Stupidity on Stilts

One of a continuing series


There seems to be plenty of this going around. And who would have thought I would just now be getting to Gordon Klingenschmitt?

Klingenschmitt graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s degree in political science and from Regent University with a master’s degree in divinity, a master’s of business administration, and a doctor of philosophy in theology. He served in the United States Navy as a military chaplain.

Klingenschmitt served continuously on active duty in both Air Force and Navy for over 20 years and was honorably discharged. Klingenschmitt demanded his own court-martial in protest of a restrictive prayer policy about Chaplains’ freedom to pray at a public event while wearing their Navy uniform. The Navy court-martialed Klingenschmitt in 2006. He was found guilty (Congress later rescinded the same policy SECNAVINST 1730.7C which had been enforced against Klingenschmitt, restoring rights for Chaplains.), and punished with a reprimand and by having his pay docked by 5%. Klingenschmitt sued in Federal Court claiming discrimination and a violation of his free speech rights. Judge Elaine D. Kaplan dismissed the case, ruling that he had the right to attend a protest but not to do so in uniform against a direct order; she also noted that the Navy had found him unsuited for further service. Klingenschmitt promised to appeal the ruling.

It would appear that life has been uneven for former Navy Lieutenant Klingenschmitt. Trouble seems to follow in his path. It may be worthwhile to explore whether mental issues are in play. I’m not thinking so much psychosis as underdevelopment. This may be a case of Stupidity on Stilts. Some case studies will be helpful.

Start with Klingenschmitt’s exchange concerning noted biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins:

Responding to a recent interview in which atheist Richard Dawkins said that he would change his mind about the existence of God as soon as someone shows him some evidence, Klingenschmitt eagerly took up the challenge.

“You want evidence of God?,” he asked. “I can give you evidence of God. In fact, I’ll show you God; all you’ve got to do is repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and invite him to come into your heart. Now this is a scientific method. I’m giving you step A: you repent; step B: you believe; step C: you invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart as Lord and Savior. Follow that scientific method and I guarantee you will see Jesus Christ.

I think I read this correctly. Klingenschmitt promises to provide evidence of God. By “evidence of God” I take to mean the existence of the God of Abraham, the person the ancient Hebrews believed created the Universe, the Earth, and everything else, in six days about 6000 years ago. Meaning, we suppose, that all of this stuff actually happened. How does Klingenschmitt plan to demonstrate this? That’s where it gets interesting.

To confirm the proof of existence, a person (e.g., Richard Dawkins) needs to believe in something not yet established. Oh yes, and it’s also necessary to repent. Repent what is not explained, but I am going to presume it is meant to repent all past transgressions. Then, having done that, we are expected to see Jesus of Nazareth, a person who has been dead about 2000 years.

I don’t know of anybody who has tried this, but I’m leaning toward thinking it’s never going to happen. Then, I’ve been wrong before. Probably not this time.

What else? How about failure to differentiate between fantasy and reality:

Klingenschmitt has taken heat since last last week for comments he made on his daily online show “Pray in Jesus Name” concerning the attack on the 26-year-old Longmont woman by a stranger. Michelle Wilkins lived, but her baby girl, a 34-week-old girl, did not.

“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,” Klingenschmitt said.

Yes, there is no connection in the real world between assault and murder of innocent people and the doings of an imaginary person conjured up by Bronze Age people living in the Eastern Mediterranean 3000 years ago. Somewhere a cog has slipped in Gordon Klingenschmitt’s mind, allowing him to hallucinate further than is fashionable for a member of the Colorado Senate.

Klingenschmitt’s belief in mythical figures ranges wide:

In the new broadcast, he clarifies that he doesn’t think all gay men are pedophiles, but instead, believes that two unique satanic forces are “at play” behind homosexuality and pedophilia, respectively.

“There is, of course, a demon of homosexuality in those who openly parade their sodomy in the streets,” he said. “But then, there’s a different demon of child molesting that is inside some of these reported molesters.”

Klingenschmitt speaks freely of demons and satanic forces as though such entities exist. Then, there is another interpretation of the foregoing. It could be he is speaking metaphorically of demons, meaning the evil forces that permeate the psyche. Does anybody want to take bets on the matter?

Seeming to defy gravity, Klingenschmitt further enshrines stupidity. His book The Demons of Barack H. Obama came out in 2012 prior to the presidential elections. It is subtitled How the Gift of Discerning of Spirits Reveals Unseen Forces Influencing American Politics. I’m thinking the author is one of those people so gifted. The Kindle edition is $2.99 (plus sales tax in some locations). I purchased a copy, but I have not read it. A review will be coming out in a few weeks.

Despite the title, Klingenschmitt emphasizes in the book that President Obama is not actually possessed by demons. He skirts the matter incautiously. Less caution is manifest in the introduction:

This book is a professional, academic application of Ignatius of Loyola’s Rules for Discerning of Spirits to American politics, using a specific theological method, which I created and successfully defended to earn my PhD, the Ignatian Pneumato-Ethical Method (IPEM) also known as the Discerning of Spirits Theological Method (DSTM). This method requires understanding the necessary theological connection between non-human spirits and human morals. The thesis of my PhD dissertation,10 which I will not attempt to defend again here, was that “the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits, especially as that gift is understood by Ignatius of Loyola, is foundational to ecclesial ethics, because spiritual discernment supports ethical formation and judgment and, conversely, ethics is foundational to spiritual discernment.” Or in simple terms, ethics and spirits are interdependent. We cannot morally discern right from wrong unless we first discern the Holy Spirit from the devil, and conversely, we cannot discern the Holy Spirit from the devil unless we morally discern right from wrong.

Klingenschmitt, Gordon James (2012-08-23). The Demons of Barack H. Obama: How the Gift of Discerning of Spirits Reveals Unseen Forces Influencing American Politics (pp. 12-13). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Kindle Edition.

It’s hard to escape that Mr. Klingenschmitt is head into the reality of devils and demons. Maybe I need to put out a review before this Colorado Senator goes completely around the bend.

Stand by for more. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

4 thoughts on “Stupidity on Stilts

  1. I propose that the source of misery which tempered this individual had to do in large part in growing up saddled with a name like Kingenschmitt, which tragically invites all sorts of juvenile permutations on the part of (tormentor) classmates.

    • I swear, the very thought stings me. I have always considered it a cardinal sin to invoke the spelling of a person’s name, yet so many times, while putting this post into words, I asked myself, “Why did God hate this man so much to so curse him in this manner?” And it was hard to escape. I don’t have a keyboard macro that will insert an oft-repeated word, so I had to laboriously punch in “Klingenschmitt” over and over again. At points I thought I felt the thumb of the Almighty bearing down on me, and I wanted to scream out, “I confess my sins, and I will kiss the pope’s shiny ass if you will let me complete this one task.”

  2. Pingback: Stupidity on Stilts | Skeptical Analysis

  3. Pingback: Bat Shit Crazy | Skeptical Analysis

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