Robert Knight
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As we look down the barrel of state-sponsored terrorism and the enormous burdens of fighting two wars, here is something to think about.

President Obama wants open homosexuals in the military. It’s a big priority. He said in his State of the Union speech that he wants military gays to be “who they are.” So does Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told a congressional committee that he saw no reason why open homosexuals should not serve. After all, he said, they need to be “who they are.”

Just so we didn’t miss the point, Obama repeated it at, of all places, the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 4. The same president who snubbed last year’s National Day of Prayer gave this sermonette to the faithful: “We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are….” Then he smacked Uganda for its new law against homosexual behavior.

Obama sure knows how to make prayer breakfasts more fun and meaningful.

Let’s be charitable and assume that Obama is not really obsessed with homosexuality. Let’s assume, instead, that he just thinks this is a good way to pay off a rich, powerful constituency and keep the public’s mind off the fact that he and Congress just raised the national debt by another $1.9 trillion and are destroying our country’s wealth before our very eyes.

When the Obama Administration is not putting the axe to the tree of prosperity, it is planting dynamite under the nation’s moral foundations. It’s not clear which is more wrong – enslaving our children and grandchildren with unimaginable debt, or robbing them of the moral foundations without which civilization cannot endure.

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Let’s get back to the military. In the flurry of commentary, some conservatives have actually bought into the gay propaganda and say it would be no big deal. Charles Krauthammer, who has done a masterful job dismantling Obamanomics and the government health care takeover, has inexplicably taken a leftwing line on homosexuality and the military. Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal did a similar turn on Feb. 9, pointing to Israel’s seemingly nonchalant welcome to gays in its armed forces as a model for us. It’s doubtful that either commentator would point to Israel’s many socialist policies as models for the United States, but columnists are entitled to pick and choose their models.

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.

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Robert Knight

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