(CNSNews.com) – Many commanders in the Department of Defense are violating the religious rights of service members, forcing them to be quiet about their moral opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage, for instance, and, in effect, imposing a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on Christians, said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin, the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command.
In an interview, CNSNews.com asked Gen. Boykin, now the executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC), “Given the violation of religious liberties that have been going on, do you think that, ironically, Christians are being forced into the closet? Being forced to basically Don’t Talk, Don’t Tell, if they’re a Christian?” (at 7:43 into audio clip)
Boykin said, “Yes, it’s a real turnabout where you, at one time, had to come out of the closet to admit you’re homosexual, and now you have to come out of the closet to admit that you’re a Christian.”
“There was a meeting in San Antonio yesterday [Sept. 17] where 80 members from Lackland Air Force base came and talked about the persecution they are under at Lackland Air Force Base,” said the general. “That’s significant. And now, you’re an open Christian at your own peril in many places, under many of the commanders in the military today and that’s a major change, a major paradigm shift in our society.”
When asked whether Christians now have to be quiet in the military, Boykin said, “Well, remember when the Soviet Union disintegrated and all of a sudden the Russian Orthodox Church popped up and everbody said, ‘whoa, where’d you come from, we thought everybody was an atheist?’ And their response was, ‘no, we never went away, we were just forced underground. We couldn’t worship openly. We had to go underground.’ That’s what they’re trying to do in America today.”
“They’re trying to force Christians underground so that our faith and our values do not impact the public sector. So that’s what you’re seeing unfold today,” said Boykin, who was one of the original members of Delta Force.
A September 2013 report from the Family Research Council, A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military, details numerous cases of religious persecution in the U.S. military that have occurred over the last few years. Some of the cases involve banning Bibles; ordering soldiers to keep their Bibles out of sight; punishment for expressing opposition to a gay “marriage” at the Cadet Chapel at West Point; and prosecuting a sergeant who refused to punish an instructor who expressed moral opposition to same-sex “marriage.”
The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was established under President Bill Clinton in 1994. It basically said that gays could serve in the U.S. military but not openly – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The policy was ended under President Barack Obama on Sept. 20, 2011. Homosexuals may now serve openly in the Armed Forces.
Lt. Gen. Boykin served 36 years in the Army where, in addition to his commands in Delta Force, he commanded all the Army’s Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School. Prior to joining the FRC, Boykin served four years as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.