Boykin Editorials

October 26, 2003

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 26, 2003 The Boston Globe published an editorial by Ellen Goodman on the controversy over recent comments made by General Boykin on Islam. Writes Goodman: "How far we have drifted from the early days after 9/11. In the wake of the terrorist attack by Islamic fanatics, the country was urged to understand that our enemy is fanaticism, not Islam. After a false start, after calling for a 'crusade,' the president made it clear that this is not a religious war. It is, if anything, a struggle between theocrats and democrats, those who believe God is on their side and those who believe God doesn't take sides... by and large, most Americans recognize that our unity and strength depend on accepting our diversity. Our civic religion of tolerance keeps us strong in the face of intolerance. ...Yet we seem to be drifting again into civil skirmishes over religion. Last summer the Ten Commandments judge, Roy Moore, became our own theocrat when he refused to remove the Judeo-Christian symbols he had installed in a secular courthouse. This fall the Pledge of Allegiance came to the Supreme Court for a contentious struggle over whether our schoolchildren can pledge to 'one nation under God.' Do such symbolic wranglings divide us when we need to be united? Is my theism bigger than your Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or atheism?"