The Same General Boykin?

The Pentagon official, an evangelical, was nearly fired for insulting Islam. So far, conservative Christians stand by him.

Continued from page 2

Ammons, who said evangelical leaders have been consumed primarily with the gay marriage debate, added that the Christian Coalition would keep an

online petition in support of Boykin

on its homepage.

Angell Watts, spokeswoman for Pat Robertson, said that although "the troops messed up big time," the "liberal media" are overplaying it. "I was more disgusted at the beheading of Nick Berg," she said. "Look at what we're dealing with."

As for Boykin? Watts said that if Boykin knew about the abuses, "he has to be held accountable...Christians are held to a higher standard." Although Watts said she doesn't believe Rumsfeld or Boykin knew about the abuses, "if I'm wrong, I'll grieve over that."

Conservative Christian leaders and commentators have contended since last fall that Boykin's comments were taken out of context, or that he was being attacked because he is a Christian. Among his staunchest supporters were Focus on the Family's James Dobson; religious broadcaster Pat Robertson; the Family Research Council; the Christian Coalition; and the Rev. Bobby Welch, who will be nominated president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June.

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"Every conservative Christian would understand the language that Gen. Boykin used to describe what is known as spiritual warfare. His words were consistent with mainstream evangelical beliefs and he had a right to express them,"

Dobson said at the time

.

The Christian Coalition started an online petition in support of Boykin--and posted it on its homepage. Pat Robertson's 700 Club even went so far as to ask Chuck Holton, a former Army Ranger who served under Boykin in Somalia, to attend a church service at which Boykin spoke, record his speech, and then

report on it for Christian Broadcasting Network
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Deborah Caldwell
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