This past week, Colorado State Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt (R) started a firestorm over comments he made on his “Pray In Jesus’ Name” YouTube program. Let me set the stage: A pregnant woman was lured to a home in Longmont, Colorado, via an online ad for baby clothes. In a horrifying assault, her baby was cut out of her womb. The baby died. The victim, thankfully, is recovering.
Citing this case, Klingenschmitt said the following: "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."
Let’s borrow a few lines from Reverend Wright after 9/11: “We nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye!...Now we are indignant because the stuff we’ve done overseas has been brought into our own front yard! America’s chickens are coming home to roost!”
Not much difference there. The specific innocents of a specific attack suffer horrifying deaths…due to America’s sins. To be fair, the tone was different—Wright was jubilant at America getting hit, while Klingenschmitt was somber. In fact, Klingenschmitt appears to be a decent fellow; certainly no hate machine like Wright. But both used the suffering of individuals to make political points in the name of religion, and that is appallingly hurtful to victims.
Roundly assailed from all corners, Klingenschmitt has remained defiant, even insisting that using a different setting makes it okay: “I’ve said many times that I wear two hats; and on Sundays, I’m an ordained minister and I preach the gospel and I quote the Bible.”
Sooooo…a GOP rep can say whatever he wants, as long as it’s in a different public venue?
Let’s Talk Hosea
Before discussing action, it’s critical to address the Bible verse Klingenschmitt used, as a minister can hardly be blamed for rightly applying his faith (my degree was in the ministry, btw). Klingenschmitt spoke from the book of Hosea.
Hosea’s story was fascinating, as God actually commanded him to marry “an adulterous woman.” Why? Basically, to show what it was like for God, whose people had prostituted themselves to foreign deities and moral decadence. In his self-inflicted misery, Hosea would prophesy of God’s impending judgement for Israel, sharing such statements as “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” (Hos. 8:7)
You gotta love it. Imagine some guy with an exaggerated Jewish accent shouting in the public square, “This nation is doomed because you’re all like my wife!!!” Truly, Hosea is the “Married With Children” of Biblical books. Klingenschmitt quotes from verse 13:16:
“The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.”
Sounds horrible, right? Actually, God was just being honest. Surrounding Israel were nasty nations, and whenever Israel left God’s protection, they generally fell mercilessly by the sword.
So here’s the question: Does this verse speak to the victim’s experience in Longmont, Colorado? Ummmm…no. Not even slightly. Though I share Klingenschmitt’s concerns over America (where most unborn not lucky enough to be stamped “Wanted” fall prey to genocide), the situations couldn’t be further apart. A few reasons:
1. America is not a theocracy. Was America founded as a Christian nation? Sure, and this is why Americans are free to follow any religion—including Christianity. Confused? Don’t be. In Christian belief, the Old Testament theocracy paved the way, pointing to Christ through the Law and Sacrifices. Jesus, however, fulfilled these requirements with His own sacrifice, thus setting aside the former system (Heb. 7:11-8:13). Ever read the New Testament? If you do, you’ll see no call for creating a new theocracy, since God’s Kingdom is now presented to all nations through believing individuals (Mt. 28:19-20).
In America, “One nation under God” means one nation committed to the principles of liberty offered in Christian belief—not one nation in forced submission to Jesus Christ. Think about it: Jesus and the Apostles never forced non-Christians to live like Christians, so why would a nation founded in their principles be one of religious compulsion? It wasn’t, and it isn’t. There is no Christian Jihad, and as a Christian nation, America is the polar opposite of a theocracy.
2. Israel would fall to invading armies, not the horrifying entrapment of a murderous lunatic. What happened in Longmont was murder (no, not just “attempted”), and it had nothing to do with America as a whole. Such horrors happen in good nations and bad, because sin (the biblical concept of corruption and selfishness) exists in all people (Rom. 3:23).
3. The proper application of Hosea for Christians today isn’t national, but personal—just as Christ is accepted personally (John 3:3-21), not nationally. In other words, we Christians as individuals are each like Israel, either remaining under God’s protection or leaving it.
In short, there is no evidence this woman was butchered because of America’s sins. Why would moral decay throughout a non-theocracy bring God’s judgement in a specific woman’s assault? And even if God chose to punish a non-theocracy, wouldn’t He send an army from a wicked nation—rather than a lunatic in an isolated attack? Even Reverend Wright—who has turned heresy into an art form—discussed an attack on America, whereas no invading army or societal trend was involved in Longmont. On every level, Klingenschmitt’s comments leave Scripture behind.
What To Do With Gordon…
Ultimately, I believe Gordon Klingenschmitt is guilty of nothing more than bad doctrine and worse judgement. No biggie—I’m often misguided (some days, several times before breakfast). I have no vendetta against this man. Furthermore, I support his right to free speech.
But I also believe he should step down immediately.
Why? Because Klingenschmitt represents a political party and movement, and his words—whether offered on a non-governmental video or the House floor—reflect on us. Furthermore, he has flatly refused to back down or restate his position, leaving us no “forgive and forget” room. I believe in free speech, but not speech free of consequence. Klingenschmitt knew precisely what he was doing, and he knew Coloradoans would hold Republicans and the Liberty Movement accountable for keeping him in office. Avoiding this reality is a mistake.
For instance, suppose a doctor in a local hospital commented thusly about a well-known rape victim: “This rape is the curse of God upon America for our sin of promiscuity. Part of that curse is our women are sexually assaulted. She’s experiencing what America has wrought.”
Question: Would he still be employed? Answer: Not a chance, and it wouldn’t matter if he said it in a ministerial video. True, political/religious speech is no cause for removal, but using the victims of horror as props goes beyond the pale. He’d be gone immediately, as his comments would tarnish the hospital.
Admittedly, we Conservatives abandon our own too quickly. Bowing to pressure, we blindfold “damaged” Republicans before media firing squads—feeding the Left’s appetite for political victims. It’s pathetic. While Democrats tolerate virtually everything, John McCain calls Ted Cruz a “wackobird” over simple disagreement in strategy…and the press salivates.
But there are limits, and Klingenschmitt crossed them. Remember, both Democrats and Republicans suffer when leaving big problems unaddressed. Clinton survived, but he lost Congress. Dan Maes set Republicans back in Colorado. Todd Akin—well, the name alone covers it. And how many Democrats regret Obama’s insistence that his policies were on the ballot in November, 2014?
Surely Klingenschmitt knows his “I said it outside my government duties” approach is ineffective, and I wish he’d help the pro-Liberty cause by stepping down. If not, he should be removed from committee posts and asked to resign—quickly. Any delay makes our eventual actions look pressured, not principled.
Moving forward, Republicans must learn from episodes like this. When at all possible, forgive and show loyalty. But in extreme cases, act swiftly. There will be more Klingenschmitts. Let’s get this one right.