In an action alert to members today, the Family Research Council is blaming “the Obama Administration’s continuing track-record of hostility toward Christianity” for William ‘Jerry’ Boykin’s decision to withdraw from a scheduled speaking event at West Point, calling members to sign a petition “to ensure that America’s brave warriors have access to free and full expression of their faith.”
This is pathetically ironic for two reasons:
Firstly, the Obama Administration had nothing to do with Boykin’s decision. Boykin was facing severe criticism not due to any “hostility toward Christianity” but from groups representing veterans, Muslim-Americans and civil liberties advocates who did not find it suitable that West Point should give a platform to someone who calls Islam a “totalitarian way of life,” claims that “there is no greater threat to America than Islam” and believes the U.S. should wage a holy war against Islam. As the group VoteVets noted, Boykin’s speeches directly contradict the military’s efforts to reject Al-Qaeda’s frame that the U.S. was in a war against Islam.
Moreover, it wasn’t the Obama administration who formally rebuked Boykin for his over-the-top rhetoric. In fact, it was the Bush administration that rebuked Boykin because his speeches broke military rules, and President George W. Bush publicly reprimanded Boykin.
Secondly, while the FRC wants service members to be guaranteed the “free and full expression of their faith,” Boykin has called for the exact opposite, arguing that Muslim-Americans should not have rights under the First Amendment and demanding the government ban mosques.
We all know the Religious Right loves finding new ‘victims’ for fundraising and political purposes, but this has to be one of their most pitiful and laughable attempts of all:
It’s happened again.
In a move that’s reflective of the Obama Administration’s continuing track-record of hostility toward Christianity, Lt. Gen. William Boykin (USA, Ret.), was recently pressured to withdraw from speaking at the United States Military Academy at West Point. General Boykin had been preparing to speak at the West Point Prayer Breakfast about the importance of prayer in a leader’s life. The Academy moved Boykin to pull out of the event when a handful of atheist and Muslim cadets complained about Boykin’s beliefs. The message to this elite, three-star warrior was obvious: You and your faith aren’t welcome.
General Boykin is an American hero. There are few who would be more qualified to speak at a West Point prayer event. A former Delta Force leader who has faced danger for his country on missions in places like Iran, Somalia, and Grenada, General Boykin is also a man of deep Christian conviction. It is his outspoken faith that has made him a target of groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations, who lodged a complaint with West Point, which led to Boykin not speaking at the event.
This isn’t the first time that an outspoken Christian has been booted from military events. Just over a year ago, I was disinvited from an event at Andrews Air Force base because of my biblical views. Before that, evangelist Franklin Graham’s invitation to a Pentagon prayer service was rescinded because he too spoke the truth about his faith. These high-profile snubbings of religious expression are only the tip of the iceberg. The Obama Administration is advancing an environment of religious disarmament among the military — and it must be stopped quickly for the sake of our soldiers’ spiritual lives.
You can help the brave men and women of our military. Please join with me in signing our petition that calls on Congress and the Obama Administration to take action to ensure that America’s brave warriors have access to free and full expression of their faith.