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Judge: Praying for God to Hurt Someone Isn't Illegal


"I don't think the judge understood that these are not regular prayers."

Here's an offbeat story you might have missed. Earlier this month, District Court Judge Martin Hoffman ruled that praying for God to injure someone is perfectly legal -- so long as the person isn't physically injured by the individual offering up the prayer (or by anyone else for that matter).

Religion News Service has more about the intriguing case:

District Court Judge Martin Hoffman on Monday (April 2) 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.

At question was whether Klingenschmitt incited threats against Weinstein when he published the prayer. Weinstein, of course, maintains that the published plea to the Lord was damaging and it's likely that he will respond to the judge's ruling with an appeal.

"We are disappointed in the ruling because we believe the judge made a mistake in not understanding that imprecatory prayers are code words for trolling for assassins for the Weinstein family," he said. "I don't think the judge understood that these are not regular prayers."

But Klingenschmitt had a different view, entirely, on his court victory. He cited Psalm 109 as the basis for his religious rights and for the victory.

"I praise God for religious freedom because the judge declared it’s okay to pray imprecatory prayers and quote Psalm 109."

Read more about the case here.

(H/T: Religion News Service)

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