Navy Chaplain Being Punished For Praying in Jesus' Name

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says a Navy chaplain charged with disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a political news conference at the White House is being persecuted for praying in Jesus' name.

Moore had been subpoenaed to testify for the defense at Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt's court-martial. But defense lawyers rested this morning without calling any witnesses.

Appearing at a news conference today in Norfolk, Virginia, Moore said Klingenschmitt did not violate the order because he only said prayers at the news conference, which protested Navy policy requiring nondenominational prayers outside of religious services.

Last December, the Evangelical Episcopal priest went on an 18-day hunger strike in front of the White House over the right to invoke Jesus' name outside such services.

Moore gained a national following in 2003 when he disobeyed a federal court order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse rotunda, causing a state judicial court to kick him out of office. He largely has been out of the public eye since he lost the Republican primary for Alabama governor in June.

Military prosecutors also rested their case today after putting on six witnesses over two days.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)