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Onward, Christian Soldier! The jihad against General Boykin
The Weekly Standard ^ | 11/03/03 | David Gelernter

Posted on 10/25/2003 9:58:14 AM PDT by Pokey78

LIEUTENANT GENERAL William Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and a highly decorated officer, has intimated that the United States is a Christian country and that he is, himself, a Christian. Journalists across the nation are shocked and horrified. Apparently the general has been traveling around the country speaking in churches, and has gone so far as to suggest that all religions are not equivalent and that, while he relies on his own God, the one bloody-minded terrorists praise and celebrate must be a different and a false one. Naturally he has apologized (to "those who have been offended by my statements") and promised never to do it again. But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made things worse by refusing to kick Boykin when he is down, and by adding such weird, unaccountable pronouncements of his own as, "That's the way we live. We're a free people." At this point, the world's hyperventilating pundits need time to compose themselves. While they are resting, here are a few simple, healing truths about which we can all agree. (Pretty much.)

Of course the United States is a Christian country. In fact it is a baseball-loving Christian country. Which doesn't mean that everyone is a Christian or loves baseball. Which doesn't empower the government to establish a national baseball team or force non-Christians to be baptized. It is just a statement of fact.

It is also a statement of principle. The essence of conservatism is to build our future in harmony with our past. (It is a moral, intellectual, and artistic principle: Naturally the structure must grow and is always growing, but in what style?) The Founding Fathers made clear that they wanted the federal government out of the religion business. No federal functionary (and no wiseacre journalist) had the right to dictate anyone's religious beliefs, or force him to keep quiet should he choose to express them.

Some journalists are all in favor of General Boykin's right to say and believe what he chooses--so long as Secretary Rumsfeld fires him. They are working under the theory that it is unacceptable for a DoD official to say that Christianity is true and that other religions are, therefore, false. The general also stands accused of calling for a Christian "jihad"--but he never used that word, and the accusation has long since been exposed as phony. And Boykin has been accused of casting aspersions on Islam--Heaven forbid! (What prigs we should all feel, after Islam has been so sweet to us.)

Of course there is no justification for insulting people gratuitously; but clearly that was not the general's intention. And clearly, too, religion ain't beanbag. If you believe in one, ordinarily that entails disbelieving in the others. Muslims are familiar with the principle. Some journalists are not. But it's not so strange; the same thing usually holds for philosophical, scientific, artistic, and political "religions."

It used to be accepted in America that it was a Christian's right to believe in Christianity and to say so in public. The right even applied to soldiers--in fact to highly placed ones. In the Order for Sabbath Observance of November 1862, Lincoln quoted to his army George Washington's own first general order following the Declaration of Independence: "The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."

So the "offended" to whom General Boykin apologized can hardly claim that we sprang religion on them out of nowhere. The Judeo-Christian strain in the sacred documents of this country is too formidable to ignore. America's mission as Lincoln defined it is to act with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right. He spoke for America's better self, and still does. (Lincoln said that he wished to be a "humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty." He said, "Whatever shall appear to be God's will I will do.")

But, some people argue, that was long ago. Demographics and beliefs have changed. We have changed our minds about religion.

Says who? Since when? Of course this is no longer the almost exclusively Christian nation it was in 1776. But does anyone doubt that it remains an overwhelmingly Christian nation nonetheless? We are solemnly warned that, nowadays, public expressions of Christianity are "controversial." Among whom? Look up "controversial" and you will find that "upsetting to the Los Angeles Times" is not the definition.

Granted, ours is the Offended Age. All right, I'm offended. (Might as well get with the program.) As a practicing Jew I am offended when Jews all over the country pop up to denounce angrily some hapless truth-teller who says what is obvious, that this is a Christian country. (The angry denouncers are by no means only, not even mostly Jews--but the Jewish contingent is of special interest to me.) The Constitution confers on Jews and Christians equally the right to behave as if they believed in Judaism and Christianity respectively. Christianity is (at any rate) a variant of Judaism, formed on a Jewish armature; the work of Jews, propagated by Jews, focused on Jews. When Jesus is asked by a "certain lawyer" how one might deserve eternal life (Luke 10:25), the two Christian fundamentals that emerge are each verses from the Hebrew Bible--the Bible Jesus knew. By erecting and maintaining America on Christian principles, Christians have tendered Jews the deepest of compliments. Why not accept it in that spirit?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 911; armedforces; army; boykin; christiansoldiers; davidgelernter; generalboykin; islamofacism; usarmy; williamboykin

1 posted on 10/25/2003 9:58:14 AM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Nice article......

I enjoy the author's writing. I enjoy the author getting under the skin of the Left much more..!!

FRegards,

2 posted on 10/25/2003 10:02:53 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Hillary Clinton...is at least smarter than a stuffed turkey. I think so, anyway.)
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To: Pokey78
BUMP!!!
3 posted on 10/25/2003 10:21:23 AM PDT by walden
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To: Pokey78
Very well said, the entire article!
4 posted on 10/25/2003 10:23:59 AM PDT by Gritty
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To: Pokey78
Good post. Thanks!
5 posted on 10/25/2003 10:32:56 AM PDT by UnklGene
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To: Pokey78
I have no problem with General Boykin as a soldier and as a man. But when he says things like,"Pointing to an unnatural-looking dark streak in the sky, he said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, this is your enemy. It is the principalities of darkness. It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy.'"I think he is a bit of a nutcase....which does not preclude his continued service.

6 posted on 10/25/2003 10:47:54 AM PDT by RJCogburn ("I want a man with grit."..................Mattie Ross of near Dardenelle in Yell County)
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To: Pokey78; Miss Marple
Look Jane! Gerlenter,a fave of ours......Thanks Pokey!
7 posted on 10/25/2003 10:54:25 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (Is Reality Optional?)
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To: Molly Pitcher
Thanks! He is one of my favorites, too, as you know.

And personally, I DO believe we contend against the powers of darkness.

8 posted on 10/25/2003 10:59:49 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Pokey78
Well said.

By the way, how many leftist writers can write like this? There used to be a few, but they all seem to have died, lost their sense of humor, or succumbed to writer's block. I can't think of a single one.
9 posted on 10/25/2003 11:42:23 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: RJCogburn; OrthodoxPresbyterian; The Grammarian; rdb3; Travis McGee
I disagree.

I think that smoke and clouds have formed recognizable images for so long that people even write poetry about "seeing animals in the clouds."

If there's an example of such a camoflage-morphism in a sky over Mogadishu, and if Gen Boykin has a picture of it, then isn't the issue really whether or not you've seen the photo?

And if you have seen the photo, did it, or did it not, have the appearance of something demonic?
10 posted on 10/25/2003 11:42:31 AM PDT by xzins (And now I will show you the most excellent way!)
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To: xzins
That's par for the course, xzins. He holds a low view on people of faith.


11 posted on 10/25/2003 11:46:21 AM PDT by rdb3 (We're all gonna go, but I hate to go fast. Then again, it won't be fun to stick around and go last.)
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To: rdb3
I agree with you rdb3.

In this instance, though, it really isn't about faith. It's about a photo and about what a reasonable person might see when looking at that photo.

Does the photo exist, or does it not exist?

That is the 1st question.

The 2nd question, of course, is this: If it does resemble something demonic to a reasonable person, what MEANING does that person place on it? You could say, "means nothing" or "it's a reminder of XYZ" or "It's actually the real object in the sky" or "It's a platonic ultimate reality."

I read that the General used it to remind people of a particular bible verse. If this nation were more biblically literate, then they'd know how much Boykin was relying on biblical allusion.

12 posted on 10/25/2003 11:53:14 AM PDT by xzins (And now I will show you the most excellent way!)
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To: rdb3
We're going to find out, sooner or later,

If Abdul will pray, to a smoking crater.

13 posted on 10/25/2003 11:53:56 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Travis McGee
I can dig it.


15 posted on 10/25/2003 12:03:58 PM PDT by rdb3 (We're all gonna go, but I hate to go fast. Then again, it won't be fun to stick around and go last.)
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To: xzins
The General's comments also remind me of this:

I make no judgement one way or the other. But it is interesting, isn't it?


16 posted on 10/25/2003 12:23:45 PM PDT by rdb3 (We're all gonna go, but I hate to go fast. Then again, it won't be fun to stick around and go last.)
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To: rdb3
Exactly. Does a reasonable observer see an image in the smoke?

I see one. Do you?
17 posted on 10/25/2003 1:56:01 PM PDT by xzins (And now I will show you the most excellent way!)
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To: xzins
Does a reasonable observer see an image in the smoke?

The next question is, 'what does a reasonable observer make of it?'

18 posted on 10/25/2003 1:58:34 PM PDT by RJCogburn ("I want a man with grit."..................Mattie Ross of near Dardenelle in Yell County)
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To: RJCogburn
See my #12.

A reasonable person can attribute a variety of meanings to it. And with that, it becomes something that can be "used."

The utility of the photo might be different for those from different belief systems.
19 posted on 10/25/2003 2:01:51 PM PDT by xzins (And now I will show you the most excellent way!)
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To: rdb3
There's also the AP photo at http://www.twin-towers.net/devil_in_smoke.htm

So what are the odds that smoke just happens to form an appropriate image? Or, any recognizable image for that matter?

Lt. Gen. Boykin knows the enemy is the devil. Here's the plan. He retires, runs for president in 2004 and wins. He's given a mandate to be the one thing we need desperately, A Man on Horseback. A patriot-dictator.

Hey! The left is shaking and whining that it will happen. They expect it. Let's give to 'em. If we cannot defend against enemies at home how can we expect to win the big war?

Is the enemy the Devil? Is there a Devil? I know this.

Just when scientists were ready to announce that they now knew everything they discovered that dark matter and dark energy were real. Furthermore, the stuff that they know -- like the periodic table -- is only about five percent of the universe. Everything else is that other stuff that we cannot see but it is there. Prove that the Devil is not in there some place. I think he's outnumbered there and here but he's probably almost as slick as Bill Clinton and evil as Hillary.

20 posted on 10/25/2003 2:05:00 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael
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To: xzins
Can you believe that loaded question in #18?

Given the parameters, that was a backhanded slap.


21 posted on 10/25/2003 4:09:54 PM PDT by rdb3 (We're all gonna go, but I hate to go fast. Then again, it won't be fun to stick around and go last.)
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To: rdb3
The question was what one expected. You can see we anticipated it in #12.

But let's say I see a cloud formation in the shape of a cross, take a picture of it, and say that it symbolizes for me the triumph of Christianity. Does that make me crazy....or does that make me Emperor Constantine?
22 posted on 10/25/2003 4:48:45 PM PDT by xzins (And now I will show you the most excellent way!)
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To: xzins
LOL,
Nurse Rachid, Constantine has just been admitted,
house him in the ward with Napoleon and Julius Caesar.
23 posted on 10/25/2003 5:50:14 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Miss Marple
Yesterday while flying to BWI, (An Air Mobility Command airport) the flight attandant took three service people and put them in first class. Then as we were taxiing to the gate, he said we as a Nation should Thank God for our troops and what they are doing. Half of the MD-80 was service men and women returning to Iraq. The lukewarm response he received for his statement wasnt, IMHO, because a bunch of anti-war people were on board, it was because he mentioned God. The further away we push Him in the name of PC, the deeper we spiral downward..
24 posted on 10/25/2003 5:56:13 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Hillary and Clark rhymes with Ft Marcy park...)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for this post, I've never read Gelernter but if this article is an indicator he's really, really good.

BTW, given the above quote from Washington along with others he made, by today's standards he would have been branded a wild-eyed fanatic and long since discharged.
25 posted on 10/25/2003 6:25:42 PM PDT by bereanway
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To: TruthInExile
Abdul who resides in London or France,
May hear of the crater, and have a new chance.
26 posted on 10/25/2003 7:14:22 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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