This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 11, 2014:
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain and host of his own TV show, Pray In Jesus’ Name, rolled over his Democrat opponent last week in Colorado’s District 15 race 70-30. Klingenschmitt, referred to by friends as “Chaps,” celebrated his victory by supporting everyone’s right to an opinion even if he doesn’t agree with it:
I owe a great debt to our volunteers and donors, and I am humbled by the voters’ support.
As perhaps the only ordained minister elected to our state Republican caucus, I will work hard to represent all [the] people of my district, regardless of political or religious belief.
As a Chaplain, veteran and PhD in Theology, I will defend everybody’s First Amendment rights.
Klingenschmitt was probably thinking specifically of the right of the Colorado GOP to distance itself from his campaign, both financially and ideologically. GOP Chairman Ryan Call had told the Denver Post, “Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest.” True to his word, Call made sure that any victory by Klingenschmitt in his heavily Republican district would be earned without the party’s financial support.
Klingenschmitt was also probably remembering his fight with Right Wing Watch (RWW), the vicious political action arm of the Leftist organization People for the American Way which took excerpts from his TV show and republished them, unedited, except for changing the titles. Those titles were designed to make Klingenschmitt appear radical if not certifiable.
He posted notices of infringement at their YouTube sites and those videos offensive to Klingenschmitt were temporarily removed. He posted those notices, he said, “because I got tired of their theft, copyright infringement and piracy of my original video content.” He continued, “They don’t add any value to the content. They simply steal and copy and post with their own logo. They are not a legitimate news organization.”
Typical of the retitling of some of Klingenschmitt’s shows include these:
Klingenschmitt Declares that ENDA [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act supported by several pro-LGBT advocacy groups] Promotes Bestiality
Klingenschmitt Says Wendy Davis [a Texas politician who supports same-sex marriage] Is Ruled By A “Demon of Murder”
When RWW pushed back against Klingenschmitt’s successful, if temporary, removal of the offensive YouTube posts, Klingenschmitt sought legal advice. His decision not to sue gave a measure of the man:
My lawyers believe they [RWW] are vulnerable. They said I should sue them, but I don’t want to do that right now because I don’t want to hurt them. My goal is only to defend my content.
Aside from disdainful establishment Republicans in Colorado and vitriolic far-left groups such as People for the American Way, Klingenschmitt also has enemies of a different sort. Two days after the election, he attended a Capitol “orientation” for new lawmakers and informed the Capitol police about death threats he received earlier in the year. In remarking that the incidents were now being investigated by the FBI, Klingenschmitt revealed another part of himself: “I’m concerned and I’m taking [them] seriously. I’m not afraid, and I’m not worried. I’m in God’s hands ultimately.”
He’s also unintimidated by the attention he has received from the far Left. When members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community wanted to meet with him to discuss their differences, Klingenschmitt put it off until after the election and then only on the condition that each individual attending go through a background check first.
Klingenschmitt has promised not only to work to protect his constituents’ rights under the First Amendment while in Denver but also to continue expressing his own at his Pray In Jesus’ Name website. He has acknowledged that his victory on Tuesday has resulted in a political career that will be only temporary. On spiritual matters Klingenschmitt’s calling is permanent.