December 2004 Church & State | AU Bulletin

An Army official announced in late October that it had taken “appropriate” but\n not “significant” action against the general who sparked international\n ire for his public depictions of the U.S. war on terrorism as a Christian battle\n against evil.

The Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody said at a Reuters news agency\n gathering in Washington that he had taken “appropriate action” against\n Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin.

When asked to elaborate, Cody said, “If it was something significant,\n it would be something we would talk about. So that should give you an indication.”

Boykin’s comments, many of which were given in uniform before evangelical\n Christian congregations, came to light in fall 2003 and resulted in condemnations\n at home and abroad. For example, he told a church in Oregon that Islamic extremists\n hate the U.S. “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundations\n and our roots are Judeo-Christian.”

In fall 2003, Americans United for Separation of Church and State called\n on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to remove Boykin, who had recently been\n named deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

Rumsfeld refused to do so, but the Army inspector general did open an investigation\n into whether Boykin’s comments and actions violated any Army rules. In\n August, The Washington Post reported that an initial Defense Department\n report found only minor violations of conduct on the part of Boykin and quoted\n a department official as calling the initial report a “complete exoneration.”