A U.S. Army post in Kansas has raised a white flag to an outspoken atheist activist.
A prayer breakfast at Fort Riley, scheduled for the 72ndanniversary of D-Day next week, was expected to include Jerry Boykin, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general most famous as an early commander of the elite Delta Force.
But news of the prayer breakfast and its speaker reached atheist Mikey Weinstein, who contacted Fort Riley and complained about the event and its outspoken, conservative speaker.
Weintein’s tactics are often ignored by the U.S. military, like his complaint last year about an airman’s Christmas mission trip, but this time – at least for now – Fort Riley backed down.
Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty says Weinstein claims he has “clients” at Fort Riley who complained to him about the event speaker.
The atheist has made similar claims in the past, even claiming some self-described Christians are opposed to open displays of faith in the U.S. armed forces.
“He claims to have all of these clients at Fort Riley who have complained to him,” Crews says of Weinstein. “He never names them. He always says they don’t want to be named.”
Weinstein’s actions drew the attention of Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio, who mocked Weinstein for claiming soldiers are “weeping” over the phone to him about Boykin’s invitation.
“Oh, please,” Starnes wrote of that claim.
“I sincerely doubt,” Boykin told Starnes, “that America can expect to win wars if the people who are tasked to do so are frightened by an old retired general with biblical views and a testimony of faith.”
Boykin was 29 years old when he was selected for Delta Force, an anti-terrorist unit formed in 1977. He retired in 2007.
Boykin, now 68, currenty serves as executive vice president of the Family Research Council, a family advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
FRC, led by Tony Perkins, is hated by left-wing activists that would presumably include Weinstein.
According to Starnes, Weinstein’s anti-religious organization launched its attack on Boykin on June 1 in a statement that described the retired lieutenant general as a “homophobic, Islamophobic, fundamentalist Christian extremist.”
According to Starnes, Boykin had been scheduled to speak since March 31, when Weinstein caught wind and contacted the army post. A day later Boykin was dropped and the base now claims a scheduling conflict is to blame.
Fort Riley is home to the 1st Infantry Division, which participated in the historic land invasion at Normandy that ultimately pushed Germany out of France and proved to be a turning point on the Western Front in World War II.
The 1st Infantry Division landed on Omaha Beach and suffered an estimated 1,036 lives lost on that day.
On the 70th anniverary of D-Day, The Huffington Post recalled the chaplains who landed on the beaches that day, too. The last surviving chaplain, Lt. Col. George Barber, died in 2004.
“He was the only member of his craft who landed without a weapon to protect himself,” the story said of Barber, “because he was there with a different mission— to provide spiritual support to wounded and dying men.”
Boykin tells OneNewsNow that Fort Riley is the victim of an “unstable man,” referring to Weinstein, and the soldiers of Fort Riley have been let down by their leaders who lack courage to stand up to the atheist.
“I believe this is discrimination” Crews says of Fort Riley’s decision. “It is an attack against free speech in the military.”
Two family-advocacy groups – Family Research Council and the American Family Association – have contacted their supporters and encouraged them to either call the Fort Riley community relations office or send a message to Fort Riley officials via Facebook.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.