Tag Archives: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

On Boy Scouts And Equality

I was a Boy Scout, once upon a long time ago. I did Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Made it to Second Class… failed the swim test twice. Not because I can’t swim, but the first time was in a lake where I couldn’t touch the ground and that always freaks me out and the second time I ate too much for breakfast. …feel I have to defend myself there. Anyway, when I switched high schools, I basically just stopped doing Boy Scouts, though I probably could have made it to Eagle without much of a problem. I had most of the requirements done.

Anyway, Boy Scouts was intended to help young boys become men with a certain set of skills and traits. A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Nice traits to have, right? Not bad things, I think, and entirely independent of any religion or dogma. Unfortunately, despite those traits being independent of dogma, most of the Boy Scouts have aligned themselves with a conservative Christian viewpoint. What this has come to mean is, openly homosexual males are not allowed to be involved in the organization at all.

Well, the times, they are a’changin’, maybe.

Recently, with gay rights taking some big steps in both reality, such as the new states that have legalized gay marriage and the ending of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and symbolism, via President Barack Obama’s reference to gay rights in his inaugural address, things seem to have a bit of a forward momentum. Recently, that forward momentum hit the Boy Scouts of America and they’ve started considering dropping their ban on homosexuals.

But it’s not all good news for equality, of course. See, a large portion of Boy Scout Troops are sponsored by churches. Christian churches. Many of which have particular views about homosexuals and homosexuality. Views that are frankly often contrary both to Christianity and reality, but that’s a topic to rehash another time. Anyway, many of those churches are threatening to pull their sponsorship and funding if the Boy Scouts change their stance on homosexuals.

I just don’t get it. If you can show me once, just once, where Christ turned away a sinner and said, “No, I can’t be seen around you, I disapprove of the things you do,” I’ll eat my hat. Did he rebuke some sinners, like the Pharisees? Sure. But he also ate with sinners, mingled with them, talked to them, treated them as equals. Not as a separate species to be treated with disdain and derision.

If Christ walked among us today, it’s the conservative Christians that would have him crucified this go round. The Pharisees are back, and they just don’t like gay people.

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Stop! Your Sexuality Is Distracting Me

So, now that my six part one-a-day-kept-the-political-blogs-at-bay Star Wars themed segment “Second First Time Viewer” is done, it’s time to get back to the stuff I was writing before. Which, while theoretically is everything, was mostly political in nature.

And what luck! Tonight was another Republican nominee “debate,” (I’ll probably write about that later) the first one I actually managed to watch most of via YouTube.

…this has quickly become one of the many things I will regret for a while.

I did jump in late and only got into the debate around the time of the immigration talk, but there was one section I saw that made me a little upset. A homosexual soldier asked his question via YouTube about whether or not the candidates would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

So, the background. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a military policy signed into law during the Clinton administration. Basically, soldiers weren’t supposed to ask other soldiers about their sexuality, be they straight or gay, and no one was supposed to talk about it. And, if people knew that you were a homosexual, be you gay or lesbian, it was bye bye to military service. This policy was repealed on Tuesday after many (stupid) years of being enacted.

Well, as you might be able to guess, not everyone is happy about this.

Recently, in The Huntsville Times, my local paper, a man from Owens Crossroads wrote that accepted or granting normalcy to the things God has deemed sinful would lead this nation down a slippery slope to bad times. I’m paraphrasing, of course. He also said something about not letting soldiers date, so I guess he doesn’t like women being in the military either.

And then, there’s good old Rick Santorum, the only candidate who answered the question tonight as I recall (thank goodness). He is definitely for reinstating it, yet somehow not kicking out any already outed soldiers, or at least not the soldier that asked the question. According to this Associated Press article, since I can’t find a transcript from the debate yet, Santorum said that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly distracts soldiers from their duty to protect the country. According to what I remember of the event (I may have blacked out in anger/sheer depression at one point), Santorum essentially suggested that soldiers shouldn’t be having sex.

Man, sometimes I wish Kickpuncher from NBC’s show “Community” could kickpunch some sense into people.

To the guy that wrote to The Huntsville Times: Your argument is literally a slippery slope. Like, seriously, that’s the basis of your argument. Has no one ever heard of logical fallacies? But let’s say you have a point about the whole God thing. And let’s say that the Judeo-Christian God has even explicitly stated that homosexuality (not homosexual sex, but the entire sexuality package) is a sin (which, by the by, He didn’t [and there’s THAT can o’ worms opened]). Are you saying that the military should kick out everyone that commits a sin in the eyes of the Christian God? Because, if I remember my Bible correctly, isn’t there something about all being sinners and falling short of the glory of God?

But he’s not going to read this, so I won’t beat up on silly guy who wrote a letter that frankly made less than no sense too much.

Rick Santorum, however, I don’t feel the need to hold back about.

Have you served in the military, Rick? Your Wikipedia makes no mention of military service. So how exactly do you know what’s distracting to our troops?

I’ll readily admit, I’ve never served in the military either. But this argument about it being distracting and such? That sounds like some of the arguments made against desegregating the military. “Oh, my heavens! A black man! I can no longer fight this war!” (For the purposes of that last line, imagine that a Civil War era Southern belle was in our modern military for some reason.)

Also, with the undercurrent of this idea I picked up from what you said, that soldiers shouldn’t be doing the sexytimes, first, why the heck not? Second, why do people think that all homosexuals are randy and sexually active? That you can only be gay if you’ve had homosexual sex? I run into that thought process waaaay too many times, and it kind of shows this enormous ignorance about what sexuality even is.

Now, I know that there’s this idea that knowing someone is gay and having to shower communally with them is “creepy” or “weird.” And that will somehow demoralize the troops.

…are our troops so undisciplined that they can’t get over something like that? “That person that I am not sexually attracted to over there seeing me in a state of undress is sexually attracted to me.” Maybe it’s a bit uncomfortable, but we use the phrase “soldier on” to talk about powering through situations that are uncomfortable or negative for a reason. People of both genders that you are not sexually attracted to may find you sexually attractive, and may or may not inform you, and it’s pretty much awkward every time. You learn to get over it.

Are homosexuals less able to defend our nation? Less a part of this nation? No. The homosexuals in this nation that go through the training every soldier goes through are just as capable at their duties as the next guy. Sexuality doesn’t affect that. At all.

Really, the only argument I’ve heard against it that even makes the most remote bit of sense is that the Marine Corps is afraid they may lose their “manly image.”

First, I have to mention the Sacred Band of Thebes. A military group that was nothing but homosexuals and, surprise surprise, kicked some serious butt. You think “300” was all about the manly man fighters, they had nothing on the Sacred Band.

Second, I’ve met some Marines. Some that I know are not heterosexual. And some that I know are not men. And let me tell you, the lady Marine that I know? A mighty sexy lady that still manages to put the fear of God into me just by looking in my direction. And if the inclusion of women in your ranks isn’t damaging your stereotypical male-power manly image, I can’t imagine that the inclusion of homosexual males that could probably kill me with one ab would.

Good riddance, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Legalized segregation shouldn’t even be an issue.

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