Should Gays and Lesbians Serve in the Military?

With the vote in Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” some conservative Christians are upset that gays and lesbians will be able to serve openly in their beloved institution. “Will the last masculine institution fall?” asked Dave Welch of the U.S. Pastor Council back in December, although I don’t know how masculine an institution the military is when there are 200,000 women serving in it. Well, apparently it will fall, but only sixty days after the secretary of defense “has received DOD’s comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees

  • that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action,
  • that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and
  • that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention.”

These Christians may have a point; and then again they may not. What I find strange is that few of the Christians objecting to gays and lesbians serving openly in the military have a problem with anything the military does. They never question the military launching preemptive strikes in foreign countries, invading foreign countries, occupying foreign countries, fighting wars in foreign countries, assassinating people in foreign countries, changing regimes in foreign countries, spreading democracy at the point of a gun in foreign countries, enforcing no-fly zones in foreign countries, intervening in the affairs of foreign countries, stationing troops in over 150 foreign countries, and maintaining over 1,000 bases in foreign countries. Should gays and lesbians serve in the military? Once in the military, they will be expected to blindly follow the orders of their superiors and not exercise independent thought. They will often times not be in a position to know whether an order is in fact dubious or immoral. They will be expected to, without reservation, drop that bomb, fire that weapon, launch that missile, and throw that grenade, as well as directly kill people and destroy their property. Should gays and lesbians serve in the military? Once in the military, there is no guarantee that they will be in a non-combat role, regardless of what the lying military recruiters say. There is a chance they could be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, or covertly to Yemen or Pakistan, where they could die in vain and for a lie. They might be put into a position where they will have to kill or be killed. They might come home from Iraq with limbs amputated, like hundreds already have. They might come home from Afghanistan with serious brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and thoughts of suicide, unable to ever again hold down a job. Should gays and lesbians serve in the military? Once in the military, they will not be defending our freedoms, protecting us from terrorists, fighting for what is right, or guaranteeing our way of life. Their work will not be limited to the defense of U.S. borders, shores, coasts, and skies. They will instead be expected to serve as the president’s personal attack force to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary and that may never have attacked or threatened the United States. And then they will be expected to kill foreigners that resist being bombed, invaded, and occupied. Should gays and lesbians serve in the military? Once in the military, they will be helping to carry out a reckless and belligerent foreign policy that stirs up hatred against the United States and creates terrorists. They will be expected to carry out a foreign policy that perverts the use of the military and is contrary to the Founding Fathers’ policy of nonintervention in the affairs of other countries. Should gays and lesbians serve in the military? Perhaps some more pressing questions are should heterosexuals serve in the military? Should Christians serve in the military? Should atheists serve in the military? Should anyone serve in the military?