Former Navy chaplain petitions for religious freedom in NC House
July 17~ 2010
While religious freedom is a cherished privilege in America~ it does not go without its challenges from time to time. Such a challenge recently arose when North Carolina Speaker of the House Joe Hackney dismissed pastor Ron Baity (Berean Baptist Church~ Winston Salem) from his week-long duty of opening the NC House with a word of prayer.
What was Pastor Baity’s crime that warranted this dismissal? He prayed. In Jesus’ name.
Former U.S. Navy Chaplain Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt has organized a petition to send to the members of the North Carolina House and Senate~ opposing the dismissal of Pastor Baity because of his use of Jesus’ name. Klingenschmitt […] has fought a number of battles for freedom of religion and has won similar cases in Pennsylvania~ Ohio~ Oklahoma~ Oregon~ California~ and Virginia.
Klingenschmitt stated that at best~ Pastor Baity was denied his God-given right to be treated respectfully~ and at worst~ he was denied his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. The legislatures~ say Klingenschmitt~ "have the power to permit diverse prayer~" and whenever they try to ban the name of Jesus~ they essentially "establish a unilateral anti-Jesus policy."
In a recent interview I conducted with him~ Klingenschmitt stated that he is hopeful of the outcome of this case. He quoted a 76-85% approval rating in every case he has won in the past. While Klingenschmitt is not pursuing the matter legally~ he is taking the "legislative angle~" pressuring members of the House […] He believes that his petition will make the North Carolina legislature realize that "people will not vote anti-Jesus" or for candidates whom they see as promoting an anti-Jesus agenda.
FREE Petition to Defend Jesus Prayers in North Carolina House