Boykin Withdraws from West Point Event, Warns Against “Leadership of the Country”

From OneNewsNow:

A retired Army general and terrorism expert says he decided it was in the best interest of all parties involved to voluntarily withdraw from speaking at an upcoming prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy.

…In an interview Tuesday morning, Boykin told OneNewsNow that the pressure on the Academy regarding his scheduled participation in the prayer breakfast was overpowering.

“It became very obvious that the stress on West Point was getting out of control to the point that was being a distraction for them,” says Boykin. “And I withdrew from the event, realizing that it had become so overpowering for them that quite frankly they couldn’t deal with the continued pressure from these organizations … so I withdrew.”

Boykin, who is both a retired general and a neo-Pentecostal minister, is primarily controversial for statements regarding his military career, which he apparently saw in terms of spiritual warfare against Islam; more recently, he’s called for all mosques to be banned in the USA. He is also a conspiracy monger, warning against Obama’s “Health Care Brownshirts” and the machinations of George Soros. In 2010, he co-signed a letter warning about Muslims taking over the world:

The Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security recently swore in two devout Muslims in senior posts…. Was it not “Devout Muslim men” that flew planes into U.S. buildings 9 years ago? Was it not a Devout Muslim who killed 14 at Fort Hood?

…It’s not just about ONE mosque being built near the 9-11 catastrophe, it is about Sharia Law not stopping until they overtake each and every government on this earth. That is what their own Qur’an orders them to do! Thank you so very much for your concern. 

That letter was sent to supporters by email as a fund-raiser for “the Knights of Malta – the Ecumenical Order”; this is a chivalric order of which Boykin is “Grand Chancellor” (more here).

There was a similar controversy a few days ago when Boykin spoke at the Ocean City Prayer Breakfast, although he took that opportunity to present an apparently more moderate message.

OneNewsNow is not the only Christian Right media outlet which Boykin has since spoken to since pulling out of the West Point event; he also appeared on Bryan Fischer’s radio show. Right Wing Watch has a transcript of Boykin’s statement:

First of all remember one of the tenets of our form of government is civilian control of the military, so a lot of what you see coming out of the military in terms of policies and procedures are because of the influence of the administration. I don’t think there is any question that the administration has shown favor to Islam at the same time that they have denigrated both Christianity and Judaism, for example, having an Eid dinner in the White House in the same week that they would not have an event for the National Day of Prayer. So I think that the military reflects the leadership of the country…. It’s a bad situation now that we are seeing so much effort to not only destroy the identity of the roots of the nation which is the Judeo-Christian base upon which were founded, but also the growing influence of Islam.

This isn’t anything much more than bluster: Boykin’s difficulties are caused not by “the administration”; rather, they are due to the  fact that when an individual engages in public controversy, other groups may find that offering a platform or entering into an association is itself a controversial decision best avoided. Sometimes this is unfair, but in other instances perfectly reasonable.

And as for the White House denigrating “both Christianity and Judaism” – if that is the case, why is Christmas at the White House recognised by carol singing and the lighting of a tree, and why is there is now even a White House Seder?

5 Responses

  1. Hi:

    You write about Gen Boykin’s “military career, which he apparently saw in terms of spiritual warfare against Islam”.

    It’s arguable that Boykin saw Islam as “the enemy” in Mogadishu and elsewhere (despite both his own and presidential denials that this was the case), and felt that he was fighting militarily against those he also opposed spiritually – but you call this “spiritual warfare” when as you know, there is a specific theological valence to that term which doesn’t apply to what St Paul calls “carnal” weapons:

    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… [ II Cor. 10.4 ]

    C Peter Wagner describes the levels of spiritual warfare as three: “Ground-level spiritual warfare involves casting demons out of people… Occult-level spiritual warfare deals with demonic forces released through activities related to satanism, witchcraft, Freemasonry, Eastern religions, New Age, shamanism, astrology… Strategic-level spiritual warfare describes confrontation with high-ranking principalities and powers such as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6.12…”

    I don’t think Boykin’s military pursuits fell under any of these heads… and in an address that he gave to one of Joel Rosenberg’s Epicenter conferences, Boykin himself is clear about the distinction, when he says, “I think the most fundamental weapon we have in spiritual warfare is prayer and intercession.”

    There’s a real distinction between a “breastplate of righteousness” and a mil-spec tactical vest with optional rifle plates to provide Level IV armor-piercing protection.

    Surely that’s a distinction worth making…

  2. […] more on this blog about Boykin, see here; for Beck, see here; and for Klein, see here. Klein’s 2011 article about Soros and Uganda […]

  3. […] familiar: in 2010, Coughlin took part in an unofficial “Fort Hood Memorial” event alongside Gen “Jerry” Boykin, Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem, and Robert Spencer; Guandolo was the focus of last summer’s NRP […]

  4. […] alongside the ubiquitous Boykin (more on him here), other speakers include Timothy F. Johnson (“Founder and National President/CEO of the Frederick Douglass […]

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