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More on General Boykin


Today's Salon Magazine (Subscription or day pass required) has an article on the Army general who believes that we're a "Christian nation" battling "Satan" in the guise of Islamic people.

Just before Boykin was put in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and then inserted into Iraqi prison reform, he was a circuit rider for the religious right. He allied himself with a small group known as the Faith Force Multiplier that advocates applying military principles to evangelism. Its manifesto, "Warrior Message," summons "warriors in this spiritual war for souls of this nation and the world ... God has given us the stewardship and accountability of FAITH as our strategy for this time to mobilize an exceedingly great army."

As the head of the Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., Boykin invited Southern Baptist ministers for prayer meetings that would be highlighted by demonstrations of Special Forces hand-to-hand combat and guided tours of the "Shoot House" and "Snake Room."

Boykin staged a traveling slide show in which he displayed pictures of bin Laden and Saddam Hussein around the country. "Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army," he preached. "Why do they hate us? The answer to that is because we're a Christian nation. We are hated because we are a nation of believers." They "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus." It was the reportage of his remarks at one such revival in Oregon that made him a subject of brief controversy. But public relations handling rescued him so that he could pursue his job, including turning up the heat at Abu Ghraib.

Here's something that really chilled me, and should chill you as well:

Boykin had already received his new commission. There could be little doubt that he envisioned the "Global War on Terrorism" (the official name stamped on medals given to soldiers for service in Iraq) as a crusade. With the Geneva Convention apparently suspended, international law was supplanted by biblical law. Boykin was in God's chain of command. President Bush, he told an Oregon congregation, is "a man who prays in the Oval Office." And the president, too, is on a divine mission. "George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States. He was appointed by God."

If that last paragraph doesn't keep you awake at night, nothing will...


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