Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Implications of the Repeal of DADT for the Church

The US military, like all Western institutions, used to regard homosexuality as a mental disorder and indulgence in homosexual acts as morally evil. Then came the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s and the affirmation of non-procreative sex with the sole object of pleasure for the participants became a widely-accepted cultural norm.

This blurring of the distinction between marital and non-marital sex quickly resulted in the social legitimization of many deviant behaviors such as pre-marital sex, cohabitation, prostitution, polyamory, the hook-up culture, no-fault divorce, serial monogamy, polyamory, polygamy and, eventually, homosexuality.

American society remains deeply divided, however, over the issue of marriage with many Jewish, Evangelical and Catholic Christians, as well as many others, seeking to uphold the ideal of marriage as the only proper place for human sexual expression. This position is becoming more and more difficult to maintain because the widespread acceptance of artificial contraception since the 1960s has blurred the clear distinction between marital (procreative) and non-marital (pleasure for its own sake) sexual activity.

Nevertheless, the attempt has been made to draw the line at marriage. In order to affirm traditional marriage, however, it is necessary to continue to reject all forms of non-marital sex including homosexuality.

Up to this point, the US military has remained neutral on the question of whether homosexuality is a good lifestyle and commendable. While other institutions such as the universities and the trade unions have embraced the logic of the sexual revolution and degraded traditional marriage to the level of merely one option among many others for how humans might choose to express themselves sexually, the military has taken no position and left it up to individuals. This is a classically liberal position.

But now, the US military officially approves of homosexuality as a good way of life and views traditional marriage as merely one option among many equally good ways of expressing human sexuality. So non-marital sex - sex with no goal other than pleasure for pleasure's sake - is officially endorsed as good.

What are the implications of this sea-change in a major American institution?

1. Official government approval of same-sex "marriage" as the same thing as traditional marriage is now inevitable and imminent. Make no mistake, the pro-sexual revolution activists have won a major victory and will not be slow to follow up on it. At yesterday's press conference Obama was already signaling his imminent capitulation to same-sex "marriage."

2. The traditional morality of Jews and Christians may still be held by individuals in private, but as far as the US military is concerned it cannot be the basis of military policy. This means that homosexuals must henceforth be treated equally to heterosexuals and this has millions of practical implications. For starters, homosexuals will be preferred in promotion so that there can be "equality" in leadership. Homosexuals will also have all the rights heterosexuals have and this will impact everything from pensions to housing to marriages performed by chaplains. Will dissenting chaplains be permitted to follow conscience and refuse to perform same-sex "marriages" or (in the intermim) civil unions? Of course not and if so only for a short interim period. Eventually, the chaplain corps will have to be all pro-homosexual. Southern Baptists can forget about the military.

3. We have already seen calls for dissenters who still believe in traditional marriage to be removed from command and this is just the beginning. In fact, this is why activists sought the repeal of DADT: so they could conduct witch hunts against dissenters and impose their (im)morality on everyone. They are not liberal; they are totalitarian. They will not tolerate any questioning of their "Truth."

4. Evangelical and Catholic chaplains gradually will be pressured to conform (burn the pinch of incense to Caesar) or else be disciplined and eventually forced out. You won't see this happen too quickly lest the frog jump out of the kettle but a gradual, steady, increasing pressure will be applied. If the pressure is too quick, the military might see mass resignations of many of its brightest and best in solidarity with its chaplains and even the resignations of 5-10% of key personal could cripple its war-fighting ability.

Don't think that has been thought about and prepared for. Tremendous pressure will be applied to persuade soldiers to remain in place to defend their country even at the cost of their own personal religious convictions. This will place hundreds of thousands of soldiers in a horrible, moral dilemma and will seem like a no-win situation for them.

5. The imposition of the (im)morality of the sexual revolution upon the military is a direct and powerful attack on the middle class, Evangelical church in America designed to split it down the middle and weaken it. The same is true of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholics and Evangelicals stand in the way of the sexual revolution bulldozer and they must be weakened and eventually marginalized. The strategy is to separate Catholic laity from their bishops - as we saw in the health care debate over abortion - and to split the Evangelicals into pro-homosexuality and anti-homosexuality groups. What you cannot destroy, at least weaken to the point where it will self-destruct.

The implosion of Evangelicalism over homosexuality is a very real possibility and the unity of the Roman Catholic Church in America is is real peril. Christian unity will be tested in the day ahead to a degree not seen since the rise of the German Christians in the 1930s.

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