The House Armed Services Committee has scheduled the first hearings to review the “don’t ask don’t tell” law since it was enacted in 1993 under President Clinton. The law disqualifies homosexuals from serving in the military.
Individuals are deemed homosexual, according to this law, if they publicly state so. However, the military is prohibited from asking. Thus, “don’t ask don’t tell.”
Activists are now pushing for change to allow homosexuals to serve openly.
The discussion we can anticipate will be technical. Does the presence of openly homosexual soldiers undermine “cohesiveness” of units, morale and discipline? How would retention rates of troops or enlistments be affected?
For certain, however, discussion about the general moral implications of such a policy will not take place.
When early last year then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace called homosexuality “immoral,” more fire and brimstone rained down on him than fell on the residents of Sodom and Gomorra for engaging in this behavior.
Rebukes came from Democrats and Republicans alike. Republican Sen. John Warner, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, writing his own scripture, challenged Pace’s “view that homosexuality is immoral.”
Although a recent Zobgy poll of military personnel shows more opposed to allowing homosexuals to serve openly than favoring (37 percent to 26 percent), the direction of polling of the general public favors the pro-homosexual forces.
When “don’t ask don’t tell” was enacted in 1993, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed 52 percent opposed to homosexuals serving openly and 43 percent in favor. By 2004, Gallup polling indicated 63 percent in favor of allowing homosexuals to serve against 32 percent opposed.
The culture war is like the recipe for boiling a frog. If you drop it in hot water, it jumps out. But if you drop it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, you get frog soup.
Concession by concession, traditional values are being pushed, inexorably, to the margins of America.
It’s a sign of this moral war of attrition that each battle is fought with less and less attention to what it means to the overall war.
Acceptance of open homosexuals in the military means the next discussion will be qualification of homosexual couples for the same benefits received by traditional military families.
In all likelihood, we’ll see claims of discrimination if a homosexual gets passed over for promotion and intimidated review committees will become increasingly politically correct.
But, hey, in the morally relative world, a glass half empty for one is half full for the other.
Increasing acceptance of homosexual behavior is viewed by many as social progress. The Seattle Times, for example, calls for a “modernized” military that accepts open homosexuals.
But for this traditionalist, it’s no accident that building public acceptance of homosexuality is coincident with a general moral unraveling of our society, with all its destructive consequences.
According to Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, 32 percent of American households today are non-traditional compared to only 28 percent that are traditional, with a mother, father and children. He points out that children in non-traditional households have considerably higher incidence of emotional and educational problems.
I would argue that most of the major costs dragging down our society today – whether its poverty, entitlements, health care or housing – trace to our diminishing sense of personal responsibility and the erosion of traditional values.
Our first great general, George Washington, would be oh so politically incorrect today, cautioning against believing “that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle” and admonishing that “virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
“Gays in the military” is more than a question of military morale. It’s about the character of this country.
Who would question what Washington would say about this important issue?