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There Is a Role for Morality

Bruce Kesler makes the point that whether or not you agree with Pace's comment about homosexuality and morality, there is a role for morality in the military.

"We don't need moral judgment from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs," says Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, third in line for succession to the presidency...


I'll leave the facts about gays in the military to the experts in military cohesion and effectiveness, and those expert in successfully integrating various backgrounds and lifestyles into stressful occupations that depend upon close ties among members...

BUT, Speaker Pelosi, it absolutely won't work to have a military in which "we don't need moral judgment." What the heck does she think motivates a young person to enlist or serve bravely but a moral judgment that our country and civilization is worth fighting for against those who are its enemies? What the heck does she think holds young men and women together under the horrible stresses of war but a unique bonding and reliance upon each other? What the heck does she appeal to in prosecuting young Marines or soldiers for mistakes in the heat of combat? Does Speaker Pelosi believe anyone would enlist or risk their lives and limbs to defend her or her San Francisco constituency, who have succeeded in largely chasing the military out of the Bay Area?

Moral judgment, and the willingness to fight for it, is what the military is about, indeed why we have a military. Otherwise, why not just accept beheadings, terror, enslavement, and all the other wonderful accoutrements of fanatic Islamists, or despotic satraps, or for that matter their depraved predecessors who murdered 100-million Russians and Chinese, or even persevere to win the Cold War.

One thing we have learned since September 11 is that some in this country do not think there is a role for morality in the military or in politics, at least when it comes to making judgments about some practices of other countries and cultures. They do, however, want to invoke morality when it comes to things like funding entitlements or driving SUVs.


Comments (67)

Right. Because homos in th... (Below threshold)
wotlatra:

Right. Because homos in the military naturally suggests immoral behavior in the same way that there are absolutely no half-Vietnamese, half-foreign babies born during the Vietnam conflict.

I would agree with Bruce's ... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

I would agree with Bruce's assesment about the necessity of morality within the military but I disagree with Gen. Pace's definition of the morality of homosexuality.

And I definately disagree with Speaker Pelosi. But that's just because I think she's an idiot.

pace is tripping all over h... (Below threshold)
simmone:

pace is tripping all over himself trying to apologize! sounding like a real moron. what an idiot!

There's a difference betwee... (Below threshold)
Lee:

There's a difference between the capacity for basic human morality and "moral judgment" -- and the appropriateness of judging of gays in the military, in this example.

Pelosi did not say there wasn't a place for morality - she said there was no place for moral judgment. Having each individual solider, for example, judging and deciding whether to support their homosexual comrades is not appropriate.

Or is the "morality" Kessler so desperately wants reserved just for the generals? Kessler suggests that it's universal, but apparently fails to see the problems that would present.

General Pace didn't make th... (Below threshold)

General Pace didn't make the important distinction between the estimated 65,000 military members who are merely homosexual as a person, and the illegal sexual activity prohibited by military law. But with troop levels now so strained for manpower, why General Pace chose to bring this up right now is a good question of judgement. Petty criminals, minor drug users and those with lower test scores are now being allowed in by military recruiters because of the shortage of military manpower for example.

"why General Pace chose ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"why General Pace chose to bring this up right now is a good question of judgement."

It would appear from his comment that General Pace may be more interested in defeating his fellow countrymen (Democrats and liberals) than he is in engaging the enemy. I can't imagine a single reason to not have homosexuals in the military -- what IS wrong with this guy?

It would appear from his... (Below threshold)
DSkinner:

It would appear from his comment that General Pace may be more interested in defeating his fellow countrymen (Democrats and liberals) than he is in engaging the enemy.

Well, he did take an oath to protect the country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. He must be getting around to the domestic ones.

I do think that homosexual... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I do think that homosexuality is a deviant act and thus immoral. I know, now call me homophobic, and bigot, yada, yada. It is what I believe. Notice I did not say I want them bashed or killed. I would prefer they are prayed for.

As far as the army "lowering" their standards, you have to know that there is a big need in the military for support service personnel. Kitchen duty, warehouse, and such. ww

Is that based on your vast ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Is that based on your vast military experience, Lee?

Notice I did not say I w... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Notice I did not say I want them bashed or killed. I would prefer they are prayed for.

Wow - so we should commend you for that, right? Self-righteous [email protected]%. Radical islamists believe we infidels do not deserve to live. But not ALL of them want to kill us. Is that belief okay then?

It's people like you -- ignorant, proud assholes who use religion to justify their prejudices and fears -- that really don't deserve the same rights as the rest of us (but will receive them and should, deservedly so, in a democracy).

You're probably sitting there, thinking I'm some sort of dick for questioning your stance, maybe feeling the need to pray for me too. What you don't realize is your own beliefs are what will send you to hell. Scumbag.

And for the record - I'm not gay, but I am much more of a true American than you will ever be.

...and, by turn, much bette... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

...and, by turn, much better a Christian than you can possibly be.

hansel2,I seem to ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

hansel2,

I seem to recall something about a plank and a speck.

You may want to go re-read that part of Christianity, and then take another look at your comment and see how it fits.

Pace was intemperate in his... (Below threshold)

Pace was intemperate in his remarks while Pelosi was her normal inane self. She doesn't even realize how stupid she sounds when she makes this overtly judgmental (and ironically oxymoronic) statement:

We don't need moral judgment from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Word's like "we don't need" are morally judgmental on their face, are they not? How about if she had just said, "I know this is a judgmental statement, loaded with condescending, morally freighted-language, but I'll say it anyway because the people who support me won't notice how imbecilic I sound when I say: we don't need moral judgment from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs."

What a bonehead.

So what you're suggesting, ... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

So what you're suggesting, Sheik, is there are things in my life that prevent me from judging others. Well, while I may be angry at Willie's post, he also has proudly declared his intolerance for fellow human beings who don't fit what he defines as "moral."

Quite different. My anger is at his intolerance. And that's something that deserves judgment. Would you say the same thing if I yelled at someone for declaring themselves a proud pedophile? A racist? Someone who hides behind the bible to say they think homosexuality is immoral or a sickness is worthy of ridicule. It's ignorant - and it's just plain ugly.

Why does Gen. Pace hate the... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Why does Gen. Pace hate the troops?

What if you are heterosexua... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

What if you are heterosexual, and you like to take an occasional trip down the hersey highway?

Is it OK if it is between a man and a women, but not OK if it is between two men?

...and, by turn, much bette... (Below threshold)
baslimthecripple:

...and, by turn, much better a Christian than you can possibly be.
Posted by: hansel2

Skating on some pretty thin theological ice there, sister. I am reasonably confident there are many better Christians out there than I. The converse is not true.

Having each individual solider, for example, judging and deciding whether to support their homosexual comrades is not appropriate.

To answer Lee, this is precisely the reason for Don't ask, Don't tell. Mincing, prancing, openly- gay-and-aggressively-so homosexuals put their fellow troops in exactly that position.

"I do think that homosexual... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"I do think that homosexuality is a deviant act and thus immoral"

I can't stand this view. I am a heterosexual male, christian, republican, and I find this fucking ridiculous. So, please explain why straying from the norm makes you all of a sudden immoral?

Barney:
"Why does Gen. Pace hate the troops?"

He doesn't Barney, he hates you.

"What if you are heterosexual, and you like to take an occasional trip down the hersey highway? Is it OK if it is between a man and a women, but not OK if it is between two men?"

Its ok barney, while we really couldn't think much less of you as it is, I don't mind that you like it in the arse.

Do you think Pelosi would s... (Below threshold)
Paul A'Barge:

Do you think Pelosi would stand in front of someone like Lt Watanada, who refused muster to Iraq, and tell him "we don't need to steekin' morality in the military"?

Look, with DHIMMIcRATs, when morality rears its ugly head is entirely when it's convenient for Liberals... i.e. when they say so.

Memo to the gays and their supporters: sorry, but there's not going to be any butt-boinking on the front lines, no matter how much you want it.

Just one question to all yo... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Just one question to all you bleedingheart morons--who would you want in a foxhole besides you--a frigging queer or a straight man or women? And no I don't give a damn what you think of me. I got my opinion and you got yours.

"pucker puss" (lee lee) (RTP) (RM)--the Alan Combs of WizBang.

"I do think that homosexual... (Below threshold)
engineer:

"I do think that homosexuality is a deviant act and thus immoral"

"I can't stand this view. I am a heterosexual male, christian, republican, and I find this fucking ridiculous. So, please explain why straying from the norm makes you all of a sudden immoral?"

I always find it interesting when somebody claims to be a Christian (it's with a capital 'C', but then again since you obviously aren't a follower of Christ, the small 'c' may apply to you), yet is ignorant of God's view of homosexuality. Try reading Romans 1. It isn't that God hates the homosexual, it is the act (sin) that God hates. Just like the sin of fornication between unmarried people. It is just that we want to do what we want and then justify by trying to change God.

And by your own admission, if I 'stray from the norm' into pedophilia, then that's okay.

Of course, we are just so much more enlightened today and know so much more than any mere god.

Was moral judgement made ab... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Was moral judgement made about the American soldiers having sex in front of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib?

D-Hoggs:... (Below threshold)

D-Hoggs:

I can't stand this view. I am a heterosexual male, christian, republican, and I find this fucking ridiculous. So, please explain why straying from the norm makes you all of a sudden immoral?

I assume this is meant in sarcasm but just in case, there is an answer. Latter question first:

1. "Normal" and "immoral" are not coterminous. Straying from "normal" neither makes you nor does not make you "immoral" since the two terms have no relation to each other. You can live in Lebanon and take routine trips across the southern border to kill Jews and this would, in Hamas circles, be considered "normal".

2. "...all of a sudden immoral?" is somewhat of a non-sequitor. Why does getting in a car and pulling from the curb "all the sudden" make you a driver? Because maybe you are driving?

One moment you are not doing immoral behavior and the next you are, is very much like "all of the sudden". But the issue is not the speed at which you are becoming immoral but rather, is the morality of the activity itself. As a Christian you have to believe the activity is immoral (along with many other ones that shouldn't be tolerated). Which brings me to:

3. Christian doctrine is well-established on what constitutes immorality. Christ and His apostles reminded us of this. Setting aside for a moment, the Old Testament to avoid a discussion of Mosaic law, we only need to visit a few passages to find that Jesus condemned adultery and fornication (one or both of which can be engaged in by either hetro or homosexuals - does this make Jesus "ignorant and ugly"?), and Paul has a nice little list in Romans 1 as well:

Pride
Idolatry
Lust
Sexual immorality
Homosexuality
Covetousness
Maliciousness
Envy
Murder
Strife
Deceit
Evil-mindedness
Unforgiveness
Rebellion
Gossip/slander

Personally, I would rather not see any of these tolerated by General Pace in our military. That does not mean that they don't happen but, as a matter of policy, should they be allowed?

Do we have a "don't ask-don't tell policy" on murder or rebellion? Don't think so.

I'm not going to debate the wisdom of the policy itself since that has been done to death. The current policy is MUCH more lenient than it was originally so I don't think there should be any complaint. But Christians have to go by what the Bible says. We are no more hiding behind it than anyone who abides by guidelines in their lives do.

Personally, it is not my place to judge what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Nevertheless, I do reserve the right to judge what they do in my military because that organization must have a very strict code of conduct in order to do its job properly. A job that is about as important as it gets.

Was moral judgemen... (Below threshold)
Was moral judgement made about the American soldiers having sex in front of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib?

Maybe you ask this rhetorically but I believe that would be a "yes". The prison got shut down as a result.

I don't think that we are i... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I don't think that we are in the position to decrease the number of our troops in the middle of two wars. Two cases in point:

"The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has led the Pentagon to fire 37 Arabic translators at a time when the military needed them more than ever."

We sure could use a few gay translators at the embassy:
"Jan. 7, 2007 -- There are 1,100 employees in the U.S. embassy in Iraq, all living in the middle of a war among and against Arabic-speaking enemies.

Of those embassy employees, the Iraq Study Group found that only six speak fluent Arabic."

hansel2,No that's ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

hansel2,

No that's not what I'm saying at all.

I'm saying that there was very little "Christian" about your initial comment.

I'll also add that Jesus said "Be angry and sin not."

Righteous anger does not justify a sinful reaction.

Think about it.

hansel, I find the ferocity... (Below threshold)

hansel, I find the ferocity and invective of your reply telling.

The statement, "I do think that homosexuality is a deviant act and thus immoral" does not a priori compel conclusions about the speaker that you so zealously leap to.

It is not as if there is no solid foundation upon which such a belief lies.

But I guess it's okay (to you) to express hatred for people who thing like that, because, in the context of "hate speech," those views don't count?

How is it that you righties... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

How is it that you righties can be so wrong on such a multitude of fronts?

Must be getting really hard to face yourself in the mirror every morning.

One thing we have ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
One thing we have learned since September 11 is that some in this country do not think there is a role for morality in the military or in politics, at least when it comes to making judgments about some practices of other countries and cultures. They do, however, want to invoke morality when it comes to things like funding entitlements or driving SUVs.

What's the point here? That we should regulate foreign countries but not ourselves?

CB,Conservatism wo... (Below threshold)

CB,

Conservatism works every time it is tried. Liberalism quite the opposite.

For a group that is so "wrong on such a multitude of fronts" how is it that our ideological system spawned and sustains western civilization while yours is doing a nice job of tearing it down?

PrideIdolatry... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Pride
Idolatry
Lust
Sexual immorality
Homosexuality
Covetousness
Maliciousness
Envy
Murder
Strife
Deceit
Evil-mindedness
Unforgiveness
Rebellion
Gossip/slander

Sounds like the Republican Party platform...

The homosexual ban in the m... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The homosexual ban in the military it really about serving in combat. We don't allow women to serve in combat with men because the sexual intrigue would destroy unit cohesion and effectiveness. Those of you who have been in combat know what I'm talking about. Lets say the unit's leader is gay as are some other members of the unit. Now when you go on patrol you get picked to be on point more than your share of the time and you wonder is the leader making a military decision (you're good on point) or a personal decision (protecting his lovers). You won't know so you have to take steps to protect yourself rather than your unit. Other's see this and do the same. It's every man for himself at this point and the unit is ineffective as a fighting force. Weather it's women or gays, sexual attraction between unit members destroys the cohesion and effectiveness of the unit. Having a military is about winning wars, not about furthering social and political agendas.

Hell, Publicus, that whole ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Hell, Publicus, that whole list is just what we came up with for the last Democrat president.

hansel2, rant all you want... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

hansel2, rant all you want but there is no way you can be a christian, only a pretend christian. Read you bible, something I haven't done in 20 years but I remember part of what I read then.

No one can be a Christian and a homosexual, nor can they be a Christian and support the homosexuals. You can fool yourself and the retarded factor in the country but you will not fool the one person you will eventually face and pay up.

Sorry, but that's just the facts, not up for debate in the bible, no high priced college education interpatation required. You are free to do as you please but don't misuse the bible as an excuse like the terrorists misuse their comic book religion to murder millions of people.

When I was in the USN I had... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

When I was in the USN I had a female service-person tell me she was afraid to take a shower because of the lesbians who lived in her berthing compartment.But who cares-gay rights trumps everything,especially common sense.

No one can be a Christia... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

No one can be a Christian and a homosexual, nor can they be a Christian and support the homosexuals.

Grew up Congregational, asshole. Yes, that's right, not a very Christian word, but you, old man, are an asshole. You spend most of your time on this blog screaming about your hatred of democrats and, if I'm not mistaken, I recall you once calling for all left-leaning teachers to be put up against a wall and assassinated. Very Christian.

Me? Well, I have tolerance for everyone, I have love for everyone - except those who deride the intolerant. And I've lived my life as a testament to being good to others. And I don't view Christianity as a free ticket to show disdain for my fellow man. And, as far as I'm concerned, those who view being a "good Christian" as showing intolerance and disrespect to others of differing opinions and, for that matter, religions, are the a shame to their religion - and the main reason there's so much strife in this world.

General Pace simply reitera... (Below threshold)
allen:

General Pace simply reiterated the language found in Articles 125 and 134 of the UCMJ.

Rather than attack General Pace, his critics in the Congress should change the offending law. Of course, that would leave a paper trail, which might later prove embarrassing.

But I guess it's okay (t... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

But I guess it's okay (to you) to express hatred for people who thing like that, because, in the context of "hate speech," those views don't count?

Show me where I used the word "hate" or "hatred". That's your interpretation, but you won't find those words in my posts.

Righteous anger does not justify a sinful reaction.

What is a sinful reaction? Showing disdain for someone who proudly flaunts their intolerance and prejudices?

By virtue of this post, I'm reminded why I don't vote Republican. It's a party that, by its platform, subtly allows discrimination in the name of religious conservatism. It's a party that David Dukes found common ground in. And there are good people who vote republican, but it will never be the party of a Martin Luther King or a Gandhi. It will always have the taint of intolerance at its core - at least now, as the party of George W. Bush.

And, getting back to the post, it is the party that would find justification in what Peter Pace said simply because it doesn't recognize its own prejudices and the ugliness of it.

Just read Peeeloshi's retor... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Just read Peeeloshi's retort to Gen Pace's correct remarks.
Has a democrat had an original idea in the past twenty years or do all of them just oppose everything anyone else supports and support everything anyone else opposes?

I can't think of one original idea to come out of the entire democrat party that made sense to anyone other than the idiots in the party. Does anyone know of one, please.

a) there now are many folks... (Below threshold)
epador:

a) there now are many folks who are homosexual serving in the military - at least 5%, but maybe more.

b) these folks tend not to be in combat roles, and generally are discrete in order to maintain their AD status, career, and retirement.

c) there is a longstanding nasty prejudice against homosexuals in our military. It is strongest in the combat units. It seems stronger against males than females.

d) I agree totally with Mac Lorry regarding some non-morally oriented problems with open homosexual behavior in the combat unit. In non-combat units with women, this is a problem that does exist with heterosexual behavior.

e) The Chair of the Joint Chiefs was foolish. Pelosi simply jumped at the chance to make political points. Yawn.

f) A positive point not often mentioned is that [even out of the closet] male homosexuals don't get pregnant, require pregnancy profiles, or commonly complain of cramps and bloating once a month. That's gotta be an offset to women in the military.

[ducking and running for cover I doubt I will be able to find]

Heh, epador. :-)I... (Below threshold)

Heh, epador. :-)

I'm very much in favor of women in the military but I'd never pretend that the problems caused aren't very real. I know exactly how much time I missed morning-sick or otherwise incapacitated. Believing that the practical reasons to have women in the military outweigh those problems isn't denying them in the least.

I view the question of homosexuals serving in much the same way. DADT should be repealed, but to pretend that it's as easy as that is willfully delusional.

hansel2 is a pharisee of the first order. Sure of his own righteousness and feeling entitled to make judgement. It's easy to be tolerant of the things with which you agree. Unfortunately, that's not what the word tolerance means.

Tolerance means absolutely nothing at all if it requires people to express only what is acceptable. It means absolutely nothing if we are not tolerating something we find distastful or even abhorent.

As for moral judgements... we make them every day and our military must have a standard of morality and judgement. The fact that the left participants on this blog seem to think that sex is the only thing meant by morality probably means something. Are we supposed to believe that sex is the beginning and end of it? What about honestly and other elements of Honor and Integrity. That's moral judgement. It's having clear ideas of right and wrong and the military *must* have it. The idea that it doesn't matter when you've got people handling classified material and nuclear material or otherwise holding in their hands the power to destroy people and lives and someone says something so incredibly asinine as Pelosi... it boggles the mind.

And the fact is that the military takes in a normal cross-section of our population and has to deal with the lax moral attitudes of soldiers and teach them what is now expected of them and frankly sex is waaaaaay down on the list of things the military cares about.

The academy's have codes, whatever the exact words, to the tune of "I will neither lie, cheat, nor steal, nor tolerate anyone who does." That is moral judgement, 100%.

Somehow they don't make anyone pledge not to fornicate.

you prove my point hansel. ... (Below threshold)

you prove my point hansel. According to you, this is not "hate speech":

"It's people like you -- ignorant, proud assholes who use religion to justify their prejudices and fears -- that really don't deserve the same rights as the rest of us....

...What you don't realize is your own beliefs are what will send you to hell. Scumbag.

And why isn't it (in your mind)? Because it articulates a hatred of a religious belief you disagree with?

epador and SynovaV... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

epador and Synova

Very good posts. The only thing I'll add is that I don't have a problem with gays serving in the military under the current policy. The fact is that it's a person's actions that define them not their orientation. A man can be strongly attracted to other men in a combat unit, but if they keep that feeling to themselves they won't create any sexual intrigue problems for the unit. Obviously many gays have served in the military and served well, but they served celibately and as if they were heterosexual. Given the all volunteer military, the current policy seems wise to me. It's not like we were drafting gays and forcing them to either declare their homosexuality or server celibately.

The General responded to a ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The General responded to a question and expressed his opinion on how homosexuality is viewed by his own personal moral code. Where's the problem ?

While I disagree that homosexuality is immoral, I very much agree with Mac Lorry's statement that sexual intrigue, tension, whatever you wish to call it, can undermine the unit's cohesion and that's a sufficient basis for DADT... which was implemented under the left's beloved Clinton if anyone cares to recall.

Re: Dan Irving at March ... (Below threshold)

Re: Dan Irving at March 13, 2007 03:13 PM

'zactly! Every word.

As for moral judgements.... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

As for moral judgements... we make them every day and our military must have a standard of morality and judgement.

Synova,

Actually, regarding don't ask, don't tell, I have no problem with that program. And I agree with what you and Mac Lorry say regarding it. The military owes no one an explanation for their policies if it makes for better soldiers and eliminates sexual tension - or whatever else might be a barrier - from the equation.

My distaste was with the individual opinion of Willie, who's post disgusted me. And yes, tolerance is a two way street. But there is no place for tolerance of racists and bigots - when someone's personal beliefs infringe on the rights of others, be they black, asian, gay or straight, it's just plain wrong - no matter how someone decides to interpret the bible.

Wow, hansel has problems. N... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Wow, hansel has problems. Nowhere in my comment did I imply hate, in fact my whole comment is about tolerance. The one being intolerant is old hansel. No where in my comment did I mention Christianity or the bible, but hansel did. Very telling. I think hansel has unresolved issues. Also, like I have said many times, the left is full of hate. It is their primary motivation. I pray for GW, people suffering, people who have sinned. I certainly hope people pray for me. That is just what it is. Nothing more. Hansel, I am concerned about you. Your comments are off the charts hateful. ww

Hansel2 --the all rightous ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hansel2 --the all rightous one--one that is all there is to be--one that is a little on the nutty side--one that can't stand the truth--one that sounds like he might be one of "them".

Willie - No where in MY com... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Willie - No where in MY comments do I imply hate either. Never used that word. The word I used was tolerance. And no, you didn't mention that you "hate" gays - and I never said that. But this is what you did say:

"I do think that homosexuality is a deviant act and thus immoral. I know, now call me homophobic, and bigot, yada, yada. It is what I believe. "

Now, the problem with this is your "belief" that calling gays deviant and immoral is a form of discrimination, no matter how you want to color it. And any form of discrimination for someone just living there life (and yes, I believe homosexuality is not a choice but something your born with) should not be tolerated.

Angry? Yes, I'm angry. I'm angry at the nonchalance with how some of you folks throw out these beliefs based on ignorance and intolerance and act as if it's all good - and, at times, are proud of it. It may be your belief - and you may not know it - but in the larger scheme of things it's ignorant and wrong.

sexual intrigue, t... (Below threshold)
sexual intrigue, tension...

This, of course, is the root of the military's policy, not an issue of Christian doctrine. The general should be free to call a spade a spade and hey, he should tell people that drunken brawls, hetro adultery, lying, etc. are also immoral behaviors that the military doesn't put up with.

But WRT homosexual BEHAVIOR, this is a poison in a military unit. We all know about the concept of "brothers in arms". Camaraderie, brotherly-non-sexual love for each other, sacrifice, etc. are all part of being in a military unit and this kind of relationship for another person of the same sex is at risk if there are sexual overtones.

I'm reminded of the quintessential non-gay brotherly love relationship from literature (and later film) of Frodo and Samwise in the LOTR trilogy. Their relationship was intended by Tolkien as two guys taking care of each other in a brotherly way. But like a lot of things in our coarsening culture, the two characters are now labeled "gay" in many quarters.

You can't risk that kind of impression if you are a confident hetrosexual in a military unit.

Hansel, I would like you to... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hansel, I would like you to re-read your original post. It is full of hate speech.
It is funny that because I do not agree with you on this, I am ignorant. That is telling also. I do think putting a penis in someones rectum is deviant. I do believe pedophilia is deviant. I do believe someone masturbating in public is deviant. Again, I would have to say YOU are the intolerant one in this debate. I would not call you ignorant, because I do not know what you know, although, feel free to call me ignorant, it is much more telling about you. How about the other commenters decide who is the most intolerant in this discussion? I just wish you would simply admit you over reacted and painted people who disagree with you as intolerant, ignorant fools. Please be mature about this. Oh, by the way, I know many gays and some are friends and they know what I think. How about that for maturity? ww

Now, the problem w... (Below threshold)
Now, the problem with this is your "belief" that calling gays deviant and immoral is a form of discrimination, no matter how you want to color it. And any form of discrimination for someone just living there life (and yes, I believe homosexuality is not a choice but something your born with) should not be tolerated.

Hansel, this is your opinion, and you are welcome to it, but I see two problems with your line of reasoning.

1. You called Willie's comments "hateful" when, by your own admission in this post, they are actually "discriminatory". Labeling someone else's "intolerance" as "hate" is to not use the language properly and is more like an Orwellian methodology to stifle debate.

2. You, yourself (and several others in this thread) have exhibited tremendous intolerance of people who show little tolerance of homosexual behavior in the public arena (personally I don't care if it is private, just don't force it on me in the public sphere such as in the classroom or in the military). If "intolerance" is hateful then YOU are being just as hateful by your own definition.

I propose that "intolerance" and "discrimination" are words that are not absolutes, as many on the left want them to be (and hypocritically so given that liberals are some of the most intolerant people I have ever met).

I have no tolerance for people who fail to use their turn-signals, for people who don't take showers for weeks on end and then sit next to me at a restaurant, for people who want to tax me and give my money to others who don't deserve it. I have no tolerance for Islamic Jihadists, or people like Al Gore who uses Junk Science to line his own pockets and force his religion down my throat at the point of a government held gun.

So I'm intolerant. I admit it. Did I mention I also am discriminatory? I don't go into certain places of business, I don't vote for certain people, I don't buy certain kinds of cars, I won't lease my rental unit to certain types of people, I won't serve certain kinds of people (those who don't wear shoes for example) at my coffeehouse, and on an on. I guess I'm just a hateful person. ;-)

Right on the money Beeblebo... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Right on the money Beeblebox. You get the point. I also descriminate against pedophiles, rapists, serial murderers, convicted politicians, etc. I cannot tolerate their behaviour. People like hansel demonstrate their intolerance all the time, in all discussions. ww

Hate is a particularly stro... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Hate is a particularly strong word. There is anger - and some salty language - but at no point do I say I hate you. Dislike what you find acceptable, sure. But hate - no.

And while anyone with half a brain would consider pedophilia criminal deviancy, we part ways on lumping homosexuality in that same box. And as far as masterbating in public - well, sometimes ya just got an itch.

Also, I don't think I'd use the word "mature" in your admitting you consider gay friends of yours deviant - whether they know it or not. It's hypocritical and, while I have a gay friend and don't particularly want him to go into intricate details about his dalliances, I don't condemn him for it. Never would. And if I did, I'd have to wonder what kind of friend I was.

It wasn't so long ago that some people believed blacks were inferior to whites. And that opinion is today considered ignorant and appalling. And those who still believe it - such as skinheads - are looked upon with disgust. That kind of discriminating thought regarding gays is similarly as grotesque. And that is where you don't recognize your own ignorance here.

It wasn't so long ... (Below threshold)
It wasn't so long ago that some people believed blacks were inferior to whites. And that opinion is today considered ignorant and appalling. And those who still believe it - such as skinheads - are looked upon with disgust. That kind of discriminating thought regarding gays is similarly as grotesque.

I actually despise this argument whenever it is offered. It shows an appalling lack of understanding of the debate. Being black is not a choice. Period. Engaging in sexual behavior (of whatever stripe) is quite the opposite. Homosexual behavior is the same as any other sexual behavior, it is a choice. Now, there are levels of immorality and deviancy (from pedophilia, bestiality, polygamy, homosexuality, serial adultery, to one-night heterosexual stands.) Where you want to put the line between "deviant" and "immoral" is a personal opinion. Calling someone "ignorant" because they draw the line differently than you is sophomoric. I think it is actually a much more correct use of the term to call someone "ignorant" when they equate sexual behavior with being black. In fact, it is more than ignorant, it is insulting (to blacks).

It wasn't so long ... (Below threshold)
It wasn't so long ago that some people believed blacks were inferior to whites. And that opinion is today considered ignorant and appalling. And those who still believe it - such as skinheads - are looked upon with disgust. That kind of discriminating thought regarding gays is similarly as grotesque.

I actually despise this argument whenever it is offered. It shows an appalling lack of understanding of the debate. Being black is not a choice. Period. Engaging in sexual behavior (of whatever stripe) is quite the opposite. Homosexual behavior is the same as any other sexual behavior, it is a choice. Now, there are levels of immorality and deviancy (from pedophilia, bestiality, polygamy, homosexuality, serial adultery, to one-night heterosexual stands.) Where you want to put the line between "deviant" and "immoral" is a personal opinion. Calling someone "ignorant" because they draw the line differently than you is sophomoric. I think it is actually a much more correct use of the term to call someone "ignorant" when they equate sexual behavior with being black. In fact, it is more than ignorant, it is insulting (to blacks).

Sorry for the double post.<... (Below threshold)

Sorry for the double post.

Calling someone "ignoran... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Calling someone "ignorant" because they draw the line differently than you is sophomoric."

There is no debate regarding homosexuality. Want to call it a choice? Who chooses a life where they are open to ridicule, violence and discrimination. No one sane. Does this make every homosexual person insane by default?

It's not a choice, just like being black is not a choice. Being heterosexual is not a choice.

What is ignorant is the argument that it IS a matter of choice - and by accepting that argument you can feel okay about regarding these people as deviant or immoral, can't you? What is ignorant is to suggest there is "a line."

Hansel, really the bottom l... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hansel, really the bottom line is: "Think just like me or you are ignorant." The difference between you and others is we know their are differing opinions and live with it. You cannot stand knowing someone has just as firm an opinion contrary to yours. That is where maturity comes in. ww

There's no proof that homos... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

There's no proof that homosexual orientation is inherited, but skin color definitely is. Even if homosexual orientation is inherited it does not mean such individuals can automatically serve in the military. Most forms of dwarfism are inherited, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed in the military. Certain inherited traits are simply incompatible with military service. Assuming race was such an inherited trait was wrong, but that doesn't mean that every form of discrimination concerning military service is automatically wrong. Sexual attraction is one of the strongest emotions humans experience and the intrigue and tensions that result simply have no place in military units, and particularly not in combat units. Calling people who understand this ignorant, hateful or intolerant is both ignorant and stupid.

As for morality, the standard is either personal or set by a person's religion. Frankly, a personal standard of morality is worthless because it can be changed at will. Thus, the only form of morality of any value is those established by religion. On the issue of homosexual act, the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran all teach that the act is immoral as are fortification and adultery.

Hansel said:<blockquo... (Below threshold)

Hansel said:

What is ignorant is the argument that it IS a matter of choice

Hansel, no offense but are you TRYING to be obtuse? Note that I said "behavior" in every reference I made regarding homosexuality. What you are doing is throwing out a straw man that is of your own making and it is not only irritating, whenever it is done, it is tacit proof that you do not have a strong enough argument to actual debate the issue on its merits.

Even though the evidence is weak, there may be some indication that a certain percentage of individuals might be INCLINED toward homosexuality. Some people are also inclined toward serial adultery, some toward other behaviors not tolerated by society, and so on. Most people, regardless of their predilections manage to keep this kind of behavior curbed. Some are not able to and, like I said above, if they keep it in their own bedrooms, then fine. Forcing the rest of us to accept it is taking it out of the bedroom and into the public sphere where it is no longer a private issue. When that happens, the behavior is then fair game, in my opinion, to debate.

Since when do we not need m... (Below threshold)
John:

Since when do we not need moral judgment from our leaders? Where would we be without the courageous moral leadership of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and others to overturn slavery and fight for civil rights for blacks in the US?

In his 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" Rev. King wrote, "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law." This week General Pace is drawing the same kind of moral conclusion as King when, it appears, he looks to God's moral law for guidance. We need this kind of leadership in a society where it is becoming far more common to follow our passions, rather than an established moral anchor.

I am thankful for leaders like General Pace. If we succumb to Rep. Pelosi's call to abandon moral judgment, we will only drift steadily toward the tyranny of what feels good at the moment - in other words, anarchy.

If we succumb to ... (Below threshold)
If we succumb to Rep. Pelosi's call to abandon moral judgment, we will only drift steadily toward the tyranny of what feels good at the moment - in other words, anarchy.

Well put John. Of course, the postmodernists will not agree but hopefully there are enough people who agree with MLK left in this country to stand up to the corruption that is exemplified by Pelosi and co.

The thing is... homosexuali... (Below threshold)

The thing is... homosexuality is deviant. It deviates from the norm. Deciding that it doesn't is playing games with words.

Should homosexuals have any of their civil rights taken away or have to hide or be treated badly as they have been in the past? No.

Do some religions teach that some practices are immoral including men having sex with men? Yes. Christianity, in particular, teaches a strict "within marriage only" rule about sex yet extra-marital sex is assumed in our culture. Are those things considered "sins" and are they considered "wrong?" Yes, they are.

Do we stone women for adultery? No, we don't. Is it okay to preach that adultery is wrong? YES, it is. And if it makes someone "living in sin" uncomfortable, whoop-de-do.

This idea that we should never *ever* express the opinion that something is wrong is the worst kind of attempt at thought control.

I've seen it in relation to single mother-hood. To so much as suggest that a two parent household is better for children is to make single mothers, who may have no choice about it, feel bad. So what do we do instead? We pretend that it makes no difference what sort of a family children grow up in. We can't even *talk* about it.

And we can't talk about sex either. Or consequences of sexual immorality, because it might make people feel bad. Moreover, we can't talk about homosexuality as having any place in sexual morality because it's either be "hateful" or else celebrate the "lifestyle." Is it really any wonder that so many people think that homosexuality and the homosexual "lifestyle" are one and the same thing?

What would happpen if instead when someone talked about sexual morality the "other side" didn't try to shut them up but responded with "yes, sexual morality matters, let's talk about it?" There are enough homosexuals who find the "lifestyle" emotionally unsatisfying that it could be an interesting, and healing, discussion.

What if, when discussing gays in the military instead of "apologize now or else!" the response was "I can see how it might cause difficulties, how can we solve them?"

Conversations can't happen at all if people aren't allowed to express their honest opinions for fear of hurting someone's feelings.

Look at europe and the holocaust. Shutting the deniers up does no good at all but to let them fester in the darkness while feeling oppressed and very brave.

It's not freedom or liberty to say that only what is approved of can be expressed.

Synova,Well said. ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Synova,

Well said. Another great post!

A good quote that pretty mu... (Below threshold)
stevenrobb:

A good quote that pretty much sums this up:

"How, then, can it be immoral to be gay?

At this point, of course, someone is frantically pointing to an obscure Old Testament passage as his or her authority for the immorality of homosexuality. Thing is, the Old Testament also requires the death penalty for disrespectful children, forbids the eating of meat cooked rare and obligates the man who rapes a virgin to buy her from her father and marry her.

I've seen no groundswell of support for those commands.

Morality, it has always seemed to me, has less to do with commonalities of existence than with how you treat other people."

Stevenrobb,You may... (Below threshold)

Stevenrobb,

You may have missed reading the post on this issue above but one does not need to "frantically" go to the Old Testament at all to substantiate a Christian doctrinal position on this issue. You many not agree with the doctrine but it is a foundational scriptural principal. The prohibition against homosexual behavior is in Romans 1. This is in the New Testament, is easily found (i.e. it is not "obscure"), and thus, is foundational to Christian doctrine.

As for a "groundswell of support for those commands", this society is against gay marriage by a HUGE majority (even deep blue states have recently voted it down). So the morality issue is forefront in everyone's mind. Whether people are against homosexual behavior because of religious doctrinal reasons, or they simply have the common sense to realize that it is a destructive behavior (just like the rest of the list Paul gives in Romans 1), is neither here nor there.




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