A Texas court has declared it legal to pray for harm to come to someone as long as no one is actually hurt.
Judge Martin Hoffman, presiding judge of the 68th Civil District in Dallas County, dismissed a lawsuit brought by Mikey Weinstein against former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who allegedly used “curse” prayers in an attempt to harm Weinstein and his family.
According to the suit, Klingenschmitt urged his followers to pray for the destruction of Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He used Psalm 109, an “imprecatory” prayer text that calls for the death of an enemy and curses for his family.
Weinstein said Klingenschmitt’s actions have led him to receive death threats and resulted in damage to his property, including windows shot out of his home, according to the Religion News Service (RNS).
“We believe the judge made a mistake in not understanding that imprecatory prayers are code words for trolling for assassins for the Weinstein family,” Weinstein told RNS.
Klingenschmitt’s attorney John Whitehead praised the April 2 decision, saying that banning these types of prayers could force the shuttering of “half the churches, synagogues and mosques in this country.”