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Friday, December 3, 2010

On Southern Baptists, Don't Ask-Don't Tell, and a Coconut in the Sun


While Ann Coulter explains her view that WikiLeaks contributing traitor editor Bradley Manning could serve as a "poster boy for the don't ask, don't tell' " debate, Baptist Press brings us up to speed on some of the latest developments in this ongoing contraversy. I found the perceived, unintended consequences of repealing such a policy to be quite noteworthy...

"Of those surveyed, 30 percent of the total, 43 percent of the Marines, 48 percent of Army combat units and 58 percent of Marine combat units believe that a repeal of the law would have a negative or very negative impact on their units' ability to work together to get the job done," (Sen. John) McCain said. "Furthermore, 67 percent of Marines and nearly 58 percent of Army soldiers in combat units believe that repeal of the law would have negative consequences on unit cohesion in a field environment or out at sea."

McCain added, "I remain concerned ... as demonstrated in this study that the closer we get to service members in combat, the more we encounter concerns about whether Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be repealed and what impact that would have on the ability of these units to perform their mission."

Another point raised in the Baptist Press article is one that you seldom (if ever) hear brought up in the Mainstream Media..


"More than 60 chaplains, including Southern Baptist chaplains, signed a letter to Obama and (Sec of Defense) Gates earlier this year expressing concern that overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell would result in the marginalizing of "deeply held" religious beliefs and could harm religious liberty. They warned that changing the policy could influence everything from what a chaplain can say in a sermon to what he can say in a counseling session. The fear is that chaplains who speak against homosexuality will have a discrimination complaint filed against them. Chaplains who preach through entire books of the Bible, the letter said, would "inevitably present religious teachings that identify homosexual behavior as immoral."

"Thus, while chaplains fulfill their duty to God to preach the doctrines of their faith, they would find themselves speaking words that are in unequivocal conflict with official policies," the letter said."

Also weighing in on this debate is someone who is an occaisional commenter here, Coco Rico, who posted his thoughts on the matter over at his blog....

"In the military, you have no privacy; you sleep with the door open, you share your personal space with tons of other people, and you are often naked around people of the same sex. Tensions can get very high. Within two weeks, for instance, there were two suicides in my brigade. And suicides in the Reserves this year actually outpace suicides in the regular Army. The statistics obscure, also, people who kill themselves shortly after getting out of the military, or people who might have allowed themselves to get in harm's way down range.


What, in this scenario, makes you think it is urgent to repeal DADT?


Well, as usual, we have the melodramatic examples. There's the Air Force colonel, the Arabic translator, Lt. Dan Choi, people with horror stories from the 1980s, or mid 1990s, or some other time that had nothing to do with today."

When exactly are policymaking social engineers going to realize that the military is quite unlike either IBM or Westinghouse? The fact that the role of the military is quite different than these organizations is lost upon them as they try to initiate a gigantic social experiment on a group that often faces live enemy fire, IED's, land mines, etc. and the upmost importance of cohesion and working together doesn't merely benefit some quarterly financial projections, it directly affects whether one comes home alive or not and in one piece.


I agree that this is a terrible time to be debating this issue. With sectarian violence flaring in Iraq and the Taliban trying to reassert authority and undermine the kleptocracy fledgling government in Afghanistan, why don't they just wait until tensions on the Korean peninsula escalate to a full-scale, shooting war and then introduce a bill to vote on it's repeal? It would only be consistent with their demonstrated order of priorities. This was, after all, a campaign promise and we can't just let that go by now, can we?


3 comments:

Theological Discourse said...

Air Force here. There's a problem that people continue to hint at but never really tackle head on, which are showering/co habitation and MEO (military equal opportunity.) It is unequal treatment if homosexuals can shower/live with people they're sexual attracted to and heterosexuals are prevented from showering with people they're sexual attracted to.

I guess the military would need to force gay men to shower/live with gay women, but that doesn't help the situation with bi sexuals. I don't think people understand what a huge issue this could turn out to be.

JD Curtis said...

It's a cluster TD and I cannot understand why people can't just leave well enough alone.

Jquip said...

It's instructive to note that what Coco Rico is describing is no different than any other total institution that is a State institution. If one is curious to the social issues that arise in a non-mortal circumstance they need only look at prison for comparison.

There is the notable objection that convicts tend to be of a different, lower, caliber than our service men and women and so direct objections cannot be drawn. Others will note that homosexuals likewise tend to be of a different, lower, caliber than heterosexual men and women.

So the obvious compromise for a test case is to wipe gender distinctions completely out of the military. To bunk men and women together. To have them shower together. And to have them serve under grotesque psychological stress together with little oversight and all the attendant increases in promiscuity and inter-gender domestic violence already familiar to the armed forces. If it cannot work under this manner then it cannot work with those of same sex and differing sexual preferences.