Robert Knight

What’s missing in virtually all discussions of this issue is the moral component. It is as if we are forbidden to suggest – ever – that there might be something wrong or immoral or even unhealthy about two men engaging in sex acts with each other, or two women, and that it would rightly offend normal folks.

The drive to airbrush morality out of public discussion unless it reflects liberal aims has been underway for many years. G. K. Chesterton noted it at the turn of the 20th century:

“Men always attempt to avoid condemning a thing upon merely moral grounds. If I beat my grandmother to death tomorrow in the middle of Battersea Park, you may be perfectly certain that people will say everything about it except the simple and fairly obvious fact that it is wrong. Some will call it insane; that is, will accuse it of a deficiency of intelligence…Another school of thinkers will say that the action is lacking in efficiency; that it is an uneconomic waste of a good grandmother. …The only real point is that the action is wicked….modern journalism has a standing fear. It will call the action anything else – mad, bestial, vulgar, idiotic, rather than call it sinful.”

If he were writing today, Chesterton would undoubtedly find the discourse about homosexuality in the military similarly lacking.

John Adams, the father of the U.S. Navy, observed that military leadership depends on strong moral character and integrity. In 1775, Adams wrote the “Commander’s Duties of Supervision and Correction,” in which he told officers in the new fleet “to shew in themselves a good example of … virtue … and suppress all dissolute, immoral and disorderly practices.” The same language can be found in today’s Title 10 of the U.S. Code that defines “Requirements of Exemplary Conduct”: “All commanding officers are required to show in themselves a good example of virtue … (and) to suppress all dissolute and immoral practices.”

Lusting after one’s charges (or fellows or superiors) would be an automatic disqualifier. Homosexual behavior is banned first because it’s immoral, as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace said before he was shown the door for violating political correctness. In addition, it hurts discipline, readiness, retention and recruitment.

Surveys show a majority of service personnel oppose lifting the ban, and at least 10 percent say they would not re-enlist. One can also imagine other implications of welcoming sodomy into the military. Think about mandatory “diversity” training, and the effects on family base housing and on chaplains who preach the whole Word of God. Think about the Bible being recast as “hate speech.”

More than 1,150 retired generals and admirals have signed a letter opposing this radical change. The burden of proof should be on those who want to force this on our servicemen and women, not on those who support a law that has helped make our armed forces “who they are,” which is, second to none.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.