Whenever one Christian stands up for Jesus and endures persecution, the revival only grows bigger! Or as Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
Last weekend, I marched with over 1,200 Christians from 30 churches who rallied in unity on the steps of City Hall in Leesburg, Fla., and walked in silent prayer around the hospital that fired Chaplain Danny Harvey for praying “in Jesus’ name.”
“I was asked to not pray in the name of Jesus Christ. I was told, that if I did pray in the name of Jesus Christ, I would be terminated,” said Chaplain Harvey. “I was terminated based on the fact that I do pray in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Never in the history of Leesburg has such a large revival happened so quickly.
Rally in Leesburg.
“I’ve been asking pastors, and they can’t remember a Christian rally this big in this town at any time in the last 50 years,” said Harvey. “The purpose of the march was to unify the churches in this community under the name of Jesus Christ. We’re not protesting the hospital; we’re praying for them, in Jesus name.” Only one person attending the march opposed the chaplain. Twelve hundred to one? That’s a revival.
You can join the revival by signing this petition asking hospital Chairman Bill Binneveld to give Chaplain Harvey his job back.
Before he resigned in the face of public scandal, Bremer made apparently false public statements denying any religious discrimination: “We understand that there have been statements and claims …” said Bremer, “that Pastor Danny Harvey was fired from his job because he invoked the name of Jesus Christ in prayers offered on behalf of and with patients. This is far from the truth.” Oh really?
Hospital spokeswoman Diane Maimone repeated these false statements to the Orlando Sentinel, saying, “The issue was not about praying in the name of Jesus Christ, as has been claimed.” Oh really?
Finally, the hospital’s lawyer, John F. Meyers, threatened Chaplain Harvey with legal action if he wouldn’t stop blowing the whistle, saying: “Your very public characterization that you were fired for praying in the name of Jesus Christ is blatantly false, and the management of LRMC is highly offended by your portrayal of the basis of their decision.” Oh really?
All available documentation suggests the only people “far from the truth” seem to be the hospital administrators: Bremer, Maimone and Meyers. Their own “blatantly false” statements contradict the official hospital termination letter signed by human resources director Darlene Stone, who directly threatened Harvey’s termination if he didn’t stop praying publicly in Jesus name:
“Performance Concern No. 1: Ability to perform your role in a manner that is respectful of all religious beliefs at all times. … Danny prayed in the name of Jesus, which offended those of other religions. … I personally observed Danny at the Chaplain Steering Committee again praying in the name of Jesus, which again was not respectful of all religions. … The next time there is an incident, it will result in the termination of his employment.” (Signed by Stone Aug. 22, the same day Harvey was fired.)
Apparently their “respect for all religions” means Christians must literally bow our knee to their false gods in prayer, or face persecution and termination. (Or even court-martial?) But any such “religious litmus test for employment” violates Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race or religion. The hospital board should reinstate the chaplain, who never hurt anybody, and fire the administrators.
Chaplain Harvey often helped Muslims by inviting imams to pray with them, and he so deeply loved the Jewish people that some attended and joined his march for Jesus around the hospital. One elderly widow called me this week expressing tears of gratitude for how Chaplain Harvey had prayed with her dying husband six years ago, in Jesus’ name. “I never would’ve gotten through that time without Chaplain Harvey’s prayers,” the widow told me. “I still remember him today.”
Although hospital administrators claimed Chaplain Harvey resigned voluntarily, his termination letter clearly reads: “The company is terminating your employment involuntarily.” When the chaplain exposed all these facts to the press, the hospital retaliated by revoking his earned vacation and severance pay.
I’m no lawyer, but I recommend Chaplain Harvey put these administrators on the witness stand when he files his EEOC complaint next month. Let them simply repeat their public statements under oath, and then explain their apparent perjury to a jury of their peers. I just met 1,200 citizens in Leesburg, and they all seemed eager to sit on that jury. And I pray these same people will vote at the next hospital board election or city council meeting, when the question of additional hospital funding is decided.
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Gordon James Klingenschmitt is a former Navy chaplain who sacrificed his career to help change national policy, restoring the rights of military chaplains to publicly pray “in Jesus’ name” – even in uniform. He continues his fight to be reinstated. Klingenschmitt travels to speak at churches, and can be invited via e-mail. He encourages readers to sign the petition to reinstate Chaplain Danny Harvey, the hospital chaplain fired for praying in Jesus’ name.