LtGen Jerry Boykin Banned from Prayer Breakfast

Barb Wire

FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin has spent his career staring down cowards — and he isn’t about to stop now! Not even when the same Army he served is trying to take away the freedom he sought to protect. Fresh off of winning his position back at Hampden-Sydney College (over the protests of LGBT activists), the radical Left still hasn’t learned its lesson. Desperate to discredit the Special Forces vet, a familiar foe is pulling his typical stunts — this time at Kansas’s Fort Riley, where General Boykin was scheduled to speak at a base prayer breakfast next Monday.

Those plans came to an abrupt halt yesterday, when Mikey Weinstein, chief antagonist at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, complained about the General’s appearance to 1stInfantry Commander Major General Wayne Grigsby. Apparently, the appearance of an outspoken Christian was too controversial for an optional prayer breakfast – where, ironically, the announcement of the Delta Force hero’s talk was so popular that officials were concerned they didn’t have enough room. Initially, spokesman Master Sgt. Mike Lavigne blamed the disinvite on “a number of scheduling conflicts,” only to backtrack later.

“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… Lt. Gen. 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.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time General Boykin has been booted from a military event. In 2012, West Point officials withdrew an invitation for a similar prayer breakfast, citing his “controversial views on radical Islam.” (The same radical Islam that our troops are currently fighting — and have been fighting since the General was commanding Special Forces.) Unfortunately, this is part of the long shadow cast on religious freedom by the Obama administration. No longer are commanders in positions because they have proven leadership skills or combat records but because they have capitulated and now push the Obama agenda. In seven years, the White House has created an environment where hostility toward orthodox Christianity — particularly in the military — is not only tolerated, but encouraged.

Trending: Wake Up Christians – Silence Is Not An Option

Franklin Graham was a target. So was I. We were all disinvited from military events for the same reason: because we live and embrace our faith. Now, more than ever, the military is under incredible pressure (chaplains especially) to keep your head down when it comes to Christianity. And frankly, that’s not what moms and dads expect when their children swear an oath to a Constitution that protects their faith. As General Boykin told Fox News’s Todd Starnes:

This is just another reminder of the incredible discrimination against Christians in our armed forces. 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 about faith. Really? This should tell you how difficult it is for Christians, and especially chaplains, to live their faith in our military.

I am not surprised. I recognize that the commander who made the decision is 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. However, he must remember, we all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution – all of it, including the First Amendment.

If Christians can’t speak at a prayer breakfast, what’s next? Chaplains can’t speak at church? Eighty percent of the soldiers on this base self-identify as Christians — and not a single soldier was required to attend the breakfast (yet they were lining up to hear General Boykin). So in canceling it, General Grigsby was actually denying the majority the same freedom of assembly they’re defending.

Is that what our country wants — a nation of one-dimensional warriors with no moral compass? Of course not. That’s why this march to obliterate faith is as dangerous as it is offensive. General Boykin survived being shot by a .50-caliber gun, as well as a mortar round, and he will survive this.

What concerns him, and what should concern all of us, is not whether Christianity will endure — but whether our freedom to practice it will. Without it, what would our troops be fighting for? Contact General Grigsby and help us be the voice of soldiers who have none. Ask him to protect the religious liberty of the brave men and women he commands. Call the Fort Riley community relations office at (785) 239-8851 or (785) 239-2022, or send Fort Riley officials a message on their Facebook page. Tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. (ET), tune into Fox and Friends as General Boykin shares his thoughts on the prayer breakfast cancellation.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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