Boykin’s Myopic View of the First Amendment

It sure is amazing how a little public attention can get even the most bigoted right-wing activist like Jerry Boykin to backtrack and start playing the victim.

For years, Boykin has been leading a crusade against Islam, saying that Muslims do not deserve First Amendment protections and should not be allowed to build mosques in America.  But then, when he  was recently scheduled to speak at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Ocean City, Maryland and we called attention to his long history of religious bigotry, Boykin suddenly changed his tune:

Boykin took a much different tack after delivering his speech: “The Muslim people are a precious people and I respect them and their right to worship, so long as they don’t fall into the category of a radical who wants to destroy the Constitution.”

The idea that Boykin respects Muslims and their right to worship is laughable, as the notion that Islam might have ever contributed anything useful to civilization is outrageous to him:

It is views like this, not to mention the other bizarre things he has said, that recently caused Boykin to withdraw from a scheduled speaking engagement at the upcoming West Point National Prayer Breakfast.

But now he is making the rounds of sympatheic right-wing outlets claiming his views have been misrepresented, playing the victim, and generally complaining that his First Amendment rights are being violated, as he did to Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon yesterday:

This is going to get worse unless the American people – and particularly people for faith, Christians – rise up and say that we’re going to draw a line in the sand … The contract their Congressman, they let their Congressman know that this is not their values, that they believe in the First Amendment, not only free speech, but the freedom of religion. And I think they have to get the leadership involved in this and I think that the Administration needs to hear though the Congress that there are a lot of Americans who do not endorse this sort of thing. Where’s it going to stop?

This is rich, coming from a man who says that Muslims should be banned from building mosques in America and that Islam itself deserves no First Amendment protections:

Apparently Muslims do not deserve to be protected by the Frist Amendment whatsoever … whereas holding Boykin accountable for his open bigotry is a fundamental violation of his First Amendment rights.