Religious Right activist and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt claims that “child molesting” is “a favorite ‘recruiting’ tool of adult homosexuals” and warns that allowing openly gay men to be Boy Scout troop leaders will “lead to child abuse.” These gay child molesters, he adds, should be drowned.
So it comes as no surprise at all, then, to learn this:
A few weeks before Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt found himself in hot water for saying Jesus said child molesters should be drowned, he interviewed a man on his show who has been convicted twice of sexual assault on a child and called him a "new friend."
David Dorty, who is active in El Paso County politics and is with the American Conservatives of Color, appeared on Klingenschmittt's video ministry Pray in Jesus' Name (PIJN) News on July 16.
Earlier this year, Colorado Republican state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt set off a controversy in his home state when he declared on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman was the result of "the curse of God upon America" for the sin of legal abortion. His fellow legislators were quick to denounce his remarks and Klingenschmitt was even stripped of a committee assignment, prompting him to eventually apologize and suspend production of his television program until the end of the legislative session.
The session ended back in May and Klingenschmitt has been posting daily programs ever since, including one earlier this week in which he warned parents to remove their sons from the Boy Scouts now that the organization has lifted its ban on gay scout leaders.
Klingenschmitt warned that allowing gay scout leaders "will lead to child abuse" and declared that these gay men, who he claimed would sexually assault children, would be better off being drowned in the sea:
Unsurprisingly, Klingenschmitt's latest comments have set off another round of controversy in Colorado, forcing the state Republican Party to distance itself from him once again:
On Wednesday, the Colorado Republican Party issued a statement addressing Klingenschmitt's remarks.
"We strongly condemn Gordon Klingenschmitt's highly offensive comments. As we've said in the past, Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Party, nor do his words reflect our Party's values," the statement said.
Klingenschmitt's remarks are being denounced by people on all sides of the political spectrum and, predictably, Klingenschmitt is onceagain playing the victim:
Gay members of Colorado Statehouse, who work with Klingenschmitt in Denver when session is in, called for leaders of the Republican caucus to denounce the "hate speech."
"While I personally get along very well with him, when he makes statements like this, I wonder which Gordon Klingenschmitt I'm talking to: the nice guy who is very friendly to me and sits next to me in committee or the guy who makes incendiary statements about drowning good honorable people like me who are gay," Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver said.
Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, reiterated that Klingenschmitt does not speak for House Republicans.
"Rep. Klingenschmitt's inflammatory rhetoric was once again hurtful and does not represent the views of our caucus," she said in a statement that mirrors what leadership's position has been on Klingenschmitt from before he took his seat in the House chamber.
The executive director of One Colorado, Dave Montez, called the lawmaker's comments reprehensible.
"After making numerous comments over the past year attacking lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, Representative Klingenschmitt just can't seem to get enough," Montez said in a statement. "Gay adults are involved in scouting for the same reasons everyone else is; to serve youth, and to help them grow into good, strong citizens. These comments are reprehensible and he should be ashamed of himself for making them."
In a text message to The Gazette, Klingenschmitt accused others of misquoting him.
To a large extent, those outraged by his comments have focused on the Bible quote and accuse Klingenschmitt of calling for violence against gay men by using the quote.
"Of course the gay groups want me to stop quoting the Bible in church," Klingenschmitt said in his text message. "I will not apologize for quoting Jesus' words from the pulpit. If they are easily offended, they should take it up with Jesus, not with me."
Today, the Boy Scouts National Executive Board is expected to lift the organization's ban on gay scout leaders and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt is not happy about it, warning parents on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today to remove their sons from the organization before they are molested.
"If your boy is in one of those organizations, you need to get the out of there," Klingenschmitt said, "because what they're going to do is promote homosexual men to mentoring and camping with your boys in the woods and it will lead to child abuse."
He went on to cite Matthew 18:6 to declared that it would be better for these gay child molesters to be tossed into the sea and drowned than to be allowed to "cause a child to sin," praying that God will "rescue the Boy Scouts organization from this political correctness that has openly forced men who are guilty of all kinds, who are openly admitting that they are engaged in all kinds of sodomy."
The Boy Scouts are "thumbing their nose at God," Klingenschmitt warned, as he begged God's forgiveness because the organization is opening the door to "the abusers and the molesters who will take advantage of this and will cause harm to innocent children."
Perkins told Klingenschmitt that Christians should now pull their children out of public schools in the wake of the decision, before their children wind up being indoctrinated "into immoral sexuality."
"With this decision," Perkins said, "this will be used as a club to force conformance across the spectrum. I think we're now at a point where parents who are given the authority and responsibility by God to educate their children .... now, I think we're at a point where parents have to seriously consider removing their children from government schools that are going to be teaching and indoctrinating their children into immoral sexuality and this redefinition of marriage."
Back in 2003, not long before the Supreme Court struck down laws criminalizing sodomy in 13 states in the Lawrence v. Texas decision, then-Sen. Rick Santorum made his infamous statement that if the court struck down such laws, it would ultimately destroy marriage and the family because then "you have the right to anything," including pedophilia and "man on dog" relationships:
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does ... [I]t destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family ... In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.
On the day that the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide last month, Santorum was speaking at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado, where he held a press conference to provide his thoughts on the ruling. State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt was on hand for the Q&A and today posted footage of it on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program.
The very first question Santorum received linked the gay marriage decision back to his infamous "man on dog" comment, which prompted Santorum to declare that exactly what he had predicted has now come true.
"What I say is if you have the right to consensual sexual activity," he said, "then it opens the door to a variety of different things. And this ruling did it. This ruling followed up with what I said would happen if the Supreme Court ruled the way it did and the Supreme Court has followed their line of reasoning that I identified very early on that if consensual sexual activity is a constitutional right, then we have to, it leads logically, as you saw in the court's opinion, that all things, that all the rights come with that."
When he was asked if the Supreme Court's decision now opened the door to polygamy, Santorum said that he couldn't see any legal basis for banning it because the court "has certainly opened the door for a variety of other things that are going to happen."
Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo managed to tie two of the biggest issues of the week together on Tuesday when he railed against efforts to take down Confederate flags, saying that the Koran is an even more dangerous symbol, and then claimed that thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision, such comments will soon be illegal.
When Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg asked Tancredo to discuss a Facebook post he recently wrote comparing the Confederate flag to the Koran, Tancredo responded that efforts to “erase” the flag are misguided.
“However,” he continued, “there is something else out there, our president really happens to enjoy it, we teach about it in the public schools, we tell people, kids in the public schools to respect it. It’s called the Koran and it’s responsible for far more, far more murders, enslavement, the most horrible things, and it’s still going on. It’s not history, it’s still happening. And that, we don’t ban it, heavens no, we even tell kids we gotta read it in our schools and respect it.”
Malzberg then changed the subject, asking Tancredo about the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, which Tancredo said was connected. Not only will the decision eventually lead to the criminal prosecution of pastors, he claimed, but soon “everything I just said” about the Confederate flag and the Koran will be “outlawed” due to the institution of unconstitutional hate speech prohibitions.
“Mark my words, that’s what’s coming,” he said. “Dark days ahead, Steve.”
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."
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.
Last month, when a pregnant woman in Colorado was brutally attacked and her unborn child cut from her womb, the state’s influential fetal “personhood” movement saw a grisly opportunity.
Over the past few weeks, the Colorado-based Personhood USA has been touting a recent YouGov poll finding broad support for allowing prosecutors to press murder charges in similar violent attacks on pregnant women that lead to the death of a fetus. Although Colorado imposes heavy penalties on crimes against pregnant women, it has stopped short of adopting a “fetal homicide” law categorizing such attacks as murder.
The problem for personhood advocates is that while the general public is ready to throw the book at people who attack pregnant women, they do not share the personhood movement’s goal of criminalizing abortion. While 76 percent of respondents in YouGov’s poll wanted to charge a pregnant woman’s attacker with murder, only 17 percent wanted a complete ban on abortion.
As we explored in a recent series on the personhood movement, anti-choice groups have attempted to use fetal homicide laws as a back door to imposing abortion restrictions, using them to build up a body of law establishing “personhood” for fetuses. After two unsuccessful attempts to establish fetal personhood by ballot measure in Colorado, last year Personhood USA pushed a modified measure focusing on crimes against pregnant women. The measure failed, but less badly than had the group’s previous attempts.
This conflict is playing out once again in Colorado, where the Republican state senate president has introduced a fetal homicide bill with an explicit exemption providing for abortion rights. The state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) supports the bill, but Personhood USA and Colorado Right to Life — which was kicked out of NRLC in 2007 — oppose it, saying that language preventing the prosecution of pregnant women and medical professionals undermines the ultimate anti-abortion goal.
Personhood USA, an organization that pushed the ballot initiatives, opposes the bill because the language protects abortions — aligning it with the state's Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro Choice groups, which are concerned that it could threaten the legality of abortions.
And two prominent Colorado anti-abortion organizations are split on the measure.
"We believe that we want to protect every baby we can," said Sarah Zagorski, the executive director of Colorado Citizens for Life, which is an affiliate of the National Right to Life organization. "I don't think (the bill) says anything about how we view abortion right now."
But Colorado Right to Life's Rosalinda Lozano sees it differently.
"It was an opportunity for (Cadman) to really stand strong on life, and the way it is written he is actually affirming abortion," she said. "The Republican Party is really trying to get away from the life issue. ... They are preparing for 2016 and this is not an issue they want to fight about in a presidential election."
In the interview, Tancredo reiterated the accusation before alluding to accusations that the president is secretly Muslim and asserting that the president finds Christianity and Western Civilization “disdainful.”
“Listen, this president, no matter how he tries to portray himself in terms of his religious proclivities — because he’s never been baptized, to anybody’s knowledge, in a Christian church — we do know, of course, of his past participation in Islamic religion in terms of schooling and that sort of — so, the reality is he is not a Christian,” he said. “I don’t think he cares one twit about what Christians say. And I think, this is my belief, that he is antagonistic to Christianity because it is part of Western Civilization, and that is what he also finds disdainful.”
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":
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?"
Last week, a pregnant woman in Colorado was attacked by a stranger who stabbed her in the stomach and cut her baby out of her womb, and Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt is attributing the attack to God's curse upon America for the sin of legal abortion.
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Klingenschmitt discussed the story and tied it to a passage from Hosea in which God curses the people of Samaria for their rebellion by declaring that "their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open."
"I wonder if there is prophetic significance to America today in that scripture," he said. "This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open":