Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chaplain Sues Church-State Activist For Defamation, Abuse of Process

Earlier this year, a Texas state trial court dismissed a suit brought by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), against former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, contending that Klingenschmitt was conspiring to encourage violence against him through use of "imprecatory prayers." The court concluded that Weinstein had shown no connection between the prayers and the threats and vandalism suffered by his family. (See prior posting.) Last week, Klingenschmitt reciprocated, filing suit against Weinstein and MRFF in state court in New Mexico claiming defamation and malicious abuse of process. The complaint (full text) in Klingenschmitt v. Weinstein, (NM Dist. Ct.), alleges in part:
The factual assertion or implication that Klingenschmitt’s 2009 prayers somehow incited or caused unidentified others to commit acts of vandalism including “a swastika emblazoned on their home in New Mexico, animal carcasses left on their doorstep and feces thrown at the house,” is demonstrably false in that both Mikey and Bonnie Weinstein have admitted these acts of vandalism occurred in 2006, 2007 or 2008, and therefore could not have been caused by Klingenschmitt’s 2009 prayers....
Upon information and belief, the primary motive for Weinstein and Bonnie L. Weinstein to file the lawsuit against Klingenschmitt was an illegitimate end, specifically to cause Klingenschmitt or his interests financial difficulties, to prevent Klingenschmitt from promoting his philosophy or his religious beliefs, to marginalize Klingenschmitt’s influence, goals, and impact, and to subject Klingenschmitt to the expense, delay, and distraction of protracted litigation.
In a Dec. 2 press release, Klingenschmitt announced that Weinstein had been served in the lawsuit. God and Country blog reports on the lawsuit.