Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell and How it's lighting up a firestorm

I've been keeping tabs on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and recently came across this article where one man equates the repeal with disaster. I have a few problems with his arguments so I suggest reading his article and then reading mine.

First off, he says the repeal is all about opening the door for gays and lesbians to lead an immoral life. I disagree. I think the point of DADT was so that straight military men and women would feel comfortable working closely and sleeping in the close quarters with gays and lesbians. I don't think the point of DADT was to tell gays and lesbians that the behavior was immoral. If that were the case, there would not have been a point to having the military code say that gay sex was immoral and grounds for dismissal. A person can be gay or lesbian without engaging in sexual acts. DADT never differentiated between a person who was gay or lesbian and celibate and one who wasn't.

Secondly, he makes the argument that it is up to the government to set the moral standard for which gays and lesbians should live by. Sorry. Nope. That's why there's a God who goes beyond governments and other institutions. If anything it is up the Church to set the moral standard, not the government. I'm sorry, but the government's job is to set up basic moral rules that the majority can live with. It's not to monitor a creed. If that were the case, then we would all be wearing modest clothing in public and driving at whatever speeds we wanted to since the first is a mandate by the Church and driving speeds aren't.

Thirdly, this quote burned me a little "Acting out on a same-sex attraction is an act of a person’s free will and a chosen behavior. Government has no more business endorsing and protecting the gay lifestyle anymore than it has endorsing any other destructive behavior." Again, DADT doesn't have anything, as far as my understanding, to do with behavior.

And the other part, about endorsing and protecting is really extreme. I don't think the government is endorsing, maybe protecting, but endorsing no. If that were the case, you'd see flyers everywhere saying "gay? join the military" or "being gay or lesbian is in" or even on tax returns giving tax breaks to gays or lesbians or better yet making a blanket-wide amendment to allow gay marriage. But the government isn't doing any of that. It's just making it easier to tell your co-workers that your gay. It's similar to allowing private prayer at your place of work if you're a government employee. My mother couldn't do that for years. She couldn't talk to her co-workers about faith or anything. But then the government said that that was okay as long as the co-worker wasn't being harassed.

And then that part about "destructive behavior." I don't think destructive is a good word choice. It means to destroy or to discredit. I'm not sure how gay sex destroys or discredits. A lot of people are paranoid and think that gay sex will destroy the fabric of the family. But so far, as I look around, there are far more "destructive behaviors" that destroy the family like infidelity, disillusionment, drunkenness, drug abuse, physical abuse, etc. Can we work on maintaining the families we currently have instead of focusing so much of our attention on gay people? They aren't creeping into the heterosexual bedrooms of America.

Conflicting?: "The citizenry and government of the US have long recognized that sexually immoral behavior of military members is contrary to and prejudices good order and discipline.""It is the role of God, and through His instrument the Church, to define morality. Government has no business attempting to define morality. Government is not God." Humm...didn't you just say that the government recognized something as being immoral yet you say the government has no right to define morality. I'm confused? Do you want the government to go with the Church or what the citizens currently say through their elected officials? Because they are conflicted you see.

I'm getting the strong impression that this guy wants the government to follow the Church's morality, but this is a violation of church and state and opens itself up to a whole host of problems. The government is what it is because the people of this country define it's laws and moral codes. If you have a problem with that, then vote accordingly.

The Church defines morality, yes. And therefore, the Church's job is to show that gay sex is immoral. The government's job is not to define morality (as he said) but to allow the people to define it. Therefore, the only way to change law is to change the hearts and minds of the people. That's why we evangelize.

And finally, he makes the remark that Catholic chaplains may be prevented from preaching against the sins of gay sex. But that's where the constitutional right of free speech, free assembly, and free practice of faith come in. True this is the military and you don't have the same rights, but I'm pretty sure military chaplains are a little bit different. They aren't pressed into service the way the regular guys are. I said the Catholic Phoenix is very, very conservative. And since I'm moderate, I view this article as, yet again, another moment where paranoia, fear, and fire and brimstone are hallmarks. I'm of the "correction through love" persuasion and the "kill them with kindness" and "catching more flies with honey." I understand that people are frustrated with these methods and feel that putting fear back into it will drive people back to the Church, but I'm not so sure that I want that. If I'm going to covert a person, I don't want them to be whishy washy Catholics saying they believe because of utter fear without knowledge. The Bible says that it's better to be on one side or the other and not in between. God hates those who straddle the fence. So if you're going to be immoral and wallow in sin, I say "knock yourself out". But if you're truly repentant and trying, then that's even better. Personally, I don't see why this person cares so much. I suppose I do, but then I don't. As I said, DADT isn't about behavior anyway.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!