The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

UPDATE TWO 12/16/10: Yesterday, the house passed the clean version of the bill to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Today, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) lent his support to the bill, meaning the Senate now has the 60 votes needed to pass it.

UPDATE 9/18/10: Harry Reid, in response to pressure from Lady Gaga’s public comments via twitter, has agreed to schedule a vote to repeal DADT on Tuesday 9/21. In response to this news, Sen. John McCain has threatened to filibuster.

Regular readers of my blog know that I go through seasons on political posts. Sometimes, like in the few months leading up to Election 2008, political posts were quite dominant. At other times, like the days since the election, I haven’t felt real motivated to dive into those topics. In fact, the last politically themed post I wrote was nearly a year ago on March 11 about New Federalism.

But I’m feeling some drive today to address an interesting topic – that of Gays in the Military. (Same-sex? Homosexuals? LGBT’s? I’m not sure which politically correct term is hot right now). There has been buzz in the last few days about President Obama repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy – which was instituted in 1993 by Congress, with support from President Clinton. There seems to be quite a bit of energy surrounding the topic – from both sides of the political aisle. Just yesterday, former Vice-President and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney openly supported the repeal (see the Politico article). We can only assume that his position might have something to do with the fact that his own daughter is lesbian.

I’m going to say something that may shock you if you thought you knew my political and spiritual background:

I support the complete repeal of the policy and think gays should be able to serve openly in our military.

I can imagine the shocked hand-wringing from my friends on the right and the standing ovation from my friends on the left right now, but you should understand my reasoning before you get too emotional about my statement. Here is my primary reason for supporting such a policy:

Being a Bible-believing Christian, I am of the opinion that homosexuality is a “sexual sin” that belongs in the same category with adultery, pornography, lust, and pre-marital sex. Understanding that, would we be willing to support the ban of adulterers, porn addicts, the lustful, and anyone who has pre-marital sex from serving in the military? Unless your answer is yes, then the argument should stop right here. Let them serve.

Now let me try to pre-emptively answer some of the counter-arguments that are bound to come.

Q: Does this mean rapists and child-molesters and sexual abusers should also serve? Those are also “sexual sins.”
A: No. Adultery, pornography, lust, and pre-marital sex, while sexual sins, are LEGAL. Rape, molestation, and abuse are CRIMINAL. We should not allow sexual criminals to serve – regardless of their sexual orientation.

Q: Does this mean you also support Same-Sex Marriage?
A: No. In my opinion, marriage is a spiritual matter, not a civil one. God instituted the concept of marriage and His definition is a man and a woman.

Q: Would you support a gay Pastor or Priest?
A: No. Would you support an unrepentant adulterer, or someone who refuses to refrain from pre-marital sex as a Pastor?

Q: How should Christians treat homosexuals?
A: “But God demonstrates his love for us in this that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
A: “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7
A: Jesus ate with and hung out with sinners. Mark 2:16

In short, we are to Lead with Love. Lead as in to lead-off, to go first, to lead the way, to initiate, be proactive, the very first thing you should do is -LOVE THEM. Be a friend. Fellowship with them. Go out to lunch with them. Ask them to share their story with you, and then you share your story with them. BE JESUS TO THEM. You know – the way we’re supposed to treat EVERYONE!

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15 Comments on “The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell””

  1. Natalie Godfrey Says:

    Bravo!!

  2. bondwooley Says:

    Some day, we’ll be amazed we ever tolerated a communication gap in the military:

    http://bit.ly/9YNli3

    (satire)

  3. Viv Ramer Says:

    interesting…very interesting…gives me something to think about and pray about concerning my own feelings and thoughts about this subject. The only thoughts I had before were based on what the world thought and it’s concerns about gays serving in the military.

  4. Eric McCoy Says:

    the last line says it perfectly Jerm. i think this alienation and thus, conflict will exist until we stop making it about “us” vs. “them” and shut up and love like Jesus. Christ died to saved sinners – of whom I am the worst.

  5. Tony Says:

    I agree Jeremy, but I do have one question…not that it has a real answer. But, what about countries where being gay is illegal? Or for that matter, adulters? Should we respect their laws or just our own? Remember, not every case of military presence is war.

  6. jermtech Says:

    Tony,
    So you’re talking about the situation where U.S. troops are sent to another country for non-war activities (like international aid or peacekeeping or policing acitivites) and THAT country has laws against homosexuals? You’re saying that the U.S. might not allow homosexuals to serve in that region because of the host country’s laws?

    How is that different than us having women serving in Middle East countries who don’t let their own female citizens leave the house and interact in any way with men that aren’t family? Not being argumentative, just saying I think there’s precedent for the kind of situation you bring up.

    • Tony Says:

      My point isn’t that there is precedent. More to the point that you said it isn’t illegal. In some countries it is. So, should we, as a nation, respect their beliefs on not send women, gay, whatever to that country. Obviously this excludes war since we would generally be at odds with those governments.

  7. Natrino Says:

    I completely agree with what you said about marriage. Marriage is a spiritual, or religious matter, not a civil one. And government should have no place in it.

    And since we have a country where everyone is free to believe as they please, or not believe at all, I think it’s very important that the beliefs of the few or the many not be forced on anybody.

    Civil unions should be the only thing recognized by the government, and whether they be man/woman, woman/woman, or man/man, shouldn’t matter, and they should all be recognized equally under the law.

    That being said, I sure enjoy my civil union and would be perfectly fine if it were considered nothing more.

    And just to touch on the topic at hand, my hope is that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a big first step for the rights of the GBLT community in the eyes of the American people.

  8. Natrino Says:

    And may I add that I find:

    “Same-sex? Homosexuals? LBGT’s? Please insert whatever politically correct term is ‘in’ right now”

    to be incredibly insulting.

    You don’t have to agree with their lifestyle, but you do have to show them respect. You know, that love thing you referred to.

  9. jermtech Says:

    Natrino – that was a dig at the Media coverage and PR people, not the person. Sorry for the confusion. It seems like they (media) change the name of it every other week. It makes average joes like me very self-conscious when I speak or type about the issue. Am I using an outdated term? Am I unintentionally offending someone?

    Similar thoughts about discussing racism. Black? African-American? Which term is least offensive these days? Some are offended with each.

    P.S. Whenever I hear the phrase “Gays in the Military” I always think of that Margaret Cho bit where her mom says “Is he the gay?” “Well gosh, Mom, I don’t know if he’s THE gay…that would be a lot of pressure. He has to march in the parade all by himself…”, etc.

  10. Austin Says:

    While I agree with a lot of what you said, in that homosexuality is equal to any other sin, and people shouldn’t be ostracized because of it, I don’t agree with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    Whether it’s on a ship in a room with 40 of your “closest friends” stacked 3-high, in a tent, or spooning to stay alive in a survival situation, military members are often put in unusually intimate living conditions. Currently, with straight (and closet LGBT) men and women serving in the military, it’s fairly simple to separate men and women. Morale is minimally affected because each sex is separated, reducing the possibility of uncomfortable privacy situations (changing clothes in a large room with 40 people, taking showers with little privacy) and risk of undesired fraternization. When you introduce homosexuals into the mix how do you address these issues? If you put homosexual men in regular berthing (sleeping quarters on ship) this can hurt the morale of the other men, as they are uncomfortable sleeping, showering, and changing with these men. (How would you feel if you had to do all of these things in the presence people of the opposite sex? [of course you can’t consider your spouse, etc]). You obviously can’t put homosexual men in women’s berthing, and how is putting them in their own room appropriate? Homosexuals are such a small percentage of the population, it is likely that there might be 1 or 2 in a unit (of course this is a total guess). This means that homosexuals would get special treatment, getting their own rooms and causing unrest amongst the rest of the troops who get such little space to themselves. And two gay men/women sharing a room with each other would be equivalent to having a man and woman share a room. The reality is, this would surely lead to inappropriate relations and could harm mission completion (especially if the offenders were in the same chain of command). If you doubt it would lead to relations, I think you are underestimating the hormones of the average 20-something sailor/soldier/airman/marine…who is away from society for extended periods of time.

    So much stress is already put on the members of the military: they are deployed in the Middle East for a year+, stuck on a ship for 6+ months, working extremely long hours (with very little sleep), and confronted with death (or the possibility thereof) every day. Commanders already struggle to keep their morale high, how are the added stresses of the homosexual situation going to affect this morale? Sure, there are some people in the military who wouldn’t mind sleeping next to a homosexual, but a majority would be uncomfortable with this (just as you would be in the heterosexual analog).

    I know the opinions on this vary widely, this is just my two cents from my little bit of experience in the Navy so far. . . and how I might feel in similar situations.

    • jermtech Says:

      Austin,
      I understand what you’re saying, but your argument above seems to come down to the comfort of the other servicemen. I’m sure this very same argument was used when the military was integrated.

  11. Austin Says:

    P.S. I have many wonderful homosexual people, and often do business with them. (I even honeymooned at a B&B owned by a gay couple.) I do not have anything against homosexuals (the people), but I obviously don’t agree with the lifestyle (as I don’t approve of adultery, lying, murder, greed….). I simply think that there are many pragmatic reasons to keep “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” just as it is. If you want to be homosexual and serve in the military, I support you 100%, just don’t be flagrant and openly sleep with/date the same sex. After you’re done serving, or when you’re away from your comrades, act however you’d like. Every servicemember gives up many rights when they join the military, so the homosexual suppressing his/her sexual desires is just one of those things you’ll have to temporarily give up if you want to serve your country in the military.

    • Austin Says:

      My apologies, I don’t own any homosexual people. 😉 … it should say:

      *I have met many…

    • jermtech Says:

      So you would expect homosexuals to supress their sexual desires while serving, but not hetereosexuals? Again, I understand what you’re saying, but you can’t change the rules like that for a minority group.

      I also don’t understand why you included the word murder in your list above. Is murder in the same camp as adultery, lying, and greed? I don’t think comparing homosexuality to murder helps your argument very much.

      Not trying to srgue, Austin, just sharing my thoughts as I read your comments.


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