Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is at Stake in "Don't Ask Don't Tell"?

For all the talk I hear about this issue, I never hear the real heart of the issue addressed. This shows that the pro-sexual revolution activists are succeeding in framing the debate on their terms and, as I learned in high school parliamentary-style debating, whoever gets to define the terms of the debate has a huge advantage and is likely to win regardless of the merits of the two positions themselves.

All the debate surrounds the supposed harm done to homosexuals who have to "hide" their behavior and not have it "affirmed" as good by those around them. Those opposed to changing the policy talk of "combat effectiveness" and "morale issues," which seem pretty ambiguous and hard to nail down. Defined this way, the traditional view is going to lose.

What stands out to me are facts like these: (1) homosexuals are not hunted down and thrown out of the military, (2) homosexuals are not being discriminated against in terms of promotion or rewards, and (3) no one is telling homosexuals that they have to agree with traditional sexual morality that says that homosexuality is morally evil.

What is at stake here is not the rights of homosexuals to be left alone like other minorities, but a change to the views of the majority to embrace homosexuality as good. This is what the activists want: they want people like me to change our morality. My question is to them is: if we leave can you alone, why can't you leave us alone?

The open "recognition" the activists demand is not "tolerance." They already have that but they are not satisfied with mere tolerance. Yet tolerance is all that any minority has a right to demand in a liberal society. As an Evangelical I can't demand that everybody abandon their own faith and embrace key tenets of mine just because I feel that I am diminished in some way by the lack of affirmation I receive from my work colleagues or the government. What I have right to demand is the right to be left alone to practice my religion as I see fit and to have my request for conscientious objection to certain things taken seriously. These minimal standards of tolerance are possible for everyone in society. But to demand that everyone approve of my lifestyle and regard it as equal to their own is simply impossible.

Here we come to the heart of the problem. Pro-sexual revolution activists insist that traditional Christians, Jews, Muslims and others change their sincerely-held religious views to agree with them. This is intolerant, illiberal and authoritarian. It is inconsistent with a liberal democratic society. It is like Evangelicals coercing everyone else in society into going to church every Sunday or Catholics forcing everyone else in society to recognize the Pope's authority.

If the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is repealed, the result will not be more toleration and openness in society, but less. It will represent the victory of secularism over Christianity and Judaism. It will represent the imposition of one particular morality on everyone without respect for conscience or tradition.

In Canada, we have experience with same-sex "marriage" laws and we see what they are really designed to do. They are designed to provide a legal framework for the imposition of one particular morality on everyone by coercion. They represent a rationale for rejecting claims to conscientious objection. They give the most radical activists among us the legal standing to eradicate all traditional, Judeo-Christians morality and natural law from the public square.

If "Don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, the most likely result will be the loss of hundreds and hundreds of Evangelical Christian military chaplains. They will gradually be forced out as a "pro-homosexuality" morality is imposed on the chaplaincy. It will be gradual but the pressure will be steady and many people will be tempted to compromise out of agony of conscience. Others will "go underground" and try to keep their heads down while realizing that they are vulnerable to be "outed" and court-martialed at any time.

The end result will not be a more tolerant and accepting institution but simply one in which traditional Christianity is treated more harshly than homosexuals are treated today. It will be a situation in which traditional Christians have fewer rights than homosexuals currently have. How does that make society more just or tolerant?


Father Doug said...

Remember the climax of the old Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th St.? The heroes are trying to get the court to acknowledge that Santa Claus really exists. (While it is obvious to everybody that that's impossible.) Finally, the appeal is made to the Post Office. (Quoting from memory) "If the United States Post Office, an official department of the US Government accepts mail addressed to Santa Claus, then according to the Government of the United States, there is in fact a Santa Claus." Such will be the argument from the repeal of DADT over gay "marriage" and whatnot. An official arm of the US Government affirms that these relationships are good, normal and equivalent to marriage, therefore they are.
And the results will be just as ridiculous (and everybody will know it, but won't say it.)

penny farthing said...

Father Doug,

That's the best example I've ever heard for this issue! Thank you. I have been trying to figure out a good way to explain this, and you did it perfectly.

It also occurs to me, based on that example, that the legal precedent this will set, once gay servicemembers start demanding benefits for their partners and so forth, will result in the courts and the rest of the government giving into the entire homosexual agenda for all issues. It also conveniently eliminates the need for Congress to pass any laws, since it can all be done in the courts. Because who cares what the voters think?