October 17, 2003


Top terrorist hunter’s divisive views: General casts military, anti-terror efforts in religious terms (Lisa Myers, 10/15/03, NBC NEWS)

The former commander of Army Special Forces, Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin has led or been part of almost every recent U.S. military operation, from the ill-fated attempt to rescue hostages in Iran to Grenada, Panama, Colombia, Somalia. [...]

"Why are terrorists out to destroy the United States? Boykin said: “They’re after us because we’re a Christian nation.”
NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin, who’s been investigating Boykin for the Los Angeles Times, says the general casts the war on terror as a religious war: “I think that it is not only at odds with what the president believes, but it is a dangerous, extreme and pernicious view that really has no place.”

During a January church speech in Daytona, Fla., Boykin recalled a Muslim fighter in Somalia who bragged on television the Americans would never get him because his God, Allah, would protect him: “Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.”

The Somali was captured, and Boykin said he told the man: “Mr. Atto, you underestimated our God.”

Geez...you go through our history and start banning American generals who thought they were doing God's work and we wouldn't have any left. Eisenhower didn't call his memoirs "Making Europe Safe for Multiculturalism".

-General Rebuked For Talk Of God: Speeches Tied War, Religion (Bradley Graham, October 17, 2003, Washington Post)
-God put Bush in charge, says the general hunting bin Laden (David Rennie, 17/10/2003, Daily Telegraph)

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2003 12:46 PM

And I suppose that The Battle Hymn of the Republic is hate speech now, too...

Posted by: Mike Earl at October 17, 2003 3:15 PM

It might be a subtle distinction, but ours is a one-sided religious war. Their religion is making war on our public civic institutions, not because we are Christians but because they are Muslims. If we all converted to Hinduism tomorrow, nothing would change on their side.

And I'm pretty sure that the Congress has not authorized Christianity as a justification for any of its measures dealing with our enemies.

Considering the record of Christians, nobody in his right mind would want to turn a plain old war into a religious one.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 17, 2003 3:32 PM

"Why do they hate us?" Boykin asked. "The answer to that is because we're a Christian nation We are hated because we are a nation of believers."

Your actual Islamofascist would actually reckon America has long since become the modern world's answer to Sodom and Gomorrah given shows like Sex and the City, MTV's The Grind at the Beach House and Temptation Island being beamed out across the world.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 17, 2003 5:18 PM

If that is what makes the general fight, more power to him. These leftie hysterics are giving secularism a bad name.

Posted by: Robert D at October 17, 2003 8:55 PM

Robert D:

As opposed to? :)

Posted by: oj at October 17, 2003 9:02 PM

As opposed to all the hard-working, patriotic, family loving secularists who mind their own business and never get noticed. I know, you don't have one of them in your straw-man collection ;-)

Posted by: Robert D at October 17, 2003 9:18 PM

Robert D

There exist at least a half dozen of such rare, admirable types, and they all blog here regularly.

Posted by: Peter B at October 18, 2003 6:01 AM

Robert D.-

Or the front group for most of the other secularist types, namely, the ACLU? Patriotic, family-centered and "mind your own business" is not how I would describe them, but they do get noticed.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at October 18, 2003 9:43 AM

Tom C
I am not an admirer of these groups, and yes, they define the face of secularism in the public view, which is a shame. I would not say that they represent "most" of the secularist types.

Like other minority groups, many atheists and secularists have gotten stuck in identity politics, and run all of their political positions through the filter of minority paranoia. I support church/state separation rulings which make sense to protect the freedom of the minority, such as no coerced or school directed prayer. But those restrictions have been well established for awhile.

Most of the ACLU lawsuits on church/state go too far now, such as the teacher in South Dakota who wasn't allowed to participate in a religious group in her off-school time because a student who saw her act in a religious capacity wouldn't be able to separate that capacity from her teaching capacity, and would feel coerced to be religious. This is lunacy, and it deprives the teacher of her religious freedoms. In the long run, these groups are doing more to damage the rights of the secular than they are to helping them.

Posted by: Robert D at October 18, 2003 1:05 PM