Tuesday, March 13, 2007

America and its Moral Policies

I have a question for Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told The Chicago Tribune that he believed "homosexual acts" are immoral. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way," he said.

So, General Pace, what are your views on:
  • Launching an unprovoked war of aggression, including invasion and occupation, in order to force a country at gunpoint to convert to a representative democracy which apparently no one there wants
  • Lying about the justifications for the invasion by misrepresenting and exaggerating intelligence
  • Spending tens of thousands of lives only to fail at the objective through incompetence and heartlessness
  • State-sponsored torture
  • Illegal surveillance of American citizens
  • Illegal detention of American citizens
  • Kidnapping of innocent people from American soil and foreign countries in order to "render" them to other governments for interrogation under torture
  • Detaining American citizens in solitary confinement without charging them with a crime and denying them access to legal representation
  • Detaining hundreds of foreign citizens at a prison camp thousands of miles away from their homes and making them wait months and even years before even beginning to grant them access to anything resembling due process: a military tribunal at which, among other atrocities, the accused is not allowed to see the evidence that is presented against him
  • Executing the mentally retarded
  • Spending $2 trillion on an illegal, immoral war launched under false pretenses while 48 million Americans have no access to health insurance
  • The medical care the tens of thousands of wounded Iraq veterans have -- or more precisely, have not -- received for the sacrifice they made because of President Bush's lies and delusions

Seems to me no one personally involved in President Bush's War for Terror has any standing to comment on what constitutes moral public policy.


kr said...

a representative democracy which apparently no one there

Aww, c'mon--they all want a representative government, as long as it only represents their people ...

Actually, though, although I agree with everything else in this post, I think you are wrong. I think a lot of Iraqis did want and maybe do want a representative government with a sane legislative process and authority structure. They did brave literal death to vote, in great numbers, multiple times. Let's give credit where it is due--the Iraqis in general want to be in charge of their individual lives.

Let's not paint the entire people with their lunatic-fringe's brush ... that is, after all, what you complain about as a Christian and as an American, with the far right "wingnuts."

Andy said...

I agree. I felt like being uncharacteristically inflammatory today.

Charlie said...

An AOL News poll showed nearly 240,000 votes as of 1:00pm EDT. The margin is two to one in favor of SUPPORT for General Pace's comments regarding gays in the military.

How do you feel about Pace's comments?
Agree 65% (more than 156,000)
Disagree 33%
Not sure 3%
Total Votes: 238,800

I applaud General Peter Pace for taking the correct stand on this matter. His comments are right on target. There is NO REASON for him to apologize to anyone. His personal beliefs are his own and NO ONE need apologize for their personal beliefs. While I agree that he should be loving and respectful in his statements and (more importantly) actions, being forced to accept and celebrate the choice of homosexual behavior is NOT something anyone should be confronted with -- military or civilian.
These gay advocacy groups need to sit down and shut up! There is NOTHING "outrageous" or "insensitive" in what General Pace said in the interview. I listened to part of his comments. He was soft-spoken and respectful, but also firm in his resolve. Pace answered one question with a very straightforward and truthful answer, "The US Military’s mission fundamentally rests on the trust, confidence, cooperation amongst its members, and the homosexual lifestyle does not comport with that kind of trust and confidence and therefore is not supported within the US military. I’ll leave it at that."
Homosexuality *is* an immoral act. It is NOT natural, normal or moral. The lifestyle choice is rife with promiscuity, predatorship and infidelity -- all matters that point to trust, confidence and cooperation. General Pace should be applauded for standing his ground and speaking the truth.
I, personally, plan to be active in the fight against these homosexual advocacy groups as they seek to villainize General Pace. Here's hoping you will join the fight as well. It's high time conservatives (especially Christians) stand up for our beliefs and convictions.

Andy said...

Whoo, a real comment! Errmm...no offense, KR. : )

Charlie: what makes homosexuality immoral? and why is it incompatible with "trust, confidence and cooperation"? What about Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, "The first U.S. Marine seriously wounded in Iraq"? Why does his sexual orientation make him unfit, when his valor in battle and previous multiple commendations and declaration indicate the military thought he was doing a great job?

According to Zogby, more than half of troops surveyed indicated that the presence of gays or lesbians in their unit is "well-known." 46% of Americans think "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should be repealed.

The lifestyle choice is rife with promiscuity, predatorship and infidelity

Hi, have you met any heterosexuals? I mean, seriously. Get a reality check. I'm gayer than a flamingo and my "lifestyle" is pretty damn dull. (I also go to church weekly.) I can't claim to be a virgin, but I'm hardly predatory and I've never had issues with fidelity. Let's look at some of the plaintiffs in the recent New Jersey Supreme Court case Lewis v. Harris, which resulted in the state requiring civil unions for same-sex couples: Mark Lewis and Dennis Winslow are both ordained Episcopal priests and have been together 14 years. They were suing for the right to get married, as were Alicia and Saundra Heath-Toby, who are leaders in Newark’s Liberation In Truth Unity Fellowship church; they've been together 17 years. Diane Marini and Marilyn Maneely were partners for 14 years until Marilyn's death. Karen and Marcye Nicholson-McFadden have been together 17 years and have two biological children via AI. Suyin and Sarah Lael have been together for sixteen years and have three adopted children. Cindy Meneghin and Maureen Killian have been together THIRTY-TWO YEARS and have two biological childrean via AI. Chris Lodewyks and Craig Hutchison have been together THIRTY FIVE YEARS. These people sued their government because they wanted to make their emotional and financial commitment to each other public and legally binding. So much for your claim that there even IS such a thing as a "homosexual lifestyle."

Christian conservatives have been loudly "standing up" for what they believe in for about 30 years now. Now is the age of the progressive Christian.

Will said...

Charlie wrote:

"The lifestyle choice is rife with promiscuity, predatorship and infidelity --"

And I guess you've got the personal experience to back this up?

Promiscuity is a choice, whatever your sexual orientation. Predatorship is a choice. Same with infidelity. I can introduce you to some predatory/adulterous/promiscuous straight men and women if you'd like, but if you open your eyes I'm sure you could find them yourself, probably within your own church.

Good post Andy. I wish I'd seen your recent posts about evolution and atheism earlier. Not much time lately.

Will, aka Futuregeek

Gino said...

"Seems to me no one personally involved in President Bush's War for Terror has any standing to comment on what constitutes moral public policy."

and you do? ;)

i'm not going to make a judgement on whether gays should be in the military or not. i dont know the military lifestyle to make that call.

but dont ask,dont tell is a contradictory policy.

i have read that the military has lowered the bar as to enlistment of those with criminal records, though. seems kinda confused to me.

cohesion is important in the military. but i dont remain convinced that somebody openly gay is a threat to that. maybe 50yrs ago it was the case, but social attitudes have changed much since then.

i think, though, in order to include gays, and resepct for thier relationships, the USCMJ will need some adjustments, especially as to the crimes regarding adultery.

Charlie said...

I appreciate that you took the time to write comments on The Sope-Bocks. I'm glad to offer a reply.

What makes me so certain that homosexuality is a choice? First, there is no good evidence that it is anything other than a choice. Visit NARTH.org and do some reading. The facts are there. BTW, before homosexuality became a politically correct popular notion among leftists and liberals, the AMA, APA and ALL other medical establishments' research showed homosexuality as a "deviant" behavior (primarily one of choice). Second, your logic of anyone's choice to be heterosexual is a moot point. We don't choose to breathe, live, grow hair or excrete sweat. Those are all normal parts of who and what we are as human beings.

Though some people may have a predacation [sp] towards homosexuality, there is still the choice of acting on that temptation. This is the same decision that people who are drawn to fire, thievery or some other "deviant" behavior face. The individual makes the choice to act or not.

Andy, I'm sorry -- but the Bible DOES say so. And I'll gladly debate you or anyone else on the topic any day. BTW, regular church attendance doesn't make one a Christian any more than hanging around a hospital makes one a surgeon. Being a Christian comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and Him alone. I trust you understand my point -- and don't think I'm challenging your salvation statement.
I will challenge you, as a Christian, to provide me with ONE iota of biblical evidence that shows that homosexuality is acceptable to God.

Homosexuality is immoral because God said it is immoral -- plain and simple. Whether we like it or not... whether we believe it or not... whether we admit it or not... God is the Creator and HE is the one who made the rules. As such, when He says that homosexuality is immoral, it is the factual and eternal truth, period.
If you'd rather approach the idea from a Godless POV, see my reply to Reign above. Since there is no need for morality without God, the question would then become, is homosexuality a norm. The answer is NO. Evolution would preclude homosexuality as being a normal part of any species. It would be a mutation or deviation that would be harmful to the propogation and proliferation of the species.

Sorry, but the majority of homosexual activism towards redefining marriage is more about money and benfits -- and MUCH less about binding love. I can assure you of that fact.

I'm glad we do agree on the matter that General Pace should not apologize for his personal beliefs. Your agreement with that fact is rare among those who support homosexuality. The vast majority want to squash ALL speech that challenges them and their choice of sexual behavior (you know, that sounds insane to me).
Fortunately for General Pace and the entire armed forces entity, one person's opinion is NOT the deciding factor. Research and experience has shown that the lifestyle of homosexuality is not conducive to how a military life works. While some men and women can balance both their sexual choices and their career in the military, opening the flood gates would cause MANY problems that are 1000% politically incorrect to mention.

Charlie said...

BTW, Will makes no point at all in his challenge to my statements. Just because one can find promiscuity in normal sexual lifestyles doesn't negate the fact that it exists in the homosexual lifestyle.
If Will wants to use such logic though, we can play that game. Have you watch Queer as Folk or some of the BRAVO series? Both show a very good portrayal of the promiscuity found in the homosexual community. QAF spent it's first couple of seasons celebrating that fact -- until people caught on and started mentioning it in articles, etc. criticizing the sexual choice. Isn't that interesting? OK, enough of that. I don't want anyone having a meltdown and starting the inevitable name-calling that normally arises from this kind of debate.

Andy, THANKS for your comments. If you want to debate the Bible and homosexuality (since you said you could win that argument), I'll gladly host the posts on my blog. Let me know...

Andy said...

Crazy day at work today, so I can't respond more fully -- and may not be able to tonight. But if you like, why don't you chuck a Bible passage or two my way and we'll go from there. (Actually, if you're referring explicitly to homosexuality, there's only 3 to choose from, anyway.)

little-cicero said...

It's a war. War is immoral. Some are more immoral than others, but the same sorts casualties, atrocities and discrepancies happen, whether in the noblest or least noble circumstances. We cannot, in every war, scapegoat the command to the point that we lose sight of why we're fighting. This war will be atrocious, and so will the next one, and the next one after that. But there's no atrocity in this world that can match that of a man having sex with another man.

(last sentence in jest)

little-cicero said...

Charlie: If you are taking my place as the resident conservative gadfly, you're in for a treat, and I welcome you. I would try to assist you, but not under these circumstances.

The fact is that an Army General has no place discussing morality. His job is to discuss the pragmatics and economics (choices amid scarcity) of military operations and procedures. As far as homosexuality, three are plenty of ways to take his position without getting into morality. The pragmatics of DADT are far more compelling than any moral aspect.

Considering what's happening in Andy's life, I'm willing to grant him a rant now and then (mostly I'm just tired), but please keep on coming so he is not without contest. Although I'm only 18, I'm getting too old for this job!

Will said...


You dismiss my point and then you point to a TV show as your evidence for a blanket statement about all homosexuals? I think you made my point for me.

Like I said, I can introduce you to some very promiscuous straight young ladies if you'd like. I can also introduce you to some gay folks who have been in deeply committed relationships for decades (since long before this whole 'gay marriage' furor).

As far as gays in the military, I doubt it could be any more destructive to "trust, confidence, and cooperation" than the multiple, ongoing, documented cases of women who are sexually assaulted by their superior officers.

The Law Fairy said...

Homosexuality is immoral because God said it is immoral -- plain and simple.

Hmm. You know, Charlie, being raised in a conservative Evangelical home, being homschooled (K-12) using a far-right curriculum, regularly attending and being active in churches to the right of Southern Baptist churches for years and years and years, and committing entire chapters of the Bible to memory, I've read the Bible all the way through several times. Funny, I can't seem to recall a passage where GOD says "homosexuality is immoral." But since it's so plain and simple, I'm sure you can disabuse my forgetful little mind of the notion that you're quite incorrect. Just a reference or two. Whenever you're ready.

Will already touched on the TV show thing, but I have to comment. You're gauging the "homosexual lifestyle" by television shows. You know, shows made in that bastion of promiscuity, STDs, and drug abuse called Hollywood. You don't think that maybe Hollywood exaggerates things just a TEENY little bit for better ratings? Naw, Hollywood would never do that.

I mean, Hollywood certainly doesn't send the message that heterosexual promiscuity (not to mention drug abuse and prostitution) is not just okay, EVERYONE's doing it, with shows like, oh, I don't know. Sex and the City? The Sopranos? Entourage? Friends? Seinfeld? Cheers? Nip/Tuck? Dirt? Rescue Me? NYPD Blue? ER? ANY "reality" show? Hell, Murphy Brown (where's Dan Quayle when you need him)?

Nope, Hollywood's totally, one hundred percent accurate, all the time. We should base the next Bible off of Hollywood.

Re Gen. Pace. He's an ass for sticking his nose where it doesn't fucking belong. For someone so morally repulsed by homosexuality he sure seems to spend plenty of time thinking about it.

Although, a selfish part of me hopes they keep Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Once they start drafting women, I intend to start exploring my lesbian side. I'm not fighting in some fucking illegal war I didn't start.

Andy said...

LF: in any translation, the verses from Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 cannot be understood in any way other than an express condemnation of homosexual activity, and the passage from Romans 1 is also commonly cited. The objective facts of the matter are that where the Bible does specifically mention homosexuality, it condemns it.

However, I feel there are legitimate, scripturally-based arguments to be made about why those statements and proscriptions are inaccurate and do not reflect God's will. The lynchpin of those arguments is the understanding that homosexuality is a natural or biological condition, not a "lifestyle choice." If you can't see your way to that point, then none of the rest of my arguments make sense or can be accepted.

The Law Fairy said...

Andy, okay, thanks. I was familiar with the Sodom and Gommorrah and Romans references (which in my mind don't qualify as "God" saying "homosexuality is immoral") but to be honest never read Leviticus super carefully. As a lawyer, I really ought to be ashamed ;)

Then I have a slightly different question for Charlie: do you regard with similar moral reprobation Christians who don't observe Passover? If not, on what Biblical basis do you make the distinction?

Andy said...

LF, I don't really consider the Sodom & Gomorrah episode to have anything to do with homosexuality. In all of the repeated references to it in the prophets and the New Testament, it's made clear that what was wrong in Sodom was a complete lack of hospitality and charity. Biblical scholars disagree on whether the men of Sodom wanted to "know" Lot's guests in "the biblical sense," as it were. For example, The New Living Translation renders it, "Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out so we can have sex with them." But the New Revised Standard takes no such liberties and simply literally translates the Hebrew: "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them."

If homosexuality were really what was wrong in Sodom, then I think Ezekiel would have written something other than, "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." So basically they were Republicans.

little-cicero said...

My God I can't believe I missed catching LF on that goof up! I might as well not even exist on the blogosphere if I couldn't pull that one!