Why Is Ocean City, MD Hosting a Bigot?

As we’ve previously reported, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is scheduled to be the featured speaker at next week’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Ocean City, MD. Local news reports have focused on Boykin’s decorated military career, but he also has a long history of trafficking in hate-filled conspiracy theories. For instance, he claims that President Obama is creating a Hitler-style militia to force Marxism on the American people and that international bankers are plotting to form a Marxist, global government.

Boykin first made headlines in 2003 over a series of controversial remarks he made in uniform. He was investigated by the Defense Department and found to have violated multiple regulations.
Now retired, Boykin’s rhetoric has become completely unhinged. Boykin, who has been billed by prayer breakfast director Bruce Spangler as an “expert on Islamic history,” has reserved his greatest scorn for Muslims and Islam. He has argued that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment and that there should be no mosques in America. He has also revealed a profound ignorance of Islam by claiming that it is not an Abrahamic religion and has nothing in common with Christianity.
It’s unlikely that the mayor and city council were unaware of Boykin’s record of outrageous statements. After all, Ocean City works hard to market itself as a fun tourist destination open to the entire Mid-Atlantic. Hosting a bigoted and divisive figure like Boykin sends the opposite message.
People For the American Way president Michael Keegan wrote to the mayor and city council yesterday evening to provide Boykin’s record and call on them to find a speaker who can speak to the entire community. Here’s the small sampling of Boykin’s rhetoric that we provided:

“We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it’s at an accelerated pace. …

 One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. … Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President, I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.

 For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?

 Now most people say, well we haven’t seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that’s the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.

 Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster – we talked about all those things here – which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.”

“We need to recognize that Islam itself is not just a religion – it is a totalitarian way of life. It’s a legal system, sharia law; it’s a financial system; it’s a moral code; it’s a political system; it’s a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”

“No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion. … But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.”

“A Defense Department investigation has determined that Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the Pentagon’s senior military intelligence official, violated three internal regulations while delivering controversial speeches that linked the war on terrorism to what he depicted as an enduring battle against Satan, according to a copy of the probe obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.

The 10-month internal investigation, conducted by the department’s deputy inspector general for investigations, confirmed news accounts that Boykin said in his speeches that President Bush had been placed in his post by God, that radical Muslims hate America because it “will never abandon Israel” and that the U.S. military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to defeat its enemy.”

President Bush said on Wednesday that he disagreed with comments by a top Pentagon general who had cast the war on terrorism in religious terms, but the Defense Department said the officer would not be reassigned.

The comments by Mr. Bush were his first in public about Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting. General Boykin has likened the battle against Islamic militants to a Christian struggle against Satan and said at evangelical gatherings that a militant Muslim militia leader in Somalia worshiped an ”idol” and not ”a real God.”