The other newsworthy 60 Minutes story

The other newsworthy 60 Minutes story
Lt. Gen. William Boykin yesterday granted his first major interview about accusations that he's anti-Muslim. Specifically, he talked about his comment, "I knew that my God was bigger than [that of Somali warlord Osman Atto]. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

"Let's go back to the day that we captured Osman Atto," Boykin told 60 Minutes on last night's broadcast (CBS has a 4-minute video clip that hits the highlights, but not everything). "He was a corrupt, evil warlord who was stealing from and robbing his own people. He was a man who worshipped graft, corruption, power and money. My reference to his God being an idol was not to Allah. My reference was to his worship of corruption, of power, of money. He was a thug. He was not a good Muslim."

Does the Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of Boykin's chief critics, want to dispute that? Weblog doesn't think so. So Boykin has put his detractors on the defensive: Either defend Atto as a true Muslim or lay off. There's a third option: Don't believe him. Say he's lying. Say he really meant to disparage Islam and promote Christianity.

Can't do it, says Boykin. "Look, I'm a Christian. I make no apologies for that," he said. "But I'm also not foolish enough to deliberately offend or in any way ostracize any religion. I'm not anti-Islam, I'm not anti-Allah."

Not mentioned in the CBS report—or any media report for an awfully long time—are Boykin's remarks to churches saying that terrorists aren't real Muslims.

The CBS report has some awfully annoying aspects. For example, it calls Boykin "a fundamentalist Christian" without any indication about what that might mean. Surely Boykin ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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