Prayers inciting violence are deemed legal, lawsuit dismissed

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Summary: Fine line between between thought police, freedom of speech and posting Psalms as a call to violence. Judge M. Hoffman dismissed lawsuit brought by Mikey Weinstein because of damage done to his property after ” Klingenschmitt posted a prayer on his website urging followers to pray for the downfall of MRFF.”

 

{District Court Judge Martin Hoffman on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Mikey Weinstein against a former Navy chaplain who he said used “curse” prayers like those in Psalm 109 to incite others to harm the Jewish agnostic and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and his family.
Hoffman said there was no evidence that the prayers by Gordon Klingenschmitt, who had been endorsed for the Navy chaplaincy by the Dallas-based Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, were connected to threats made against Weinstein and his family or damage done to his property.
According to the lawsuit, Klingenschmitt posted a prayer on his website urging followers to pray for the downfall of MRFF.
“I praise God for religious freedom because the judge declared it’s OK to pray imprecatory prayers and quote Psalm 109,” Klingenschmitt said after the ruling, according to The Dallas Morning News. Psalm 109 calls for the death of an opponent and curses on his widow and children, among other things.
Hoffman’s ruling did not actually turn on constitutional questions as much as it did on Weinstein’s claims that the prayers incited the threats and vandalism.}

 

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