The Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-gay hate group that claims LGBT rights advocates want to “recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order,” announced on Friday the appointment of retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin as its new executive vice president.
The press release accurately describes Boykin as a veteran who spent 36 years in the Army, serving in the elite Delta Force and, later, as deputy undersecretary of defense and intelligence in Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon.
What it does not mention, however, is Boykin’s troubled history of making damaging, controversial statements; his work as a radical anti-Muslim propagandist; or his close involvement with the New Apostolic Reformation, a theocratic evangelical movement that believes demons control LGBT people, Catholics, Muslims and freemasons.
Boykin, who in 2011 said Muslims do not have First Amendment rights because Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life,” became the subject of international criticism in 2003 when it came out that he had given a series of speeches at religious events, wearing full military dress, in which he said the United States was fighting “Satan” in the Middle East and insisted his God was stronger than that of his enemies. At some events, he presented a slideshow featuring a photo he had taken depicting black patches in the sky over Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. “Whether you understand it or not, it is a demonic spirit over the city of Mogadishu,” he reportedly said. “Ladies and gentlemen, that’s not a fake, that’s not a farce.”
A Defense Department investigation later found he had violated several regulations in these speeches, and President George W. Bush went out of his way to say they didn’t “reflect my point of view.”
Around the same time, Boykin was reportedly leading a secret operation to “Gitmoize” an Iraqi prison called Abu Ghraib, whose harsh and humiliating interrogation techniques would later become one of the worst scandals of the Iraq war.
Boykin, 65, is deeply involved with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), an evangelical movement that seeks to unite Protestants, vanquish demons and evangelize the planet. He helped NAR “Apostle” Lou Engle organize last’s year’s anti-Muslim TheCall Detroit and is board member of the Oak Initiative, NAR’s most explicitly sociopolitical arm.
He also devotes much of his time to spreading anti-Muslim and anti-gay hate at both religious and secular venues. He’s been a featured guest on various radio and TV talk shows hosted by the paranoid hysteric Glenn Beck, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, and gay-basher James Dobson, formerly of Focus on the Family. In 2010, he co-authored with Frank Gaffney and others an anti-Muslim screed claiming that Muslim Brotherhood agents were poised to overthrow the Constitution and establish a caliphate under Islamic Shariah law.
Boykin has also worked closely with FRC, which has vigorously defended his anti-Muslim bigotry. According to FRC’s press release, “Boykin’s extensive military experience will provide [FRC] with greater expertise to address social issues in the military.”
Since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, FRC has been obsessed with the issue of LGBT people in the military, which it describes as a threat to national security and an assault on religious freedom. “The American military exists for only one purpose – to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda,” FRC President Tony Perkins said when the law was repealed. “This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military’s ability to fulfill its mission.”