Religious-right activists continue to voice their enthusiastic support for recent comments by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that gays should not be allowed to serve openly in the military because homosexuality is “immoral.” While some make specious arguments about the military value of a ban on gays in the armed forces, most of these activists incorporate Gen. Peter Pace’s remarks into their larger “culture war” against gays in all walks of life.
Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition asserts that being gay is “incompatible with effective military service,” writing that “Sodomy is one of those behaviors that has been considered dissolute and a danger to military cohesiveness and readiness. … we do not want a ‘Brokeback Mountain’ military.” A form letter from Vision America argues that allowing gays to serve openly would weaken the military because “Ultimately our security is in God’s hands. To ensure his aid, we must remain obedient to his law.” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warns that backers of letting gays serve want to “turn the military into a laboratory for their liberal social ideas.”
Pat Buchanan sees Pace’s leadership in a different war: the “culture war”:
What this uproar tells us is that America is no longer a moral community. On the most fundamental issues — abortion, promiscuity, homosexuality, euthanasia, sterilization, cloning, and the creation of, and buying and selling of, fetuses for research — we are at war. What part of the nation sees as progress, the other sees as depravity.
And where there is no moral community, there will not long be one country. For in a religious or culture war, there is no peaceful coexistence. One side wins, the other side loses.
As President Bush said, he who is not with us is against us.
Gary Bauer agrees, and makes the argument that somehow this is part of “how demands to normalize homosexuality are coming in direct conflict with religious freedom”:
This is yet one more example of why we are losing the culture war. We have gone from a culture where expressing support for immoral behavior could cost you your job to a culture where expressing support for traditional morality can cost you your job. When a small group of radicals can convince us that our values are “bigoted,” that we must remain silent, that we have no rights to express our views publicly, they win and we lose. The debate is shut down because we have surrendered the field.
My friends, I refuse to be silenced and you should, too! Please call the White House comment line …
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, predicts that if gays were allowed to serve openly in the military, our armed forces would be depleted in the ensuing mass exodus of people who can’t serve alongside gays: “If ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ were to be jettisoned, you would have a larger number of homosexuals and lesbians volunteering to serve, but at what cost? For every additional ‘gay’ person induced to serve … how many potential soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen would be less likely to enlist (from the more than 90 percent of the population which is not ‘gay’)?” Land asked. “Additionally, how many current military personnel would resign from the service in protest because they too believe homosexual behavior is immoral and would not choose to be in close unit contact with such behavior?”
Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness says Pace didn’t go far enough because he failed to mention that the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is part of a ban on gays in the military. “Duly enacted laws, including prohibitions against lying, stealing, and murder, should not be repealed just because they coincide with religious principles and moral codes such as the Ten Commandments.”
Finally, the Family Policy Network asks its supporters to send letters asserting that “His comments are based on the clear teachings of scripture.” The group claims that the White House has abandoned the general, and insinuates a lack of commitment on the part of Bush.
Unfortunately — despite President Bush’s claims to support the Christian moral values you and I care so deeply about — the White House thus far refuses to support General Pace. General Pace and countless other Bible-believing service members have put their lives on the line repeatedly to defend our freedoms of religion and speech. Now — as pro-homosexual lobbyists and politicians blast General Pace for exercising those rights he has defended — he is being asked to forfeit the very freedoms he has fought to defend!