Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gays in the Military....


Last night, I sat and watched the Republican YouTube debate. As always with these things, I have an outsider's view and often find myself agreeing with both sides. As someone who in US terms would be described most accurately as a fiscal liberal and a social conservative, there are things said that I agree with wholeheartedly and some things that sound like drivel. And that's on both sides of the political spectrum.

The debate posed about gays in the military offended me horribly, both as a social conservative and a community member. I can't imagine anyone justifying the marginalization of any segment of the population, especially when it's based on false data. In common terms, I call that "propaganda".

One of the candidates stated that he believed the "don't ask/don't tell" policy was correct because most people who join the military are "conservative" and subscribe to "Judeo-Christian values".

That's garbage.

Most of the people who join the military are minorities and poor people. There are campaigns used by the military to draw them in, promises of college funds and benefits. Many people see it as a way out of poverty and that's an entirely valid reason to choose it.

Why not present it that way? Honestly.

When social conservativism becomes nothing more than a tool to marginalize and discriminate against members of the population, whether it be religion or s*xual orientation, it is wrong and loses its credibility. It is a misapplication of the entire concept. Social conservatism is about traditional values which has almost as many definitions as "blue". What are "traditional values"? Whose values?

Do those values really represent a majority of people in the community? I would say not. If traditional values would loosely be defined as "character, commitment and courage", how can it be seen as courageous, good character or a sign of commitment to imply that an entire segment of the population is lacking those things so completely that they should not be permitted to serve?

Not only is that infantilizing, it is bigotry. The implication then is that gay people are unable to understand appropriate behavior, that they can not control their s*xual impulses enough to work in a group with those who are unlike them. It also perpetuates the idea that gay people want to "recruit" straight people as though it is some bizarre competition where those with the most members at the end wins?

I call that "ignorance". It is no more and no less ignorant than creating social policy based on ethnic stereotypes.

What say you?
~*

20 comments:

meno said...

Remember Anita Bryant? She once said that since gay people can't reproduce, they have to recruit. Like being gay is a cult.

This reaches just about that level of idiocy.

liv said...

enter why I don't watch/read the news. republicans are morons. (i will happily go on the record as saying that)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The same issue comes up regularly regarding school teachers. There is a noisy contingent that believes gay people should not be allowed near children, which also presupposed that "they" cannot control themselves and are out to corrupt our vulnerable youth.

Statistically, such inappropriate behavior is far more prevalent on the part of heterosexual teachers preying on kids, but for some reason, those who hate gays refuse to acknowledge this fact.

It seems to me that in battle, anyone's sexuality is not relevant. Staying alive is.

ThomasLB said...

The problem is the way it's spun. If politicians announced that as a "special benefit" gays no longer had to serve in the military, conservatives wouldn't be able to get them in there fast enough!

Emily R said...

What say me? Amen, sister.

Julie Pippert said...

Ditto to the amen.

I know you don't watch too many shows, but is one of them Boston Legal?

On one show Denny's old army buddy decided to sue the army for retiring him when he Came Out.

The closing argument?

That's exactly what I think...which is more or less along the lines of what you said here.

Julie
Using My Words

Catherine said...

Wow.

And, I'll add this. If their argument is that most people in the military are conservative and Judeo/Christian and THAT'S why gay folks must stay out...then don't they also need to keep out people who have had sex outside of marriage? Or struggled with envy? Or disobeyed their parents? Or felt pride? Or sat in judgment without mercy? Or neglected to feed the poor? Or haven't visited people in prison? Or have wealth while others have none?

That's what I never get about the religious arguments regarding gay rights - the arguments, while possibly ok in and of themselves, totally fall apart because they are only applied to one segment of the population (gay people). catherine

flutter said...

Um, hi. flutter again. Am I the only one that remembers that "don't ask don't tell" was enstated during the Bill Clinton presidency? That no party will go on record in support of a bill to allow gay people in the military, which is total bullshit because...honestly

Who cares? If you are moved to serve your country, why should anyone care who you sleep with and why the HELL should it be a legislative issue? Doesn't that go right against the whole not being able to discriminate based on sexual orientation in the workplace thing? Or am I cracking up?

bee said...

hi, there.

i really am going to start to read here WAY more often. i've been a stress case lately. much food for thought here.

the word is: " goddess ".

Angela said...

Um....so, let me get this straight. I think I may be confused. If I'm reading what you watched correctly, then the central messages were:

A. Judeo-Christians are intolerant biggots.
B. Conservatives are intolerant biggots.
C. It is necessary to hide the truth of homosexuality from intolerant Judeo-Christian conservative biggots because they are not grown up enough to sit with the cognitive dissonance that may confound them when faced with such a reality.

Am I really confused here?

Angela said...

Um....so, let me get this straight. I think I may be confused. If I'm reading what you watched correctly, then the central messages were:

A. Judeo-Christians are intolerant biggots.
B. Conservatives are intolerant biggots.
C. It is necessary to hide the truth of homosexuality from intolerant Judeo-Christian conservative biggots because they are not grown up enough to sit with the cognitive dissonance that may confound them when faced with such a reality.

Am I really confused here?

Sienna said...

What say me?

You said it perfectly.

I find I just shake my head...as a society we seem to come so far yet feet of clay.

....and a timely reminder to the powers that be that sexual abuse is far far more likely to occur in the home, by a family member or close family *friend*...and yes, heterosexual!....it's the same attitude in Australia, how do these *intelligent* people end up thinking like this, and making decisions for us?

Ignorance is so dangerous, so hurtful so needless.

Backpacking around the world; figuring out life and stuff, I ended up in Thailand, it was like a light switch had been flicked on.

For those that are seeking.. they (the people) reach down into your heart and soul. They are just such beautiful people, I didn't want to leave...thought this is the world I want to live in, these are the people I want to live amongst, the lifestyle I want to embrace. They just get things right. Ironically some other Aussies came and went, remarked they couldn't stand the pollution, the poverty...they had missed the whole point...I struggle to describe it, the feeling of being there. But it's complete.

Despite obvious hardships they endure, they have richness of spirit, peace...I learn so much when I'm there.

Pam

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

If you want to see how I feel about such things, check out my entry from yesterday:

http://a2eatwrite.blogspot.com/2007/11/be-ally-and-friend-transgender-day-of.html

I think we're on the same page here. ;-)

Sober Briquette said...

This should be an area where the government LEADS, but the Federal Govt. is leaving gay rights at the state level. I wonder if it's because they could/would not protect the gay soldiers from harassment by the other soldiers?

What do members of the military who have served with gay people think? Are any of them talking?

MsLittlePea said...

I agree with you whole heartedly on this Chani. One thing you said strikes me too. Especially since I come from a military family.

"Most of the people who join the military are minorities and poor people. There are campaigns used by the military to draw them in, promises of college funds and benefits. Many people see it as a way out of poverty and that's an entirely valid reason to choose it."

It makes me sad that the poor often join the military because they see it as a way out of poverty. Especially since our military is paid so little and the benefits are being whittled away. Especially since it's been reported some people are being discharged a day before the required time to be able to qualify for a college fund. Especially since the majority of those very same flag wavers who call them heroes(and in my opinion, they ARE heroes) were jumping at the bit to send them to a war they knew there was no long term plan for.....I hope these same people will at least support a long term plan to care for the mental health of those coming home with PTSD but seeing as how my own 20 year veteran father has had his benefits whittled away every couple years, I'm not holding my breathe. And these are the same people who question MY patriotism.

JCK said...

Thanks for writing about this. It really speaks to the truth and heart of the issue.

Personally, I should watch the Republicans, but I just...can't. They make me insane.

QT said...

I agree with hearts - can the person I am fighting with help keep me alive should be the only consideration...

CS said...

Absolutely. It's so very absurd, really. Any bigotry can only harm us. But it got me thinking - if they did decide to make it impossible to be in the military if you are gay, then I might well encourage my sons to claim to be gay if the draft is ever re-instated.

Christine said...

complete ignorance and idiocy. it disgusts me.

i care not what your sexual orientation is or what your religion is. i care if you are a good a kind person.

period.

Maurey Pierce said...

All Republicans are nuts. That says me.