Washington Gadfly

Army Nixes General Boykin Prayer Breakfast Speech

Getty Images

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
Font Size:

Retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin made headlines late last month when Hampden-Sydney College re-instated him to the faculty shortly after parting ways because he had vowed to lop off the schlong of any transgendered “woman” in the bathroom with his daughter.

But on Wednesday Boykin, who has also “joked” that Jews cause all the worlds’ problems, was again penalized for his incendiary language. Ft. Riley, Kansas abruptly dropped him as their Monday prayer breakfast speaker following vituperative complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

In an email Tuesday to Major General Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, headquartered at Ft. Riley, MRFF president Mikey Weinstein demanded that, “you immediately withdraw that invitation forthwith and pick another speaker who represents and exemplifies the Army Strong values of acceptance of diversity and maximization of unit cohesiveness. Boykin is the filthy antithesis of such critical Army values. He sows hatred and heinous divisiveness with his sickening screed of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, primacy, exclusivity and triumphalism.”

And just in case the oblique language was confusing, Weinstein, speaking on behalf of 131 Ft. Riley clients, added, “Therefore, General Grigsby, MRFF demands that you rescind Boykin’s invitation accordingly.”

Weinstein can demand anything he wants, just like any other private citizen.

But Gringsby only answers to his superiors and, ultimately, Barack Obama. So, clearly concluding Boykin was a problematic speaker for his men he nixed the entire event and vowed to find somebody else when it is rescheduled.

The official explanation relayed by Ft. Riley public affairs officer Master Sgt. Mike Lavigne:

“We are aware of the concerns an organization has brought to light concerning the invitation of Lt. Gen. (Ret) Jerry Boykin to the Fort Riley prayer breakfast, which was originally scheduled for June 6” but “unfortunately, due to a number of scheduling conflicts” the breakfast is being “re-scheduled with a different speaker.”

“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 and admiration. 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.

“The 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley will continue to ensure our Soldiers, civilians, and contract employees have the basic freedom to pursue their individual belief systems, religious or secular, without fear of reprisal.”

But shouldn’t that freedom include access to controversial speakers?  Or maybe not since military bases are not college campuses?  The chaplain’s office, anticipating an enthusiastic crowd, had actually purchased 200 copies of one of Boykin’s books for his appearance.

In a brief interview Lavigne insisted the abrupt change in plans was purely a “scheduling issue” unrelated to Boykin’s views and explained that he was doing his caller “a solid” by clearing up any possible confusion.

In response, Weinstein burst out laughing at the “bullshit” rationale and said Ft. Riley basically got caught with their pants down  “inviting Ted Bundy to the League of Women Voters meeting.”

“He ain’t coming back!”

Boykin, a decorated Special Forces veteran and current Family Research Council vice-president, has long roiled people all across the political spectrum. In 2003, President George Bush personally chastised him for comparing the war on terror to a Christian war on Satan.

Bush said that Boykin, then-Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, expressed “views contrary to my point of view or the point of view of this administration.”

Quite outspoken about everybody, Boykin last week told Daily Caller freelancer John Griffin that the Obama administration is allowing terrorists and criminals to cross the Mexican border but Republicans are so “paranoid” about being called anti-immigrant they won’t hold Barack Obama responsible.

He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Evan Gahr