Homosexuals in the Military: O Brave New World!

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“You all remember,” said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, “you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk. History,” he repeated slowly, “is bunk.”

             
 He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather wisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, was Ur of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylon and Cnossos and Mycenae. Whisk. Whisk–and where was Odysseus, where was Job, where were Jupiter and Gotama and Jesus? Whisk–and those specks of antique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the Middle Kingdom–all were gone. Whisk–the place where Italy had been was empty. Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts of Pascal. Whisk, Passion; whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk …
 

 
 
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

 

As a parting “gift” to the nation, the lame duck Democrat controlled 111th Congress passed legislation yesterday repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and now homosexuals may serve openly in the military.  The interesting secret about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is that it tended to be an escape mechanism out of the military for homosexuals, and those claiming to be homosexuals.  In recent years about 500 individuals have on average been discharged annually with about 80% announcing their homosexuality in order to be released from service.  I quote Melissa, a lesbian and a former medic, on how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has worked in practice:

Many people used the “Im gay” tactic to get out of BCT (Basic Combat Training), or AIT (Advanced Individual Training) when I first enlisted. If the dont ask dont tell policy is repealed, this will help to stop “cowards” from enlisting. DADT was a cop out beyond recognition that people used to escape the military life, pre-deployment/assignment, and post-deployment.

 I assume that the number of homosexuals in the military is relatively small, probably as a fraction of the military less than the percentage of the adult population that is homosexual.  The impact of the change in policy is difficult to say since no militaries that actually fight wars, as opposed to the militaries of most European powers that are now largely ceremonial in nature, have long track records of homosexuals openly serving. 

I fear that the military will now come under pressure to make  the military a “welcoming environment” for homosexuals, and that troops who hold to a moral code that regards homosexual conduct as morally abhorent, the overwhelming consensus in Western culture from the triumph of Christianity until around 1970, will find themselves under increasing pressure to conform to the belief that, in Jerry Seinfeld’s phrase, “there is nothing wrong with that” in regard to homosexuality. 

 Of course that is the whole purpose for this farce, just as with “gay marriage”:  to put the imprimatur of the State on the idea that homosexuality and heterosexuality are morally equivalent and that only benighted bigots think otherwise.  This of course is directly contrary to the teaching of the Church as clearly pointed out by then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986:

 

7. The Church, obedient to the Lord who founded her and gave to her the sacramental life, celebrates the divine plan of the loving and live-giving union of men and women in the sacrament of marriage. It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behaviour therefore acts immorally.

To chose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator’s sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.

As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is portrayed as a victory for two of the great shibboleths of our time:  Equality and Tolerance.  It is actually a victory for the forces seeking to replace traditional sexual morality with a new “morality” that sees no moral significance to the sexual act, so long as it is consensual, whether it be between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman.  The physical act of sex is to be rendered morally neutral, and all of society will say amen to this and those who do not will ultimately suffer the consequences for their failure to fall in line.  This is really what this battle is all about and we should all be clear on that point.

28 Responses to Homosexuals in the Military: O Brave New World!

  • I am glad to see DADT go. It was a typically cynical Clintonian compromise that never made a whole lot of sense. I don’t know of many other workplaces in the United States where a person can be fired for self-identifying as a homosexual, and I see very little upside in making life more difficult for people with petty restrictions on speech. More broadly, I am against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. If, in fact, it was primarily used as an easy out from the military, it makes the policy all that much more preposterous.

  • Just a thank you note to obama catholics:

    Thanks for ruining my country!

  • Just another win-win: it either weakens the military really obviously, or gives them another “victory” like the integration of women. (Which, I’m sorry to tell any folks who hold fond beliefs about it– didn’t work so very well.)

  • Even though I’m relatively ambivalent about the change, I find the comparison to the workplace to be inappropriate. In what other workplace are the “workers” expected to spends months and months in close quarters under extraordinarily stressful circumstances? Serving in the military ain’t exactly sitting in a cubicle everyday.

    I also agree with Donald that it’s slimy to do this in a lameduck session. Congress had two years to do this, and now they’re doing at the 11th hour when many members have been booted out of office.

  • Thank you for beating me to it Paul. Men in combat units are together in frequently appalling conditions for 24-7 in wartime for very lenthy periods. There are also precious few jobs in the civilian world where unit integrity and morale often means the difference between coming home alive and coming home in a body bag. The ironic thing is that most of the proponents of this change would never dream of spending a day in the military. The harm that this exercise in “let’s pretend” causes may be cushioned by that fact.

  • Any diversity hurts unit cohesion. But it seems to me that all the reasons opponents give for why the military is unlike other work environments (e.g., close quarters) are exactly the reasons why the negative effects will be less, not more.

  • Only if you assume that bunking men and women in the same room will decrease issues with unit cohesion and completion of duties.

  • This is a non-event. What exactly does being “openly gay” in the military mean, anyway? Looking fabulous while dying in immoral, costly and impossible-to-win wars? Putting a few more parades on the calendar?

    Fact is our armed service men (and, unfortunately, women) should be judged by their actions, not their inclinations. Frankly, I’m surprised this hasn’t come sooner in order to meet recruitment goals. Heck, aren’t felons even at times granted waivers to enter the armed services?

    This issue is the least of the problems surrounding how America sees and utilizes her military forces.

  • Thank you for beating me to it Paul. Men in combat units are together in frequently appalling conditions for 24-7 in wartime for very lenthy periods. There are also precious few jobs in the civilian world where unit integrity and morale often means the difference between coming home alive and coming home in a body bag. The ironic thing is that most of the proponents of this change would never dream of spending a day in the military.

    Even granting that 1) military employment is different than other employment; 2) that integrity and morale are important; and 3) that most proponents would never dream of spending a day in the military, does it follow that banning homosexuals from self-identifying is a good policy? Does that help morale or promote integrity (it seems to me it promotes the opposite)?

  • Frankly, I’m surprised this hasn’t come sooner in order to meet recruitment goals.

    Because anyone with nodding familiarity with the military knows it’ll work the opposite way?

    Military: overwhelmingly conservative, socially.
    Homosexuals who are not willing to serve without being “open”: tiny fraction.
    Yeah, let’s spit in the face of the overwhelming number of folks who are willing to fight and die for chicken feed so we can help recruitment….

    Face facts, we all know what’s going to happen. They’ll talk and talk about how any harassment by homosexuals will be stepped on hard, but those who are harassed and speak out about it will be the ones stepped on. I already lived that with lesbians in the service.

    Worked with some homosexual guys. The willingness to put in the tiny fraction of effort required not to “tell” made a big difference in everyone’s behavior.

    And yes, DADT was also a safety valve to get folks who are really desperate to get out a way to do so without throwing themselves down a stairwell. Better french-kissing a civilian in front of the entire chain of command at the squadron picnic, or getting “caught” making out halfway through bootcamp by the chief on his rounds than killing yourself or getting someone else hurt trying to save your tail. (Both examples that I know of first hand– female and male, respectively.)

  • I haven’t been in the military myself, but an acquaintance of mine is a Navy veteran from the late 1980s, before DADT. He did have some difficulties with a fellow sailor/officer who was later discharged for being gay and he has been firmly opposed to the notion of gays in the military ever since. At that time, I believe, sodomy was still a crime in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (and it may still be for all I know, although that is going to have to change under the new policy, of course).

    As for DADT being used as a cop out by cowards wanting out of their enlistment, well, what were these people doing enlisting in the first place? Trying to get educational and other veteran’s benefits, most likely, but it seems to me that anyone with an IQ above a houseplant realizes that it’s not exactly peacetime anymore, and enlisting in either active duty or Guard/Reserve service means you are more likely than not to end up in a combat zone sometime in the next 4 years. The days when enlisting in the National Guard was a virtual guarantee you would NEVER see combat ended with Desert Storm 20 years ago.

    I could perhaps see repeal of DADT being justified if there were a draft in effect and vast numbers of prospective draftees were claiming to be gay so they would be rejected. However, that is not the current situation.

    If the idea is to encourage more people to enlist, I fear it will end up having the opposite effect — especially among the more socially conservative and religiously observant young men (and women) who tend to see military service in a positive light and as an honorable calling. It will almost certainly make the already acute shortage of Catholic chaplains in the military even worse.

  • The folks whose motives for getting out I’m familiar with weren’t worried about combat. It was simply that the military was nothing like what they’d expected, and they couldn’t manage it. When you think of how few folks have been in (less than one in ten for the total US population) and consider that the movies are usually way off, the TV shows are bass-ackwards, their teachers, role models, public figures and relatives who served more recently than WWII are likely to be either quiet or anti-military activists, and each of the services has become a punchline for most folks, there’s going to be folks who join and have no idea what they’re getting into.

    Oh, and the Sodomy one is Article 125; defined as “unnatural carnal copulation.” The ‘solution’ is obvious, as it will be when some loon who married his dog is an officer.

  • More broadly, I am against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Just out of curiosity, why is that?

  • St. Augustine wrote that we should love sinnners with Christian charity for as long as they live, they may come to virtue, i.e., repent, confess, do penance, amend our lives, and through good works glorify Almighty God.

    How will sinners come to virtue if the Church fails to try to save them, and is that charitable?

    With this enactment, if a Chaplain that tries to save a gay’s soul, will he be court-martialed?

    What has the Church done to answer the secular sanctification of sodomy?

    One will not get into Heaven if ones commits sodomy or votes democrat.

  • “It was simply that the military was nothing like what they’d expected, and they couldn’t manage it.”

    Foxfier, back in the Seventies this “motivational speech” (extreme content advisory!) from Full Metal Jacket was fairly accurate as to the first difficult days of military service.

  • Remember the major plot point in that movie that comes of not handling it?

    Either way, in the kinder, gentler, integrated forces I’ve seen– nope. (Marine training is still different I hear, in part because they don’t integrate at that point.)

  • “Remember the major plot point in that movie that comes of not handling it?”

    Vividly, although the actor R. Lee Ermey was an actual Marine Drill Instructor who made it through his career without being shot by either enemies or “friendlies”.

  • Best commercial ever by a former Marine DI

  • He also, last time I checked, always ran his roles through the Marines before he’d accept them. (Which also let him wear a real uniform.)

  • As a Navy veteran, raised to believe that homosexuality is a sin and the type of behavior that is detrimental to unit cohesion and espirit de corps, I remain convinced that repeal of DADT is a major blunder.

    Homosexuality is not compatible with military discipline and order. This is not about civil rights but about not meeting reasonable well-established criteria in place for decades.

    Robert Reilly, in an article titled the “Culture of Vice,” stated it well:

    “Since only the act of sodomy differentiates an active homosexual from a heterosexual, homosexuals want “government and society” to affirm that sodomy is morally equivalent to the marital act. “Coming out of the closet” can only mean an assent on the level of moral principle to what would otherwise be considered morally disordered.

    “And so it must be. If you are going to center your public life on the private act of sodomy, you had better transform sodomy into a highly moral act. If sodomy is a moral disorder, it cannot be legitimately advanced on the legal or civil level. On the other hand, if it is a highly moral act, it should serve as the basis for marriage, family (adoption), and community. As a moral act, sodomy should be normative. If it is normative, it should be taught in our schools as a standard. In fact, homosexuality should be hieratic: active homosexuals should be ordained as priests. All of this is happening. It was predictable. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest. How successful that conquest has been can be seen in the poverty of the rhetoric of its opponents. In supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, the best one congressman could do was to say, “America is not yet ready for homosexual marriage,” as if we simply need a decent interval to adjust ourselves to its inevitable arrival.

    “The homosexual rationalization is so successful that even the campaign against AIDS is part of it, with its message that “everyone is at risk.” If everyone is at risk, the disease cannot be related to specific behavior. Yet homosexual acts are the single greatest risk factor in catching AIDS. This unpleasant fact invites unwelcome attention to the nature of homosexual acts, so it must be ignored.”

  • Does that help morale or promote integrity (it seems to me it promotes the opposite)?

    Since when does integrity require self-disclosure?

  • I have no objection to a member of the armed services having either homosexual inclinations or desires, provided that person has the self-control to deal with that. If that was all stopping DADT would do, I doubt many people would object.

    However, what is objectionable is the forcing of the change in culture, values, standards, practices, and beliefs that will necessarily follow. Terrible social engineering will be the inevitable consequence in our present climate.

    For example, the unit’s dining out or dining in events (of whatever name) will now present the quandry of allowing everyone’s “date” or excluding everyone’s. So here you will have to acknowledge the validity of the relationship in a rather public way.

    Further, once open homosexuals are OK, this makes it rather difficult to hold a position against “spousel” benefits for these individuals.

    Then there is the housing/living issue. Do we force the homosexuals and heterosexuals to share quarters? Do you allow homosexuals to bunk together? How can you justify seperate gender facilities after this? It will be nearly impossible for rules regarding fraternization to be enforced when dealing with same-sex relations, so therefore all the rules on that will have to go eventually.

    This complete revolution in values will not happen instantly, it will take time. However, it will happen.

    The worst is, I am willing to predict it will end with needless death. Be it a lover spurned, or a homosexual that can’t abide the beliefs of his fellows, or a fundamentalist that condemns homosexuals, someone is going to wind up either fragging or simply allowing the death of someone over this. Needless to say if there is even slight suspicion involving a homosexual being unfarely put in danger by a heterosexual it will be investigate, but any other such scenario will just be ignored.

  • Anthony wrote: “What exactly does being “openly gay” in the military mean, anyway?”

    That’s the problem…defining terms. What does “openly” mean?

    In a sense it can even be related to the workplace. Men and women can’t walk around the workplace being “openly heterosexual” either in the sense that they are there to do a job, not discuss the details of or seek new relationships in their private lives.

    To the extent that they do the latter more than the former, they compromise their ability to do their job well…not something you need on a battlefield where lives are at stake.

  • Stacy…like a judge once said about pornography, can’t define it but I know it when I see it…same with gay behavior and demeanor…To the observant eye it’s detectable. There are obvious overt examples, which lend themselves to parodies in movies and TV (limp wrist, speech), as well as body language that are clear giveaways. Male homosexuality is easier to spot than lesbian behavior which is much more subtle. For the most telling examples, see gay parades vs. St. Patrick’s parade for stark contrasts in behavior. Sexuality is the major component of the former (depraved dress, kissing, hand-holding, etc.), while in the latter, the celebration has nothing to do with sexuality.

    Of course, now someone will play the homophobe card and accused me of stereotyping, which comes about because stereotypes and cliches survive because they are closer to the truth than fabrications and euphemisms.

  • I agree that we must love our neighbors but in loving our neighbors we need not embrase their sin. We must look at the effects of homosexuality and why Christianity condemns the practice. I think it is important to look as to why homosexuality is not just a “life style choice”. Below are some facts about homosexuality:
    - Domestic violence is 2x more likely in homosexual couples than hetrosexual couples;
    - Homosexuals are 100x more likely to be murders;
    - Homosexuals are 25x more likely to commit suicide;
    - Homosexuals have an “unhealthy” lifestyle: 78% have STD, etc.:
    - Male homosexuals live to an average age of 42 and female homosexuals 45; and
    - 25-33% of homosexuals are alcoholics.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1502263/posts
    and
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_Statistics

    These effects translate into policy and taxation issues: need to overstaff to meet increase in sick days, increase in military and VA funding for increase in medical costs, etc.

  • The repeal of DADT means that homosexuals have been given the “civil right” of bunking with and showering with those they are sexually attracted to. I’m surprised they haven’t made it a “civil right” for heterosexual males to bunk with and shower with females.

  • “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (#2358)

    #2359, for example, the Catechism says that gays and lesbians who live chastely “can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

    “The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God” (#1700)

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