Fort Riley

I thought religious freedom was your goal. Your heinous attack on General Boykin is anything but religious freedom. Your group is more bigoted than the folks you accuse. Religious freedom is the right to believe in the tenets of the Christian religion and what it teaches.  I pray your hate filled campaign against religion and those that fund you will fail miserably. You are a very sad man.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld)
 
Save your “sad man” epithet for Mr. Boykin. He’s welcome to his hyper-Christian, homophobic and Islamophobic beliefs, but they don’t belong in a U.S. Military-supported prayer meeting. Do you want the government of the Unites States to be sponsoring the garbage that this guy is spreading?

Boykin can have his beliefs and spout them wherever he has the opportunity, that’s the American way, no matter how vile his opinions. But they do not belong in a U.S. military sponsored event.

I would think you’d understand that and not pretend you’re defending “the tenets of the Christian religion” when you display your umbrage about this bigot’s being un-invited.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


,Dear (name withheld),
 
Religious freedom is our goal for ALL religions in the military, not just Christians.
 
We are neither an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish (and prays to the same Father we do 3 times a day) and 80% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christian. In fact, 96% of our 45,000+ soldier clients are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, etc. We fight for the rights of these Christians more than any other religion but it never makes the news. 
 
“Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, the court examined the history of religious liberty in the US, determining that while the constitution guarantees religious freedom, “The word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.” The court found that the leaders in advocating and formulating the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty were James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.
 
In 1878 “separation of church and state” became part of the Establishment Clause BY LAW.
 
The Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause.
 
Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the Lemon Test:
 
Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it: 
1. has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose
2. does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion 
3. does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion
 
 Parker v. Levy: 
 “This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. … The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech [in any form] that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.” (Emphasis added) Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974
 
To place the Christian God above all others is in violation of Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy.
 
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said “We don’t count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.”
 
This means that though the military is made up of mostly Christians, that don’t mean they have the right to trample the First Amendment rights of the other soldiers.
 
Lt. Gen. Boykin is an Islamophobe, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, Commander-in-Chief basher, hateful, Dominionist Christian and believes that our military is Christian and all of our wars are holy wars.
 
The very people he hates are some of the soldiers at Ft. Riley and for him to speak at a Christian prayer breakfast will cause division and hatred on base.
 
Army Secretary Eric Fanning is the first openly gay leader of any U.S. military branch. While serving in the Obama administration, Fanning has been the acting secretary of the Air Force and deputy undersecretary of the Navy. He also served as special assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. 
 
To invite Boykin to speak on an Army base against the Secretary of the Army concerning his gay lifestyle is egregious, against military protocol and against his Civil Rights.
 
On September 12, 2011 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed and Boykin should not be allowed to drag this back up.
 
Our military is secular under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution and Supreme Court laws. 
 
Boykin’s anti-Muslim statements go back to 2003 when, as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, he spoke in uniform (against military law) at a number of churches making statements that we were in a holy war with Islam. 
 
The most infamous of these anti-Muslim statements was when he said, referring to battling a Muslim warlord in Somalia: 
“I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”
 
At another one of these church appearances, he compared the war on terror to a Christian war against Satan.
 
Boykin’s making these statements in uniform led to a Pentagon investigation, which found that he had violated military regulations by failing to make clear he was not speaking in an official capacity when speaking at these churches.
 
Boykin was also publicly rebuked by President Bush for his anti-Muslim statements:
 
Boykin publicly stated in 2010 that Islam “should not be protected under the First Amendment” because “those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”
 
Every American citizen – regardless of their faith – is protected under the First Amendment whether he likes it or not.
 
In 2012, Boykin was forced to withdraw from speaking at a prayer breakfast at West Point because of his Islamophobic statements:
 
In 2014, he was caught on a hot mic accusing President Obama of using “subliminal messages” to promote the agenda of al-Qaeda.
He has also, on many occasions, spread conspiracy theories about President Obama, such as claiming that Obama, through health care legislation, intended to raise a force that he compared to the Nazi Brownshirts:
 
In 2014, he said while speaking at one event that Jesus would be coming back toting an AR-15:
“The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A might warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ‘cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword. And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.”
 
He also “jokingly” blamed the Jews for all the world’s problems, saying, “The Jews are the problem. The Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.”
 
In addition to his bigoted Islamophobic and antisemitic remarks, he has also made anti-LGBT statements, among other things calling the military’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the “absolute destruction of our military readiness and our military morale.”
 
This has not happened.
 
No one here is stopping any civilian from believing “in the tenets of the Christian religion and what it teaches.” 
 
We are not the hateful ones because the Christians in the military believe they can disobey the Constitution and Supreme Court laws. They are the ones spewing hatred towards us because they don’t want to be outed and neglect to tell the whole truth.
 
Treaty of Tripoli 1797:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
 
The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief.
 
The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “The idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.” 
 
“The Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered”. George Lincoln Burr (1857 – 1938), Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University
 
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
 
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788
“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myselfto establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion” 

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” 
James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments
 
“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773
 
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments
 
“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
 
The Unites States is not a theocracy and according to our Founding Fathers the Constitution is not based on Christianity or biblical law.
 
Our soldiers aren’t “government paid missionaries” or “warriors for Christ.”
 
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member
 
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