Religious Right Vows to Fight Effort to “Sexualize the Military”

In his State of the Union Address last night, President Obama pledged to “work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are” and Religious Right groups wasted no time in pledging to fight his “sexualize the military“:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama’s first State of the Union Address:

“At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, the timing of the President’s call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation’s security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.

“The military is a warrior culture for a reason: Our service members wear the uniform to fight and win wars, not serve as liberal social policy guinea pigs. The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected.

While Rob Schenck doesn’t seem to realize that gays are already serving in the military

Come ‘on, let’s be grown ups. There’s a reason the military doesn’t have men and women showering together. Please don’t dismiss this one as a childish vestige of a now distant Victorian past. The fact is you don’t want people around you in a shower that are erotically stimulated by your naked body. Now, I may be betraying my naïve ignorance here about how gay people get excited, but none of my gay acquaintances have ever said it works terribly different for them then it does for straights. The site of an attractive nude body probably does for gays what it does for straights. (Unless, of course, you are gifted with a disinterest in sex, period. That’s another matter.) For most of us, testosterone, estrogen and libido are forward moving forces that need at least a modicum of external controls, including segregated showering and dressing spaces.

I’ve purposely left until last the most incendiary element of this State of the Union attack on personal, moral, social and religious sensibilities—its affect on our relations with the Muslim world. When I participated in my first face-to-face formal dialogue between Christian and Muslim leaders in an Islamic country, I was asked at the start, “Do you accept homosexuality?” Homosexuality is a deal-breaker for the vast majority of Muslims. I know, we don’t want to kowtow to oppressive religions, no matter how many adherents they have, but, again, if we’re looking to solve problems, this is not the way to do it.