A Kansas military base abruptly canceled an upcoming prayer breakfast that featured retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin after complaints were lodged that Boykin is anti-Muslim and anti-gay.
Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein told Army Times that Boykin’s invitation had caused great angst among soldiers at Fort Riley – leading some to break down in tears.
“I have clients of ours weeping on the phone about this,” he said.
Weeping? Oh, please.
“I sincerely doubt that America can expect to win wars if the people who are tasked to do so are frightened by an old retired general with biblical views and a testimony of faith,” Boykin told me.
Boykin, an original member of Delta Force and an executive vice president of the Family Research Council, was scheduled to deliver remarks at a June 6th prayer breakfast. The event was set to be held in conjunction with the 1st Infantry Division’s Victory Week celebration.
The MRFF launched a protest on May 31 accusing the retired three-star general of being a “homophobic, Islamophobic, fundamentalist Christian extremist.”
“He sows hatred and heinous divisiveness with his sickening screed of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, primacy, exclusivity and triumphalism,” Weinstein wrote in a complaint to Fort Riley.
Mr. Weinstein might want to consider cutting back on caffeine – and adjectives.
He went on to label the decorated military hero as a “World Class bigot” and threatened to sue unless Boykin was ejected.
Gen. Boykin told me the cancellation is “just another reminder of the incredible discrimination against Christians in our armed forces.”
“This should tell you how difficult it is for Christians, and especially chaplains, to live their faith in our military,” he told me.
I reached out to Fort Riley and they confirmed that the prayer breakfast has been called off. They blamed the cancellation on a scheduling conflict and said it would be rescheduled.
“Lt. Gen. (Ret) Boykin’s credentials as a Soldier and leader speak for themselves and his 36 years of service to our nation are worthy of our respect,” Chief Public Affairs NCO MSG Mike Lavigne told me in a statement. “However, in an effort to ensure everyone in our broad and very diverse community feels welcome at any event on Fort Riley, we will pursue the invitation of a different speaker for the prayer breakfast once it is rescheduled.”
Now, it’s important to follow the timeline on this story. Boykin was extended an invitation to speak on March 31. On June 1, the MRFF filed their complaint and 23 hours later Fort Riley canceled the breakfast.
However, Fort Riley denies the MRFF complaint had anything to do with their last-minute decision to drop the prayer breakfast – calling it a “coincidence of unfortunate timing.”
Folks, now you know that I deeply admire and respect the Armed Forces – but you could plant a mighty big crop of butter beans with the kind of fertilizer coming out of Fort Riley.
Mr. Weinstein makes a very comfortable living by bullying the military into eradicating public displays of the Christian faith within the Armed Forces.
Most recently, the MRFF has been successful in forcing the military to remove Bibles from “Missing Man” displays. And they aren’t big fans of the Baby Jesus either.
The MRFF demanded those responsible for inviting Boykin (base chaplains) be “aggressively investigated and visibly punished.”
So what kind of punishment would be suitable Mr. Weinstein and his MRFF minions? Would they be satisfied if the chaplains were stripped naked, tied to a pole and beaten with a whip?
Boykin said he understands that Fort Riley’s commander was “caught between radical secularists and a Commander-in-Chief who seeks to impose a politically correct culture on the military.”
“The Fort Riley commander is in a tough spot,” he said. “However, he must remember we all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution – all of it, including the First Amendment.”
Sadly, I’m afraid the Constitution doesn’t have a prayer at Fort Riley.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.