THE BLOG
04/28/2011 02:54 pm ET Updated Jun 28, 2011

Organizer of Palin Event Won't Say Whether a Good Muslim Can Be a Good American

I called former Colorado GOP State Senate President John Andrews this week, to find out more about William Boykin's appearance Monday with Sarah Palin at Colorado Christian Univeristy's "Tribute for the Troops" rally.

I wanted to know if anyone had grumbled to Andrews, who's organizing the rally, about booking Boykin and Palin together at the same event, given, as I pointed out previously, and the Colorado Independent advanced Wed., that Boykin essentially condemns Islam as a valid religion. I mean, imagine the media response if an outspoken opponent of Christianity appeared in Colorado with a rumored presidential candidate.

But first I asked Andrews about whether it was true, what Andrews himself wrote in his Institute's publication, that "the answer is not so simple" to the question, ""Can a good Muslim be a good American?"

I told him that maybe I was reading too much into his statement, and did he really mean it? His use of the word "can," I thought, left open the possibility that no Muslim could be a good American. Does Andrews really believe this?

"I'm not going to expand on what I wrote or comment further on what the general wrote," he told me. "Both articles speak for themselves. They attempt to challenge thinking. I believe that's one of the functions of any university. Some universities are better at challenging thinking in one direction. Some are better at challenging thinking in another."

I told him I wouldn't ask any more questions about that, but I wished he'd answered, because his nonresponse makes look like a bigot, plain and simple.

I wondered if Palin signed off on appearing with Boykin at the same event.

Andrews said he told Palin's staff that CCU's Centennial Institute has worked several times with a "distinguished retired general" and wanted him to be part of the "uniformed services element" of the program, and Palin's staff accepted this. It was agreed that Boykin's remarks, as well as Palin's, would be nonpolitical, Andrews said, adding that Boykin's theme will be the sacrifice required to serve in the armed forces.

"He's entitled to say whatever he wants to say, but the entire thrust of this occasion is patriotic not political, and I believe that's the approach that both Palin and Boykin will both be taking."

I asked Andrews if any of his people had objected to Boykin's appearance at the event. I was thinking someone must have rushed into Andrew's office and begged him to un-invite Boykin.

"Boykin has a trendeous appreciative and supportive following amongst our constituencey, and so I think there's only been a sense of gratification from our folks that he's once again appearing on our platform," Andrews said.