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Gays in the military

February 3, 2010

There are few institutions in America that better represent the ‘can do’ spirit of America than the military.  The military prides itself on accomplishing the mission no matter what and it is that attitude that makes it such a fine  representation of America.  The military also has a reputation, though not always justifiably, for being famously chauvinistic and demeaning to minorities, women and gays.  ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ downplays the best the military has to offer while highlighting the worst and it should be repealed to allow gay service members to serve openly. 

My fundamental problem with the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy is that it is grounded in the idea that being gay is a problem.  For example, if  sharing a tent with a gay soldier makes me uncomfortable, the assumption is made that being gay is a problem and therefore something the gay soldiers needs to deal with, either by finding another tent, hiding who they are, or leaving the military.  In my  mind being gay is not a problem, which means that any insecurities I may have about sharing a tent with a gay soldier is my problem, and because it is my problem, it is incumbent on me to deal with it, not my gay tentmate.  Those who support ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ do so because they believe that being gay is a problem, a deviation from the norm, but my problem with this belief is that it is ultimately based on religious teachings, which I consider to be a false premise for any argument. 

Without going into questioning the overall validity of religion, let’s just say that religious teachings are highly flexible, meaning they can be made to say whatever you want them to say.  For every person who claims religion bans homosexuality I’ll find you another who says religion should be tolerant of all people.  Any argument that uses religion as its foundation is immediately suspect because, ultimately, it boils down to how a person has chosen to interpret a supposedly divine edict, and no matter how sure that person may be of their particular interpretation, there is no way to be sure and it therefore should not be considered as a suitable cornerstone for any social policy.

‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ isn’t about unit cohesion, command influence, troop morale, or any of the other justifications supporters of the policy use to bolster their arguments.  In the end, arguments in favor of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ boil down to nothing more than the religiously based idea that homosexuality is wrong.  By stripping away the facade of concern over military integrity the true foundation of ‘ don’t ask don’t tell’ is revealed.  I’m glad our Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs are finally attacking that support with a wrecking ball.

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2 comments

  1. I liked the commentary in the Post this morning that if they gave out medals for congressional testimonies, Mullen would be receiving one. What an excellent point you make, that the discomfort in this situation is the problem of the person with the discomfort.


  2. But, sir, if we start giving The Gays equal rights there won’t be anyone left to discriminate against! Maybe we can ban Vegetarians from something (Those Vegetarian bastards!)



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