First up from the God Machine this week is a report on a notable leader in the religious right movement – who’s also a former U.S. military leader – who believes the Second Coming will feature Jesus carrying an AR-15 assault rifle.
A little backstory is in order. William “Jerry” Boykin was the deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence for much of the Bush/Cheney era, and was even in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in 2003. At the same time, however, Boykin delivered a series of speeches in churches, in uniform, in which he characterized the war in Iraq as part of an end-times scenario. Indeed, his over-the-top anti-Muslim rhetoric became a huge story throughout the Middle East a decade ago.
In 2007, Boykin was ousted after Donald Rumsfeld’s retirement, and he ended up becoming a leading official at the Family Research Council, a prominent religious right organization. Right Wing Watch’s Kyly Mantyla reported this week on a Boykin speech in which he fleshed out his unique theological perspective.
“The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 is says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe…. I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ‘cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.
“And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15…. The sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.”
Boykin added that “the whole concept” of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment “came from Jesus.”
The remarks drew more attention than Boykin is ordinarily accustomed to receiving, with reports on his speech published this week in the Huffington Post, Gawker, New York Daily News, and Wonkette, among others.