Your own quote

Mr. Weinstein,
 
Your own quote: “No American has the right to question another American’s beliefs as long as they do not unwontedly intrude on the public space or the privacy or safety of another individual.”
 
So, regarding a private event, you also said, “Boykin… sows hatred and heinous divisiveness with his sickening screed of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, primacy, exclusivity and triumphalism.”
 
…Which I guess makes you a hypocrite.  Boykin’s beliefs are not yours nor are they your business.  They are his PRIVATE business, as you say.  Yet you question them—directly against your own profession of belief. 
 
You are certainly free NOT to attend the Prayer Breakfast.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld),

You misunderstand. The problem with Mr. Boykin’s invitation to speak at the prayer breakfast is that it is an event sponsored by the U.S. military. Boykin is free to speak any nonsense he chooses, but he is not free to do so in an event sponsored by the government as it not only violates the separation of church and state and military regulations, it makes the U.S. Government complicit in the promotion of his bilge.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Good Day, (name withheld)-
Thanks for taking the time to write to the MRFF and express your concerns. Mikey Weinstein has read your email, as he does all correspondence to the organization, and asked if I’d like to offer a response. I’m happy to do so. As for who I am — in addition to being staunch supporter of the MRFF, I’m also a lifelong, active and committed Christian, a USAF Academy graduate (’85), and a veteran USAF officer.
The first reason for our engagement in the Gen Boykin situation is quite simple – we were approached by military members at Ft Riley to advocate on their behalf regarding this matter. That advocacy is at the core of the MRFF mission statement –
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
We will provide assistance to any military member who needs our help, regardless of the individual beliefs of either the person requesting our assistance or those of the person who actions are causing concern. We are neither anti-Christian nor anti-religion. Rather, we are pro-Constitution, with both supporters and clients who represent a plurality of religious beliefs — Christian and non-Christian, believer and non-believer.
The second reason for our engagement in the Gen Boykin situation is due to the nature of his public conduct over the years.  Contrary to what you’ve asserted, I’d suggest that Gen Boykin is more than just a private American holding private beliefs. By his own questionable actions for more than a decade, he has thrust himself into a very public and very controversial position by the manner in which he has promoted and advanced his personal religious beliefs. Consider the following excerpt from an Op-Ed by retired Col Lawrence Wilkerson, a member of the MRFF Advisory Board member who once served as Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell —
“In 2003, for instance, he spoke at several churches and said such things as the U.S. was “a Christian nation” and was in a “spiritual battle” against an enemy that hated the U.S. “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian.”    He even compared his Christian god to the Muslim god and found the latter severely lacking and not a true god like Boykin’s god.   All this Boykin did while dressed in the uniform of the United States Army.” 
That last sentence is the root of many people’s concerns about Gen Boykin, and it is that aspect of his behavior that turns it into something much more than a private belief.  He has over the years willfully blurred the line between his personal beliefs and his public obligations and authority as a senior military leader. The result, in my view, is that he poses not only a threat to the proper application of Constitutional principles within the US military, but also threatens the security of Americans and American military forces throughout the world.
In the view of the MRFF, Gen Boykin has acted in a manner that does intrude upon the privacy, rights, and security of others, particularly members of our military. That is why we raised objections about his invitation to the Ft Riley prayer breakfast.
Thanks again for writing, hope this perspective is helpful.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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