Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Suit Challenging Harm From Imprecatory Prayers Dismissed

In 2009, Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, filed suit in state court against former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, Jim Ammerman (now deceased) and Ammerman's Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches contending that they were conspiring to encourage violence against him through use of "imprecatory prayers." (See prior posting.) Now, according to the Dallas Morning News, on Monday the court issued an oral ruling granting summary judgment to the defendants in the case-- Weinstein v. Ammerman, (Dallas Co. TX Dist. Ct., April 2, 2012). Judge Martin Hoffman did not reach the constitutional question of whether prayers that incite others to violence can be outlawed. Instead he ruled that plaintiffs had shown no connection between the prayers and the threats and vandalism suffered by Weinstein's family. Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt's reaction to the ruling was: "I praise God for religious freedom because the judge declared it’s OK to pray imprecatory prayers and quote Psalm 109."