Prayer breakfast keynoter called antiMuslim bigot

first_imgRetired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin Controversial keynote will speak at prayer breakfastThe retired Pentagon official scheduled to keynote Friday’s 13th annual Clark County Mayors’ & Civic Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast is an “anti-Muslim bigot,” according to Washington state Muslims. They are urging organizers to drop him from the event.Retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin is set to speak at the breakfast, which begins at 7 a.m. Oct. 17 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St. Hundreds of local religious leaders, elected officials and others always turn out for the event, which is organized and paid for privately. Numerous well-known corporate and civic names have sponsored the breakfast in the past, from Big Al’s Bowling to McDonald’s to Riverview Community Bank and the Clark County YMCA. This year’s host, which rotates among county mayors, is Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.Boykin, formerly the deputy undersecretary of defense intelligence at the Pentagon, is now executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council and the founder and president of Kingdom Warriors, a nonprofit ministry “that encourages Christians to be bold in their faith,” according to a statement publicizing the event.Boldness doesn’t appear to be a problem for Boykin, who’s been generating controversy for well over a decade. According to The New York Times, Boykin was a senior Pentagon official when he repeatedly called America’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks a Christian nation’s battle against Satan. Those remarks were repudiated by President George W. Bush and his Defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who said the Global War on Terror was not a war on any religion.In January 2012, Boykin canceled a keynote speech he was scheduled to give at a prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. That was after a veterans’ advocacy group, Votevets.org, asked the Army chief of staff to rescind Boykin’s invitation because his “remarks are incompatible with the Army values,” VoteVets chairman Jon Soltz wrote at that time.last_img read more