Colorado

Senator Chaps? Gordon Klingenschmitt, Colorado's Premier Demon-Hunting Legislator, Announces Bid For State Senate

Just two days ago, Colorado's demon-hunting gay-exorcising state Rep. Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt had his seat on House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee restored after having been stripped of it last month amid the controversy stemming from his statement that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.

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.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 captured video of Klingenschmitt's announcement:

Colorado Anti-Choice Groups Split Over Reaction To Attack On Pregnant Woman

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.

The personhood movement’s insistence on advocating for the total criminalization of abortion, with no middle ground, has put it at odds with the most influential anti-choice groups, which share the same goal but are willing to take a more incremental approach to get there.

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.

The Denver Post reported on the split this weekend:

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."

Tom Tancredo: Obama 'Not A Christian,' Finds Western Civilization 'Disdainful'

Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo joined Steve Malzberg on Newsmax today to discuss his latest WorldNetDaily column, in which he argues that by negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama is “flirting with treason.”

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.”

Klingenschmitt: Within A Hundred Years, Twenty Percent Of Americans Will Be Recruited Into Homosexuality

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":

Profile In Right-Wing Persecution: The Gordon Klingenschmitt Story

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.

After Being Stripped Of A Committee Assignment, Klingenschmitt Suspends His 'Pray In Jesus Name' Show

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.

Klingenschmitt Apologizes: 'Everything I Did About That Report Was Wrong'

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":

Gordon Klingenschmitt Plays The Victim While The Actual Victim Rejects His Donation

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.

As it turns out, the Wilkins family has rejected Klingenschmitt's donation:

Just wanted everyone to know:

Payment Refunded.

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)".

Gordon Klingenschmitt Sparks Outrage After Linking God To Attack On Pregnant Woman

Who could have predicted that Gordon Klingenschmitt wouldn’t exactly live up to his promise, following his election to the Colorado State House last year, that he would “tone down the rhetoric” after building a career out of making off-the-wall statements as a Religious Right activist.

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 colleagues in the state legislature, including the lawmaker who used to represent Klingenschmitt’s district, called out the GOP lawmaker for his remark:

"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."

Republicans were quick to distance themselves from a member of their own caucus:

"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?"

Klingenschmitt: Brutal Attack Upon Pregnant Woman Is 'The Curse Of God Upon America'

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":

Sandy Rios: 'You Must Prepare For Martyrdom' If Gay Marriage Becomes Legal

Religious Right activists and pastors gathered today for a conference titled "U-Turn: A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership" that was organized by the Pennsylvania Pastors Network.

Among the participants was Sandy Rios, the American Family Association's director of governmental affairs and daily radio host, who repeated her warning to those in attendance that they had better "prepare for martyrdom" if marriage equality becomes legal throughout the country.

"There is persecution afoot," she declared, citing various examples of Christian business owners who are supposedly being persecuted by laws banning discrimination in public services. Eventually, she warned that the push for marriage equality would gravely impact "your wives, your sisters, your children who now are going to be forced to go into public restrooms and share them with men dressed like women."

"In Massachusetts, where homosexual marriage has been legal for ten years," she said, "the stories would make the hair stand up on the back of your neck."

Rios went on to state that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage, it will force every Christian in American to make a choice and so they had better be prepared to take a stand.

"You must prepare for martyrdom," she said. "I don't know what it 's going to look like, but it's coming":

Klingenschmitt: Gays Have 'A Demonic Spirit That Is Ruling In The Heart And Now They Have Lost Their Soul'

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program yesterday, Gordon Klingenschmitt cited a recent AP poll that reportedly found that while a majority of Americans support marriage equality, they also believe that wedding-related businesses ought to be allowed to discriminate against gay couples on religious grounds. The fact that some people did not support such an exemption was proof to Klingenschmitt that there is "a demonic spirit of persecution at work," which is a sign of the End Times.

"They want to force Christians to participate in someone else's acts of sodomy," Klingenschmitt said. "And if they won't participate, then the Christians should be punished or fined or bankrupted or driven out of business.  I think that is not just anti-Christian discrimination, it is open season persecution."

"They're coming after us," he warned, "and, in the long run, this will result not only in fines but in jail time for some Christians, which is a prediction and sign that the End Times are really upon us. When the Antichrist rises up to persecute Christians and behead us and throw us in jail for our Christian faith, you don't think it's going to be over things like this? This is just the camel's nose in the tent."

Klingenschmitt then went on to cite Romans 1 as he declared that gays have "a demonic spirit that is ruling in their heart and now they have lost their soul":

Klingenschmitt: Anti-Gay Bakers Are Blessing The Gay Community By 'Refusing To Participate In Their Acts Of Sodomy'

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, Gordon Klingenschmitt was discussing the possibility that the owners of an Oregon bakery may have to pay significant fines after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, when he praised the bakery owners for "being a blessing" to the entire gay community "by refusing to participate in their acts of sodomy."

After asserting that it is the goal of the government to bankrupt Christian business owners, Klingenschmitt declared that Aaron and Melissa Klein "are being persecuted for righteousness sake" and hailed them "for actually being a blessing to the homosexual community by speaking truth to them and refusing to participate in their acts of sodomy. They are defining right and wrong and saying, 'We are not going to endorse your sin because it is harmful to you in the homosexual community.'"

Klingenschmitt then went on to pray that Christians will not "manifest the demonic spirit that would endorse that sin" but will have "the freedom to not agree with the Devil":

Klingenschmitt Hopes Pastors Will Run For Office And 'Take Back America For The Kingdom Of God'

As we noted last month, Religious Right activist and Christian-nation extremist David Lane is currently organizing a nationwide effort to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for political office because it is now the "appointed time of God" for Christians to take control of America.

Not surprisingly, that effort is being welcomed by Religious Right activist and Colorado state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt is welcoming the effort, as he endorsed it on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently in hopes that "we can take back America for the Kingdom of God."

Saying that there are too many elected officials today who "promote the kingdom of sin and they want to legislate their immorality on the people," Klingenschmitt declared that America would be better served if those who promote the Kingdom of God were elected to office.

"You can only have two kinds of morality," he said. "You can have God's morality or immorality. I would much rather be ruled by godly, God-fearing men and women."

Klingenschmitt then prayed for Lane and his effort and that all the pastors who decide to run for office will win "so we can take back America for the Kingdom of God in Jesus' name":

Klingenschmitt: The Bible Opposes Gun-Free Zones

On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Colordao Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt was discussing a lawsuit that has been filed against Cinemark over the mass shooting that occurred at its theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012 when he declared that even the Bible speaks about the dangers of establishing gun-free zones.

The solution to preventing mass shootings, Klingenschmitt said, is to let law-abiding citizens carry concealed weapons everywhere so that "nobody is a sitting duck" ... as even the Bible recognizes.

"Did you know in the Bible there were gun-free zones," Klingenschmitt asked, before citing 1 Samuel 13:19:

Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears."

"By removing all of the blacksmiths, the Hebrews were defenseless, they were sitting ducks without swords and spears and therefore they were ruled and dominated by their evil oppressors," he said. "Are we going to let that happen here in America? That is to be determined, but I think there ought to be a law":

Klingenschmitt Warns That The Government Will Make Christians Renounce Christ In Order To Keep Their Jobs

Earlier this month, a court ruled in favor of a man who had sued his employer, claiming that he was forced to retire when he refused to use a biometric scanning program that had been instituted to track employee attendance. The employee claimed that using the scanner was a violation of his religious beliefs because it was a "Mark of the Beast" and a jury agreed, awarding him $150,000 in damages.

Gordon Klingenshmitt, unsurprisingly, was elated by the ruling, saying on a recent "Pray in Jesus Name" program that, like the "Mark of the Beast" scanning requirement, not allowing Christian business owners to discriminate against gay customers is a sign of the End Times.

Citing Revelation 13:16, Klingenschmitt declared that Christian photographers, florists, and bakers are all being forced to take the Mark of the Beast and will eventually be required to denounce Christ entirely in order to even remain in business.

"That's just the camel's nose under the tent," he warned. "Eventually, it will end up requiring that you renounce Christ as a condition of remaining employed":

'Why Would People Hate A Chaplain?' Gordon Klingenschmitt Cannot Understand The Controversy Surrounding His Election

Appearing on the "Bible News Radio" program on Monday, newly elected Republican legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt voiced his confusion as to why his election to a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives has generated so much controversy and criticism, wondering "why would people hate a chaplain?"

Klingenschmitt, who has a long and well-documented history of saying an endless stream of truly insane things, seemed utterly mystified as to why his becoming an elected representative would be of concern to anyone.

"I'm just a guy who believes the Bible," he said. "I love Jesus. I love people. I'm a man of faith and compassion."

Klingenschmitt asserted that while he has defended the religious freedom of atheists, Jews, and Muslims, he is unfairly being singled out for harassment because he is a Christian.

"There is a backlash against the name of Jesus," Klingenschmitt said. "People do not want God to rule their hearts and a lot of people are offended when a chaplain or a man of faith gets elected to political office. But thank God, the voters in my district were very conservative and very open to religious freedom":

Personhood Leader: 'The Statewide Personhood Ballot Measure Is Dead For Now'

Gualberto Garcia Jones, the prominent anti-choice activist who drafted all three losing “fetal personhood” ballot measures in Colorado, is calling on his movement to abandon state-level ballot initiatives in favor of local initiatives that might have a better chance at passing.

Jones’ post-election analysis is likely to exacerbate an already bitter split within the personhood movement. Jones, who previously worked for the Colorado-based Personhood USA — which is dedicated to pushing state-level initiatives — recently defected to the newly created Personhood Alliance, a network of “personhood” groups that announced before the election that it would be pursuing a local-level strategy. Although Personhood USA at first supported Personhood Alliance, it soon distanced itself, accusing the new group of infringing on its territory.

In an article on Friday for LifeSiteNews, Jones followed up on his prediction that last week’s elections would “either collapse or ignite” the personhood movement. Huge losses on personhood amendments in Colorado and North Dakota, he wrote, mean that statewide ballot initiatives “dead for now.” Rather than fighting for personhood at the state level, Jones wrote, the movement should start “engaging the enemy in municipalities and counties that we know we control.”

The rest of conservative America may be celebrating, but for the Personhood movement, it is time for some sober analysis.

Tuesday’s election results were certainly not good for pro-abortion Democrats, but they were even worse for the Personhood movement. I have to admit that my own predictions were off and I am sorely disappointed.

After the defeat of Measure 1 in North Dakota by an unexpectedly wide vote of 64-36 and of the Brady Amendment in Colorado by an almost identical margin of 65-35, it isn’t an overstatement to say that the statewide personhood ballot measure is dead for now.

Had the Brady Amendment performed just a little better and the North Dakota amendment passed or been close to passing, then the claim could be made that the movement was growing and that there was a realistic chance of passing a personhood amendment in another state in the near future. As it is, the crushing defeat of the North Dakota amendment and the lackluster improvement in Colorado should make Personhood supporters stop to think about the strategy going forward.

Thoughtful reconsideration of the strategy of the Personhood movement is what the movement needs right now.

It should be noted that the same goes for the entire pro-life movement. The narrow victory of the Tennessee amendment that safeguards the right to legislatively address abortion, is a victory, but the bar is set painfully low.

These initial years of the personhood movement have taught us a lot. I believe that we now know how to fight to win against Planned Parenthood. And the key is being able to control the battleground.

When you look at electoral maps of the country, it is readily evident that majorities in almost every metropolitan area of the country are opposed to our worldview. These metropolitan areas are also the major media centers and accumulate large percentages of the voting population in every state.

Right now, fighting the abortion industry at the state level is akin to having lined up a battalion of colonists against the well-trained and well armed redcoats. We need to start engaging in more asymmetrical tactics, and this means engaging the enemy in municipalities and counties that we know we control.

This can be done at the legislative and political level, as Georgia Right to Life and other groups have done by the endorsement of state officials, or it can be done by engaging in municipal ballot measures.

Local laws deal with many powers that touch upon the personhood of the preborn, from local health and building codes to local law enforcement such as child abuse prevention. It is time to establish the recognition of universal human personhood into these laws.

Personhood Group Thanks Joni Ernst For Sticking With Them On Toxic Issue

Personhood USA is not used to electoral victories.

On Tuesday, the Colorado-based group failed for the third time to pass a ballot measure granting legal rights to zygotes in its home state. It consoled itself that at least the measure — whose scope had been somewhat narrowed in an effort to attract voters — lost less badly than it had in the past.

Adding insult to injury, Colorado’s successful Republican Senate candidate, Cory Gardner, had renounced his support for the amendment and started lying about the fact that he was still supporting a similar measure in the U.S. House, causing Personhood USA’s head, Keith Mason, to joke about dressing up as someone stabbed in the back by Gardner for Halloween.

But the group did find one thing to be very happy about this week. In a press release that serves as a barely veiled dig at Gardner, Personhood USA congratulates successful Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst “for defending personhood during [a] principled Senate victory.” After falsely claiming in a debate that a state-level personhood bill she supported wouldn’t actually do anything but instead was just a symbolic “statement,” Ernst later confirmed that she would in fact support a federal-level personhood bill.

Personhood USA cites Ernst’s support for their cause to encourage Republican presidential candidates vying to win the Iowa caucuses to embrace similarly radical anti-choice stands:

"Joni Ernst didn't just say she was pro-life, she actually had the courage to act pro-life," said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. "After all, supporting personhood rights for the unborn is what it means to be pro-life. By doubling down on her support for personhood and energizing her pro-life base, she was able to win her race by a wide margin."

Ernst's victory sends a clear message to potential Republican presidential candidates who want to win the Iowa caucuses. In June, a personhood resolution on the South Carolina GOP ballot won by a landslide with 79% support from voters.

"Republican presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa and South Carolina should pay attention to the grassroots majority who want a candidate that acts pro-life," Mason continued. "Ernst's margin of victory is further confirmation that courageous integrity and fidelity to core pro-life values are a winning combination. While some other candidates narrowly eked by after turning their backs on their pro-life constituencies, Ernst's unapologetic strategy reaped major dividends."

Ernst will hardly be alone as a personhood champion in Congress. A personhood bill sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul currently has 21 cosponsors in the Senate and a House bill has 132 cosponsors…including Gardner.

How 2014's Elections Will Influence 2016's Voting Rights

Voters across the country trying to cast votes in Tuesday’s elections ran into hurdles erected by Republican legislatures, governors and secretaries of state. Along with mechanical glitches and human error — which occurred in states with leaders on both sides of the political spectrum — voters faced new laws and policies that made it harder to vote.

In Alabama, a last-minute decision by the attorney general barred people from using public housing IDs to vote. Voter ID laws in North Carolina and Texas sowed confusion. Georgia lost 40,000 voter registrations, mostly from minorities. In all, the group Election Protection reported receiving 18,000 calls on Election Day, many of them having to do with voter ID laws. The group noted that the flurry of calls represented “a nearly 40 percent increase from 13,000 calls received in 2010.”

In the presidential election year of 2016, it looks unlikely that those problems will subside — especially if Congress fails to restore the Voting Rights Act. The two states that had the closest vote tallies in the last presidential election — Florida and Ohio — will go into the presidential election year with Republicans controlling the offices of governor and secretary of state and holding majorities in their state legislatures.

In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who won reelection yesterday, will be able to appoint a secretary of state and will enjoy the support of a veto-proof Republican majority in the state House.

In Ohio, controversial Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted won reelection on Tuesday, along with Gov. John Kasich. They’ll be able to work with a strengthened GOP majority in the state legislature.

In North Carolina, where a Republican legislature and governor have cracked down on voting rights, the GOP held onto its majority. Republican secretary of state candidates in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Nevada also won elections yesterday.

Two influential elections for voting rights also took place in states unlikely to be presidential swing states. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a national ringleader for advocates of restrictive voting laws, won reelection. In Arizona, which has been working with Kansas to defend their states' respective tough voting requirements, Republican candidate Michele Reagan also won her contest.

One exception to the trend is Pennsylvania, where Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who backed a harsh voter ID law that has since been struck down in the courts, lost to voting rights supporter Tom Wolf. Although Wolf will contend with a Republican majority in the state legislature, he will be able to appoint a secretary of the commonwealth.

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