Monday, October 24, 2011

Shameless immorality

Am I the only full-blooded social conservative to be glad to see an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell?”

For what it’s worth, Francis Beckwith agrees with him. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily equal two “full-blooded social conservatives” who support queering the military. Indeed, that arguably dilutes their conservative bloodstream.

The policy seemed designed to encourage deceit and place military men and women in a position to be blackmailed.

Several issues:

i) Unless they belong there in the first place, when should they be exempt from blackmail? So that objection begs the key question.

ii) “Don’t ask/don’t tell” isn’t equivalent to lying about your sexuality. Keeping your mouth shut is not a lie.

iii) It would only encourage deceit if it encouraged homosexuals to enlist, then dissimulate about their sexuality.

iv) Suppose (arguendo) that it did encourage deceit? So what?

JMR seems to be assuming that honesty is better than deceit. But is it really that simple? Is honesty still a virtue if you’re boastful about your vices? Is it virtuous to be frankly shameless about your vicious behavior?

Isn’t that an aggravated vice? Adding shamelessness to the underlying vice? Cf. Jer 6:15 (“Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush”).

It’s like asking, which is morally superior–an honest serial killer or a shady serial killer?

If homosexual practice is a vice, then it is incompatible with being an “officer and a gentleman/lady,” but I do not see that we have ever required very genteel behavior from our officers. Surely if we were not going to discharge those soliciting prostitutes abroad, then it was hypocritical to remove those engaged in this particular vice?

i) Is it legal for American soldiers to solicit prostitutes abroad?

ii) More to the point, how is “hypocrisy” relevant to the issue. This betrays JMR’s inability to prioritize issues. Suppose George Patton is a hypocrite. Suppose Omar Bradley is scrupulous. If it’s a choice between a hypocritical military genius and a dutiful hack, who should I choose?

Isn’t a key issue, who is the better general–not who is the better man

I think homosexual behavior is morally wrong. It is dangerous, however, to make every wrong the basis of employment or participation in parts of society. Just as all vices need not be illegal, all vices are not relevant to all jobs.

That’s a straw man.

I also have no background in the military and must be open to the idea that certain vices are particularly onerous in combat zones, but the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was pure Clinton. It was a policy built on lies and lies make rational decision making hard.

Actually, Colin Powell was the architect of that policy.

Let’s assume contexts exist where serving with a homosexual person is difficult. Surely many in a unit would know or guess the “not telling” person’s orientation? If serving with a practicing homosexual is a problem in some contexts, then isn’t it better to know when those contexts occur than have to guess?

Giving homosexuals the “right” to serve in the military opens the door for sexual harassment suits, sexual discrimination suits, and so on. Instead of soldiers who trust each other, soldiers focused on the mission, it fosters a climate of fear and distrust among the ranks. Shouldn't our objective be to have the best fighting force? 

If there are good reasons that make this particular vice incompatible with military service, then I do not understand the historic success of the British navy. Churchill assures his readers that the Royal Navy could not have expelled every person participating in it.

Among other things, I think that confuses sodomy with homosexual “orientation.” Normal heterosexual men who are separated from women for extended periods (like sailors) sometimes resort to sodomy. As soon as their tour ends, they revert to normal, heterosexual relations.

I’m not condoning that behavior, but it’s a different dynamic. 

1 comment:

  1. Within the article the question is asked:

    "i) Is it legal for American soldiers to solicit prostitutes abroad?

    My answer: "Yes" ....after the soldier is legally released from their legal duty to the Armed Forces and have renounced their citizenship in the United States and are granted citizenship in a country where prostitution is legal.