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Navy Chaplain Found Guilty in Prayer Case

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Navy Chaplain Found Guilty in Prayer Case

Religion

Navy Chaplain Found Guilty in Prayer Case

Navy Chaplain Found Guilty in Prayer Case

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A jury of five officers finds a Navy chaplain guilty of disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a protest near the White House. Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, an evangelical Episcopalian, persisted in mentioning Jesus in prayers despite the Navy asking him to stay nondenominational in his work.

Klingenschmitt, a three-year Navy veteran, spurned a quiet disciplinary hearing, and opted instead for a more public court-martial. His case has gained wide attention among some Christian conservatives, who see it as one of religious discrimination.

At an event in the spring of 2006, Klingenschmitt wore his uniform as he recited a prayer — despite orders from his commanding officer that he not wear his uniform at any press conferences or media events. The chaplain said he wore different clothes for most of the event.

At the trial, Klingenschmitt's supporters included former Alabama judge Roy Moore, who called on President Bush to intervene in the case.