “get a signal to have Ferguson riots in malls across America,” which would give Obama the justification to “restore order” by setting up a “militarized dictatorship.” Obama, Federer warned, could follow in the footsteps of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot in killing millions of Christians.
Federer cited a man named Avi Lipkin, who apparently heard from his wife, who heard from an unspecified Arabic-language broadcast, about a plot to bring millions of Muslim refugees into the country in order to bring about Sharia law. Lipkin alleged that Obama was “going to bring in 50 to 100 million Muslims” and settle them in national parks and “lands confiscated by Agenda 21” — a sustainable development initiative that is at the center of its very own right-wing conspiracy theory — ultimately forcing America to “surrender its Christianity” in the face of a new “Muslim majority.” Then, Obama would establish a “dictatorship” … with the help of “the Masons, the Illuminati [and] the Trilateral Commission.”
Lipkin and Federer, however, don’t hold a candle to Jim Garrow, a right-wing activist who believes that Obama tried to kill 300 million Americans with an EMP attack for the sake of enriching George Soros and giving him the chance to live in a luxurious bunker underneath the White House. Garrow also believes that Obama will try to improve his poll numbers by claiming that he is able to communicate with aliens, but if they plummet any further and Americans start to revolt, then Obama will “ask [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper to send troops into America to help quell the rioting and vice versa.”
Jones talked to another “real source” about the need to “brace for a nuclear attack in South Carolina,” who alleged that Charleston was the target because of the presence of U.S. submarines: “This is a false flag operation, a major false flag, that is about to occur because if they take out our naval base in Charleston, they will cripple about one-third of our fleet ballistic missile submarine force.”
“Everything they are doing is like trying to set America up,” Jones replied, wondering if “Obama is like a triple agent of the globalists, we know that, and they are maneuvering America towards a set-up to destroy us and then Homeland Security will then detonate nukes in all of our bases as an inside sneak attack.”
“This ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war,” Jones said in another commentary about the matter. “I just wish to God that this wasn’t happening,” he said.
This is the same Alex Jones who launched Jade Helm 15 into the GOP mainstream and led to such a fear that the governor of Texas ordered the National Guard to monitor the U.S. military during the drill.
Of course, when one conspiracy theory fails to materialize, radio hosts like Alex Jones just move on to the next one, and then eventually, Republican politicians just move along with them.
Now that the Colorado legislative session has ended, so too has state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt's self-imposed suspension of his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program, which he announced only a few months ago after his claim that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in his state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion sparked controversy, leaving even many of his fellow Republicans outraged.
Now that the controversy has blown over and the legislative session has ended, Klingenschmitt has returned to regularly praying about the news and discerning the spirits on his television program, as he did today when he warned that marijuana legalization leads to people being "devoured by the Devil."
Recounting a story about a Colorado business owner who supposedly moved his company out of the state after voters legalized pot, Klingenschmitt declared that people who smoke pot are inviting a "demonic spirit of drunkenness" to take control of them.
"When you begin hallucinating, I'm told, and you begin seeing these images," he said, "you're having apparitions and you are seeing and interacting with and welcoming to rule your heart a demonic spirit of drunkenness. That's not recreational. It's evil."
Citing 1 Peter 5:8, which says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour," Klingenschmitt somberly asked, "Do you really want to be devoured by the Devil?"
Klingenschmitt eventually apologized for his remarks, suspended his daily television program, played the victim by lashing out at the media, and then generally kept his head down in the ensuing weeks in an effort to simply wait out the controversy. And now that it seems to have passed, Klingenschmitt held a town hall meeting last night to triumphantly announce that he is now running for a seat in the state Senate:
What was billed as a town hall meeting turned into a half-hour tease for Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt's announcement that he plans to run for a state Senate seat.
Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, went through a list of his accomplishments in the state Legislature Wednesday at the Airplane Restaurant. He also discussed his attempts to "fight for Republican principles" that didn't make it through the Democrat-controlled House. He took a small handful of questions limited to constituents in House District 15, teasing his "plans for 2016" along the way, before announcing he plans to run for Senate District 12.
The seat is held by Senate President Bill Cadman, who will reach his term limit in 2016.
Earlier this week, Colorado state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt issued a public apology for his recent statement that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion and announced that he would be suspending his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" television program for the remainder of Colorado's legislative session.
Apparently, this suspension does not begin until next week, since today Klingenschmitt uploaded several new programs to his YouTube channel, including one in which he predicted that a century from now, twenty percent of Americans will be gay due to successful efforts by gay rights activists to "recruit" schoolchildren.
Citing a recent Gallup poll that unsurprisingly found that places like San Francisco have a larger openly gay population than cities like Birmingham, Alabama, Klingenschmitt stated that this is "proof" that gays recruit children.
Saying that the 2010 census found that less than one percent of the population was gay whereas now it is up to around three percent, Klingenschmitt warned that the gay population is growing, especially in areas of the country "where they don't believe the Bible," through the recruitment of children.
"This proves to me that the Bible works," he said. "That when people believe the Bible, they promote holiness and they invite the Holy Spirit to rule their hearts, they don't have all these homosexual addiction problems that they have in places where they don't believe the Bible and they reject the Bible and they teach the children in California schools that homosexuality is a good thing and they celebrate Harvey Milk Day and they have all kinds of policies to promote that in the classroom. Well, no wonder their population is growing! They're recruiting people into the movement on the left coast."
"The disparity in the population proves to me that it is a recruitment effort for your children," Klingenschmitt continued. "And thank God they're resisting that in Alabama. I wish the rest of America would protect their children as well as they do in Alabama, which is why they have a lower percentage of children recruited, according to the Gallup poll, in the state of Alabama."
Klingenschmitt then went on to warn that children raised in same-sex households are more likely to be gay, which is further proof that children are being recruited, meaning that "in a hundred years, if we continue to allow this recruiting effort across America, all of the children in all of the public schools, if we don't stop this, will be re-educated that this is a good thing."
"And I predict in a hundred years," he said, "twenty percent of Americans could become homosexual":
Long before winning a seat in the Colorado State House, Gordon Klingenschmitt became a right-wing martyr over his claim that he lost his position as a Navy chaplain for saying “Jesus” in his prayers. Klingenschmitt sued, launching the “Save Chaps” and “Pray In Jesus Name” campaigns, and he held up his purported firing as an example of anti-religious, anti-Christian hostility in government.
Klingenschmitt, however, lost his lawsuit, as a judge found that there was never an effort to “limit Dr. Klingenschmitt’s right to engage in any religious practices (including presenting an opening prayer at the event or invoking the name of Jesus in his prayer),” noting that he was appropriately disciplined for breaking well-established military rules which prohibit people from appearing at political events in full military garb.
But like other right-wing activists, Klingenschmitt never let this key detail get in the way of his narrative that he and other conservatives Christians in America are the victims of persecution.
So it is comes as no surprise that Klingesnchmitt is now creating yet another narrative about religious persecution in wake of recent comments he made about the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman. Klingenschmitt said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” televangelist program that the attack was the “curse of God upon America” for legalizing abortion: “part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
His remarks quickly incited an uproar, which Klingenschmitt hoped would die down after he made a donation to the woman’s recovery fund, regularly boasting about his contribution in media interviews. However, the woman’s family rejected his donation, and Democrats and Republicans alike condemned Klingenschmitt’s statements. He refused to apologize, insisting that he was only being criticized for “quoting the Bible in church” and standing up “against evil.”
He eventually offered an apology, but only after insisting that he was the victim of a media campaign to distort his remarks: “Klingenschmitt's apology in Monday's video comes after 23 minutes of recapping the tragedy and criticizing media reports about him. He accuses reporters of misquoting him and lying, and says the Gazette retracted its story, which is not true.”
Colorado House Republican Leader Brian DelGrosso yesterday decided to remove Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, although he will remain on another committee dealing with local government as a “kind of disciplinary action.”
The move inspired Klingenschmitt to fall back on his earlier claim that he is facing persecution for just quoting the Bible: “I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?”
House Republican leaders weren’t the only ones to incite the wrath of Klingenschmitt, as he also accused Right Wing Watch of persecuting him by quoting excerpts from his television program verbatim, as part of his long career of portraying himself as a perpetual victim of discriminatory practices that only exist in his own mind.
As we noted yesterday, after several days of controversy, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt finally apologized for having said last week that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
But it seems that his apology is not making the controversy go away, as yesterday the Republican leader in the Colorado House of Representatives stripped Klingenschmitt of one of his two committee assignments as punishment for his statement:
The leader of the House Republicans on Monday stripped Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt from one of his two committee posts, saying the lawmaker's "curse of God" comments about a woman whose fetus was ripped from her womb were in "poor taste" and "insensitive."
Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso said he removed Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee because he believed "there needed to be some kind of disciplinary action."
"This is one of the few tools I have in my toolbox, and this seemed like the appropriate course of action," said DelGrosso, a Loveland Republican.
Klingenschmitt, of course, is not happy with the move and is complaining that he is being unfairly persecuted for quoting the Bible and being a Christian:
Now The Denver Post reports that because I quoted unpopular Bible verses from the pulpit in my Sunday ministry, the legislative branch of the Colorado government will remove me from a committee.
While I respect his position, I disagree with Leader Brian DelGrosso's decision, because it clearly establishes an unprecedented religious litmus test for which representatives can sit on what committees.
I was not driving drunk, I was not arrested by the police, I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?
This is not the first time that a branch of the government has reached into my chapel and punished me for my sermons. It also happened when I was a chaplain in the Navy in 2005. That unlawful punishment helped launch 300,000 petitions and I was eventually vindicated by Congress, because their voters demanded religious freedom. Will we?
Here in Colorado, officials can't claim we have freedom to preach, then levy government punishments for doing that. That endangers everybody's religious freedom.
The government is now forcing me to choose between obeying God on Sunday, and representing the people Monday through Friday. That's a hard choice. I want to do both, but party leaders are essentially saying I cannot.
But realizing that the comments he made on his television show have "begun to overshadow" his role as a state legislator, Klingenschmitt announced that he is suspending his ministry and TV program until the end of the state legislative session:
I therefore announce that I will suspend my Christian preaching ministry for the next six weeks, and I will take a Sabbatical from my television show until the end of this legislative session. We will air a few more new programs created this week, but starting next week we plan to only air TV re-runs until the end of the legislative session on May 7th.
For several days last week, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt found himself under attack for comments that he made on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program when he said that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
Initially, Klingenschmitt steadfastly refused to apologize for his comments, saying that anyone who disagrees with him really has a problem with him quoting from the Bible. But he appears to have had a change of heart over the weekend because today he released a half-hour video in which he sincerely apologized for his comments and asked for forgiveness.
While most of the video consisted of Klingenschmitt taking issue with specific reporters and others who, he felt, had intentionally misrepresented his initial comments, he capped off the video by issuing a heartfelt apology, saying that he was angry about the attack when he first reported on it last week, which caused him to speak insensitively and offensively about it.
"I do want to apologize for my words last week," Klingenschmitt said, "because I was so angry that I forgot to be compassionate. My words were not compassionate and therefore I apologize. My tone was wrong. My choice of words was wrong. My choice of scripture was wrong. Everything I did about that report was wrong and honestly I apologize to you, Dan and Michelle Wilkins; I apologize to you, the viewers; I apologize to the voters and constituents of Colorado Springs and anybody out there who actually did hear accurate reporting and was offended by my insensitive words, I apologize to you":
Even though God stopped President Obama from nuking Charleston, according to one Colorado lawmaker, God permitted a brutal attack on a Colorado woman as punishment for abortion rights. Even worse, other conservative activists believe that God is preparing to destroy America if the Supreme Court approves of gay marriage.
As Brian noted yesterday, Republican Colorado state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt finds himself at the center of a controversy stemming from a clip that we posted earlier this week from one of his recent "Pray In Jesus Name" programs in which he proclaimed that a brutal attack upon a pregnant woman in his state was part of "the curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
Klingenschmitt is refusing to back down from his comment, insisting that he is being criticized for simply quoting the Bible and opposing evil: "I'm against evil and I'm in favor of good."
He added that he was speaking as a preacher when he made those comments and not an elected representative and so "if other people are offended by the Bible, that's okay, they don't have to agree with me or come to my church or watch my TV show. It's a free country."
Klingenschmitt was interviewed on KOA News Radio 850 in Denver this morning about his comments, where he absurdly stated that "if you were offended because I quoted the bible in church, I ask you to forgive me but I will not apologize for quoting the Bible in church."
Repeatedly insisting that the things that he says on his television program should not reflect of his role as a legislator, Klingenschmitt went on a claim that his religious freedom is somehow being violated by all of the criticism that he is receiving.
"If the government is now going to step into my church on Sunday and say 'oh, you're not allowed to do that because you are an elected official," he said, "I would ask people to take a step back and think about how the government should be protecting your freedom of worship on Sunday and maybe cut me a little slack":
At one point during the interview, Klingenschmitt said that it "was a demonic spirit" that was behind this brutal attack on Michelle Wilkins and bragged that his charity had donated a thousand dollars to a GoFundMe effort set up to help her.
A refund of $1,000.00 has been issued for a payment made by Gordon Klingenschmitt for "Michelle Wilkins Fund (Longmont CO)". The money has been removed from your account: "Michelle Wilkins Trust Fund (Longmont CO)".
Klingenschmitt has set off a firestorm in Colorado after he claimed that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state, in which a baby died after being cut from the woman's womb, was the result of God’s “curse” on America for legalizing abortion.
"His statement was outrageous," said Rep. Beth McCann of Denver. "Rep. Klingenschmidt is politicizing a terrible human tragedy. The statement was incredibly insensitive to a family that is been through an unimaginable horrific experience."
Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Douglas County, said Thursday she was "appalled" at her colleague's remarks.
"Gordon does not speak for his caucus," said Lawrence, the House assistant minority leader.
[Former State Rep. Mark] Waller said he is concerned that Wilkins, who has been released from the hospital, will read Klingenschmitt's comments.
"It's just plain wrong to say something like that, this poor woman," he said. "This was a horrible tragedy."
"I think this statement is reprehensible and disrespectful," House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Democrat, said in a statement . "Given the sensitive nature of the events, as well as respect for the victim and her family, I'm not going to comment any further."
Steve House, the new chairman of the Colorado GOP, was less critical in his statement.
"Gordon has the right to exercise his First Amendment protection of free speech," House said in a written statement. "Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Colorado Republican Party and to suggest otherwise would be inaccurate and dishonest."
Others at the state Capitol were left to wonder how Klingenschmitt thought he could make the remarks without public backlash.
"It's so disrespectful to the victims," said one political operative in the state capitol. "Does [Klingenschmitt] not think that the Internet works in the building?"
Like other Religious Right activists, Gordon Klingenschmitt is outraged that a Planet Fitness franchise in Michigan revoked the membership of a customer who wouldn't stop complaining after a transgender woman hung up her coat and purse in the women’s locker room and so he is now calling for a national boycott of the fitness chain.
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, the Colorado Republican state legislator said that "there is a demonic spirit of lying" inside of transgender people, whom he said are "parading their parts" in front of small children because they are driven by "a predatory spirit of sexual exploitation."
Klingenschmitt then once again asserted that since the Bible says that transgender people are not allowed in church, they should likewise be banned from using public facilities, saying that "if they can't enter the assembly of the Lord, why should they be able to enter your women's locker room."
Klingenschmitt concluded by praying that children would be protected from "predators" like this and that millions of Americans would boycott Planet Fitness "until that corporation changes their policy":