Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Klingenschmitt's Former Commander Replies

Gordon's True Goal?It turns out that Gordon Klingenschmitt's fight to stay in the Navy
was really all about money!

The following is an excerpt from Ed Brayton's blog, Distpatches from the Culture Wars. It must be noted that Captain Norm Holcomb, CHC, USN (Ret) was not Klingenschmitt's commanding officer. Chaplain Holcomb was his supervisor at Naval Station Norfolk.

I see that Mr. Klingenschmitt once again wants to "spin" truth and suggest that I was less than honorable in dealing with him. Yes, I raised my voice at him when he acted like a spoiled child and wouldn't be quiet and take guidance from the LCDR who was trying to explain a legal issue to him. He was rude, insubordinate and totally crossed the line in terms of military discipline. He lies when he says that I knew that he was taping me - I did not know it until I was made aware of it the next day. But that doesn't matter because it was common knowledge that he secretly taped everyone. He was so paranoid that he complained that "they" (?, the Navy, the command?) was intercepting his emails and eavesdropping on him! No, I didn't respond to his foolish attempt to argue with the truth that I stated. I've had enough experience with him to know that arguing with him is like casting one's pearls before swine. He is a very clever liar and he knows how to "push the hot buttons" via the media to agitate well-meaning but gullible civilian Christians. I have heard him brag about that on several occasions. He was a poor chaplain and a poor naval officer who was removed from a ship by an honorable Commanding Officer because Mr. K's conduct and behavior had become prejudicial to good order and discipline. Mr. K knew that he was a loser as a chaplain and naval officer so he tried to cover his incompetence by alleging religious discrimination. He and his self-righteous cronies have attempted to get maximum distance out of that red herring! Mr. K knows how to spin stories and excite well-meaning readers/listeners by telling half-truths and omitting important details from his stories. He knows that he can play on the emotions of people by spinning the truth on such volatile emotional issues as prayer, religion, Jesus and Constitutional freedoms. Let me give you a current example of his unethical handling of the truth. In his recent article about Hindu prayer in the Senate he says: "Congress agreed with 85 percent of Americans (and apparently disagreed with Chaplain Black) by rescinding the bad Navy policy, restoring the rights of Navy chaplains to pray publicly in Jesus' name 'even in uniform.'" Wow! Mr. K states that 85 percent of Americans agree with him and support him. That's a lot of people and there is no doubt that 85 percent of all Americans is a support base that is powerful. But where did Mr. K get this 85 percent number? He got it from a 17 September 2006 article in The Decatur Daily News, a local Alabama newspaper. The following is a verbatim quote from the article: "Military chaplains should have the right to lead public prayers in Jesus' name, according to 85 percent of Daily readers who responded to an online poll. 'Should military chaplains be allowed to lead prayers in Jesus' name during public events that are not religious services?' the poll asked. The results: 182 readers (85.5 percent) said yes and 31 readers (14.6 percent) said no. The two-day poll concluded Saturday. It was unscientific, and people could vote from any location." So, the 85 percent of all Americans that Mr. K claims turns out to be a mere 182 readers of a local Alabama newspaper! I'm sure Mr. K would find some way to explain this away. Nevertheless, this is how he deceives a well-meaning but gullible public. My Deputy Command Chaplain, an evangelical Christian minister from Texas, once commented that Mr. K was the only person he knew who could take 4 truths and spin them into a whopper of an untruth. This is just one example of his unethical handling of the truth. There are many more and they are all documented. He postures himself as a hero of all chaplains and boasts that though he has lost everything he would do it all again for the sake of serving Jesus. What a crock! He said this only after he tried to use intimidation to negotiate with the Chief of Naval Personnel. What he doesn't tell the public is that he wrote a letter to the CNP stating words to the effect of "If you will give me some financial compensation I will drop all of my complaints and will promise not to ever bring anything up in the future." So much for his righteous altruism! He is a selfish, self-centered person who is contemptuous of any disciplined authority figure who attempts to give guidance to his out-of-control need to have things his own way all of the time. Mr. K is quick to warn those who disagree with him that the wrath of God will be their inheritance. It appears that he has inherited some sort of wrath as a result of his disobedience and pride. Let me say that I am a 63 year old retired chaplain who does not have "an axe to grind" with anyone at this stage of my life. However, I do know the truth and now that I am retired I will tirelessly expose the untruth of this particular situation. I fought in Vietnam as a young Marine and I have served God and country with honor and integrity for 33 years of active duty. I have never been asked or forced to compromise my commitment to Jesus Christ and neither has Mr. K. He wanted to do as he pleased and ignore the naval customs and regulations that officers swear to live by. It always amazes me how self-righteous people like Mr. K can never seem to see how far removed they are from the ethics, truth and example of the Jesus who is the Lord of the Scriptures. They seem to think it's okay for them to lie and handle the truth loosely as long as they do it "in Jesus' name." Don't expect anything near the truth from this man. He is a professional malcontent for whom truth is merely an irritant as he wages a crusade that must be won at all costs so that the Godless heathens of the world will not put his God out of business. Imagine that! These "defenders of the faith" have to lie and spin the truth so that their idea of God will not perish. Go figure! And by the way, while you refer to him as an Evangelical Episcopal priest, you should know that he lost his endorsement as a chaplain from that religious body. Oh yes, he says that he voluntarily gave it up but word from other endorsers is that he was given the choice of giving it up freely or having it taken from him. Also, the endorsing body that gave him a new endorsement has recently sent a letter to all its endorsed chaplains informing them that they now realize that Mr. K was to blame for most of his misfortune.

CAPT Norm Holcomb, CHC, USN (Ret)