Postmodern classic?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Gay controversy

Right now there's a vibrant debate underway at Blackfive, initiated by Uncle Jimbo, on the role of gays in the military. I left a comment, but I felt it was insufficient so I'm expanding on it here. There is a lot of disagreement, but the ultimate consideration should be that of readiness: would it undermine morale or effectiveness? The military is there for one reason, to protect our nation, not to serve as a laboratory for social experimentation. I have to say yes, making it legal for open service would undermine readiness. Clearly, there have been many successful militaries which had (or even encouraged) homosexuals. Only the big ones like say- the Greeks, Romans (possibly the Brits, from what we know), among others. Alexander the Great thought it was good for unit cohesion and made them fight harder. They had a system which worked.

Enter the 21st century American military. I will have a hard time with this argument if I can't explain the large role of American Christianity in the military, some would argue a central role. Like it or leave it, it is the guiding morality for many, if not most, of our serving military personnel. A sense of common values is an important part to building the cohesion of a fighting force, and the good old-time religion still does the job. Unless you think vague ideas of multicultural unity or other ineffectual post-modern blather could be a successful substitute for developing the moral courage to defend our nation abroad, reference: most European military institutions following WW2.

But that's a tradition that's not imposed on all, despite criticisms. What gay rights seems to threaten is not Christianity, but the primary institution of it: the ideal of a monogamous marriage. Obviously not achieved in many an instance, but I would argue, still the ideal. To me it seems that, (as un-PC as it may seem) to be a successful NCO or officer one needs to be married. In the old days it was seen to be essential, now it's more recommended, but still important. Just the financial aspect, alluded to in the thread, of determining how to decide marital benefits, would be a bureaucratic nightmare. However difficulty and cost should not be significant factors in determining what is the right thing to do. But doesn't the idea of radically redefining marriage kind of scare you? It does me!

We're all sinners, and gays are no different. But let's see if this country could continue to produce fighters if our families are no longer supported by society. It wouldn't happen overnight, well past the attention span of our 'progressive media'. But I believe that as a matter of principle. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I'm unimpressed with the claims otherwise. We'll see.


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