Boykin Booted: Controversial Retired Army General’s Appearance at Prayer Breakfast Is Cancelled
An armed forces prayer breakfast at which a controversial retired U.S. Army general was to speak was cancelled this week thanks in part to his long history of Christian proselytizing and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin spent 36 years in the armed forces, including a stint with army special operations units, before retiring in 2007. He went on to become a vice president at the Family Research Council (FRC), which the Southern Poverty Law Center says is a hate group because of its anti-LGBT activism.
Given Boykin’s current place of employment, it’s no wonder that his words have gotten him in trouble. Repeatedly.
In 2003, Boykin tried to bring a Baptist pastors’ evangelism group to Ft. Bragg in North Carolina for special training and overnight accommodations. That effort was foiled after a complaint from Americans United.
Also in 2003, during one appearance in Oregon, Boykin opined that Islamic extremists hate the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundations and our roots are Judeo-Christian.”
In another speech that year, Boykin regaled a crowd with a tale of how he captured an Islamic warlord in Somalia because “I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.”
In 2004, Boykin finally received minor discipline for repeatedly characterizing the War on Terror as a Christian battle of good vs. evil. He also appeared frequently in uniform at far-right evangelical meetings, which is against regulations. Americans United had asked that the general, who was then deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, be fired.