Last week, VoteVets called on West Point last week to cancel a planned speech by ret. Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, who has a long history of issuing hate-filled rhetoric about Muslims. In the past, Boykin has said Muslims worship an “idol” and that “Islam is a totalitarian way of life, it’s not just a religion.” Last week, the military academy stood by its decision.
Now, the veterans’ organization is now asking Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to cancel the National Prayer Breakfast in February. “LTG Boykin’s values are inconsistent even with current Army doctrine,” they write in a letter to Odierno. The group is calling on its 100,000 members to also email Odierno urging him to cancel the event.
FreeThoughtBlogs reports that West Point cadets and faculty members are beginning to organize in protest to Boykin’s appearance.
The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, a group led by retired chaplains, and including members from many faiths represented in the military chaplaincy, today called on the West Point Chaplain to reconsider the invitation for Boykin. “A prayer breakfast isn’t an academic discussion, where controversial views can be challenged and debated,” pointed out Tom Carpenter, former Marine and co-chair of the Forum. “Nor is it an appropriate place to present views, however cloaked, that disrespect those Muslims and gays who are honorably serving in the U.S. military.”