Sunday, February 07, 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

I hereby challenge Tom Knapp and David Barton to debate each other over homosexuals in the military. I will act as the anything-but-impartial "moderator," interrupting both sides at will to impose my anarcho-theocratic agenda on the debate.

I will interrupt David Barton's opening presentation to make the following points:

I'll interrupt Tom Knapp as he makes the following points:

If you're forced to keep a secret from your employer, you're vulnerable to extortion.
And if you're vulnerable to extortion, your employer is vulnerable to you.

This is a problem only if Bill Clinton makes it impossible for you to refuse to hire or to fire employees who make you vulnerable.

Dose of reality number one: Homosexuals have been serving in the US armed forces since the Revolution.

Not openly, not knowingly (known to their superiors), as Barton overwhelmingly proves. (Libertarians seem to be susceptible to this kind of historical revisionism, as I've shown before.)

Dose of reality number two: Homosexuality is no longer the taboo or stigma that it once was. That's not to say that the age of gay-bashing and shunning is completely over, but it's certainly moving in that direction.

This doesn't tell us what ought to be the case. What if the position of Washington and Adams becomes dominant once again?

If they're in the military, then they are vulnerable -- not because of their sexual orientation, but because of the military's policy of requiring that that orientation be kept secret on pain of discharge.

But their behavior is kept secret only because Clinton removed the possibility of enquiring about their behavior and preventing their enlistment in the first place.

Vulnerability:

"You can bring some documents home in your briefcase for us to photograph, or your commanding officer can receive an anonymous letter that says you are a homosexual."

"You can dial the phone number I give you when your unit is mobilized, or I can post pictures of you at a gay bar on the Internet."

The same thing could be said if child molesters were knowingly admitted to the military under "Don't ask, don't tell." The answer is to keep child molesters out, not to allow them in, openly and approvingly.

Because they are vulnerable, the military is vulnerable. "Don't ask, don't tell" makes every man and woman in the military -- of any sexual orientation, because a false allegation can be just as much a career-killer as a real one -- a potential vector for infiltration by foreign intelligence services.

Completely illogical. People were vulnerable to false accusations before Clinton. You can't bar someone from employment because they might be falsely accused. Everybody is vulnerable to a false accusation. Jesus Christ was falsely accused. (But then, I hope Knapp's kind of thinking catches on, because it would bar everybody from joining the military.)

[That conservatives are willing to] maintain a dying form of bigotry as a military institution makes it clear that "national security" is way down their list of priorities.

"Bigotry" is mindless conservatism. America's Founding Fathers were not mindless conservatives. If Thomas Jefferson was a bigot, then I am a bigot. Dr. James Dobson's beliefs concerning marriage are increasingly buttressed by scientific studies; his cheerleading for the military is not.

The military makes our nation less secure. There is only one way to make our nation secure: observe "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

That brings us to the article Knapp links to, "My secret life under 'don't ask, don't tell'."

Consider the incident of March 14, 1778, cited by David Barton, in which Lieut. Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted of Sodomy with John Monhort, another soldier. Let's imagine the convicted telling his side of the story like Joan E. Darrah, author of the article Knapp cites:

For most of my career in the Continental Army, I lived two lives and went to work each day wondering if that would be my last. Whenever General George Washington would call me to his tent, 99.9 percent of me was certain that it was to discuss an operational issue. But there was always that fear in the back of my mind that somehow I had been "outed," and he was calling me to his tent to tell me that I was fired. So many simple things that straight people take for granted could have ended my career, even a comment such as "My homosexual partner and I went to the movies last night."

I had pretended to be straight and played the games most gays in the military are all too familiar with -- not daring to have a picture of John on my desk, being reluctant to go out to dinner with him, telling him not to call me at work except in a real emergency, not going to church together, avoiding shopping for groceries together and generally staying out of sight of anyone I knew when we were together. I didn't want to have to lie about who John was or have someone conclude that we were more than casual friends.

Does the military prohibit two women or two men from being "more than casual friends," even best friends? Of course not. The problem only arises when the two women claim a right to violate "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," to say that the Declaration of Independence and America's Founders were all wrong, to say that God is wrong, and that the "marriage" of two men or two women is the moral equivalent of what God ordained.

Maybe the Bible is wrong, and there's nothing immoral about homosexuality or sex with animals, and no basis for keeping people who commit such acts out of the military. Maybe there's really no such thing as "morality." But did Bill Clinton have the authority to use the federal government to make this decision for America? Would Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and John Hancock have agreed with this use of the federal government for social engineering? When Bill Clinton took his oath of office, he said "so help me God," and according to the U.S. Supreme Court, promised to support our nation's "organic law," which rests on "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

The real issue is much bigger than military policy.

Dig beneath the surface of Joan Darrah's story here.

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