A Colorado politician is under fire after he reportedly said that the gruesome crime involving a woman whose unborn baby was cut from her womb was a "curse of God" in retaliation for America's refusal to protect "innocent children in the womb."
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a retired Navy chaplain and a Republican state representative in Colorado, made the controversial claim on his "Pray in Jesus' Name" TV show, referring to the recent attack that killed 26-year-old Michelle Wilkins' unborn child, according to Reuters.
"This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb," he said. "And part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open."
Before making these claims, Klingenschmitt cited Hosea 13:16, explaining that the Old Testament verse involved Samaria and wondered aloud whether it also has any relation to the United States today.
"I wonder if there's prophetic significance to America today in that scripture," he said.
Watch his comments below at the 17:30 mark:
House speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Democrat, lambasted Klingenschmitt's comments, calling them "reprehensible and disrespectful."
"Given the sensitive nature of the events, as well as respect for the victim and her family, I’m not going to comment any further," he said.
Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence, a Republican, added that she was personally appalled when she heard what Klingenschmitt said, according to KDVR-TV.
"He does not speak for the Republican caucus," she said. "In fact, we’ve counseled him numerous times, as we counsel everybody, that what you say outside of this building because you’re an elected public official sometimes spills over into your official capacity."
Despite facing intense critique from Democrats and Republicans alike, Klingenschmitt isn't backing away from his comments.
"I believe the Bible and I quoted the Bible and I applied it to current events," Klingenschmitt told KDVR-TV on Thursday. "If other people are offended by the Bible, that’s okay, they don’t have to agree with me or come to my church or watch my TV show. It’s a free country."
This isn't the first time Klingenschmitt has landed in the headlines, as he had a very public legal battle with Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein back in 2012.