New media target Christian general
Don HinklePathway Editor
October 21, 2003
NBC News and the Los Angeles Times are feeling pretty full of themselves these days.
They got their man and now they are trying to get his head – on a platter.
Obviously acting on a tip from Deep Throat, both news organizations assigned intrepid reporters to get hot on the heels of Lt. Gen. William Boykin as he traveled around the nation, speaking at churches and – of all things – expressing his evangelical Christian views. And to think, much of what he said is in the Bible!
I guess such a thing is bizarre, especially if you’re an Episcopalian or a Missouri lawyer representing a certain Missouri college. Imagine a Christian standing in the pulpit of a church and proclaiming truth from God’s Word?
Well that is what NBC News and the Times found so “controversial.” Indeed NBC found it so dangerous that they sent their “special investigative unit” to obtain a half-dozen high quality video and audiotapes produced by the churches in which Boykin spoke. Now that really took some investigative fortitude.
Tom Brokaw labeled the general’s comments divisive as he bellowed how “NBC News has learned that a highly-decorated general has a history of outspoken and divisive news on religion, Islam in particular.” Peter Jennings and Dan Rather piled on the following evening, blabbing about a few remarks made months ago by General Boykin as suddenly scandalous.
ABC and CBS put up a “Holy Warrior” graphic as each teased their respective evening newscasts. Peter Jennings previewed the Oct. 16 World News Tonight: “The holy warrior in the American Army. God, he says, has revealed the enemy.” At CBS Dan Rather teased: “God and the U.S. military: One of the country’s top generals embroiled in controversy for saying we are at war with Satan.”
Jennings set up the full story by Jon Cochran: “General Jerry Boykin is making headlines today because he has said so openly that the war on terrorism is God’s war against Satan and he’s in God’s Army.”
All this started with a report by NBC’s Lisa Myers on the Oct. 15 NBC Nightly News which aired in conjunction with a Los Angeles Times story the next day.
NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin, who’s been investigating Boykin for the Times as if he were Alger Hiss, said 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.”
Well what exactly has Boykin said? After all, this twice-wounded, highly-decorated combat veteran who was recently promoted to three-star general and made deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence is also a Christian who is unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has spoken at places like First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla., and First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Appearing in dress uniform before a religious group in Oregon in June, Boykin said Islam extremists hate the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian, …. And the enemy is a guy named Satan.”
He also said President Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters but that, “he was appointed by God.”
The media went bonkers and of course ran to their dearest friends for comment.
“I urge you to reassign or reprimand him,” said Marxist/Democrat member of the House of Representatives John Conyers of Michigan.
Liberal Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee called the general’s remarks “deplorable.” What do you expect from a politician from a region that once burned “witches” at the stake?
An Islamic rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, demanded that Boykin be reassigned.
“Putting a man with such extremist views in a critical policymaking position sends entirely the wrong message to a Muslim world that is already skeptical about America’s motives and intentions,” said Nihad Awad.
Naturally, C. Welton Gaddy, a popular speaker among a good many Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) folks, who is head of the pro-homosexual, pro-abortion Interfaith Alliance, wrote President Bush, asking that Boykin be reassigned.
“Mr. Bush, this harmful speech must not be allowed to stand and ultimately stain the promise of religious freedom bestowed upon this land by the founding fathers,” Gaddy wrote. “I urge you as the leader of the most religiously pluralistic nation in the world to issue a strong rebuke of Lt. General Boykin and make clear to a listening nation that these remarks do not reflect the position of your administration.”
By the way, Boykin did say that he thought not all Muslims were terrorists out to destroy America. But when he said we are fighting “Satan,” he is speaking the truth. Satan opposes and tries to destroy every work of God. The tactics of Satan and his demons are to use lies (John 8:44), deception (Rev. 12:9), murder (Ps. 106:37) and every other kind of destructive activity to attempt to cause people to turn away from God and destroy themselves.
Do suicide bombers come to mind?
And when the general said that God appointed President Bush, that he was not elected by a majority, he spoke the truth. Bush did not get the majority of votes (he won based on the electoral college). As for God “appointing” him president, that might not be the precise word to be used to describe God’s involvement, but I think everyone who heard the general knew what he meant.
Scripture speaks of God’s providential control of human affairs. God makes nations great and He destroys them; He enlarges nations, and leads them away (Job 12:23). Dominion belongs to the Lord and He rules over the nations (Ps. 22:28). God has determined the time of existence and the place of every nation on the earth, for “he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26, 14:16). Moreover, “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘What are you doing?’” (Dan. 4:35). Paul affirms that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36), and that “God has put all things in subjection under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:27).
Forgive me for acting like Elijah with the prophets of Baal, but I get tired of my media colleagues harrassing my Christian brothers and mocking our Lord God Almighty.
General Boykin didn’t do anything wrong, which brings me to my final point: This man was in a house of worship, speaking to – and presumably so – fellow believers. If the news media are going to invade our worship services in order to smear and attempt to muzzle Christians from speaking in such a manner about their faith, then how much longer is it before they try to muzzle Adrian Rogers? Billy Graham? Beth Moore? Your pastor? You? Me?
Christians had better wake up and be the salt and light our Lord called us to be. The time for passivity has come and gone. The pagans are at the gate. Let the horns sound from the watchtower.