Religious zealots troll military base supporting LEOs after prayer breakfast canceled

The 97th MP Battalion was attacked by religious freedom supporters online for participating in a run with Kansas Law Enforcement to benefit the Kansas Special Olympics after the prayer breakfast was canceled (left). Prayer breakfast guest speaker, Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin (right).

A prayer breakfast at Fort Riley, Kansas was rescheduled following word that a controversial retired three-star general was slated to speak at the event, sparking unusual outrage among zealous practitioners.

According to Army Times, Retired Lieutenant General William Boykin -a 33-year veteran of the Army and Special Operations community- was scheduled to speak at the event but could not make it due to what 1st ID spokesman MSG Mike Lavigne referred to as “a number of scheduling conflicts.”

One day prior to the event, founder of the civil rights group Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein sent several emails to the commander of the 1st Infantry Division Major General Wayne Grigsby. Citing multiple incendiary statements by the general -such as comparing the War on Terror to a Holy War- the organization demanded that Boykin’s invitation be withdrawn.

Boykin -a member of Ted Cruz’s national security advisory team as well as vice president of the conservative Family Research Council-  was also a speaker at the 2012 US Military Academy prayer breakfast, an incident that drew scorn from the MRFF, as well as and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The 1st Infantry Division has indicated that they will reschedule the prayer breakfast with a different speaker- a victory for Weinstein, who said his group fielded more than 131 complaints from military and civilian clients in the area after word of Boykin’s invitation spread.

“I have clients of ours weeping on the phone about this,” he said. “[Army officials] have not admitted any fault. They don’t indicate that they are going to investigate how this travesty, this unconstitutional travesty, happened, or their willingness to punish [those involved] to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And we want all those things.”

While the Army Times only mentioned that the prayer breakfast was “rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts”, keyboard warriors took it upon themselves to draw conclusions of their own, attacking the 97th MP Battalion and other units on the Fort Riley Facebook page as they posted photos of their participation in the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 2nd.

However, the attacks did not stop there. Seemingly every Facebook post on the Fort Riley Facebook page was spammed with zealous protesters expressing their disdain for the cancellation of Boykin’s speaking event, with several spouting anti-Semitic remarks. In fact, multiple unrelated posts concerning events on posts, education opportunities and daycare amenities were inundated with spiteful remarks concerning Boykin’s absence.

Fort Riley comment 1

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Attempts to contact the respective 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Public Affairs Offices were met with no response, with the exception of an automated voice informing Popular Military that the voice mailboxes were full.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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