Posts tagged ‘DADT’

June 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple. It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines,” –Sgt. Maj. Michael Barrett, the top non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps, on the repeal of DADT.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

December 22, 2010

Dan Choi Responds to DADT Repeal

by Vince
December 18, 2010

Ask and Tell

by Vince

No longer are we holding our troops to an antiquated law that forces them to lie.

December 18, 2010

The Repeal of DADT: An Early Christmas Present

by Vince

The Senate repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Gosh, let that sink in for a moment.

The final tally was 66-33. I just about thought this bill was dead after the bundled bill failed the other week.

Reactions to this momentous achievement from the president, bitter John McCain, and Andrew Sullivan.

December 5, 2010

Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Military

by Vince

Linda Hirshman wrote a thoughtful piece about the combo of homosexuality, serving in the military, and marriage in wake of the hearings to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. If you look back to the 1960’s movements for gay rights and anti-war protests, who would of guessed that gays would want to be in the military? On the other hand, many shouldn’t be surprised with the paradoxical GOP:

Conservatives are normally out there urging people to fight and to marry. A conservative president launched two wars, and conservatives tried to impeach the adulterous Bill Clinton. When it comes to gays and lesbians wanting to defend their country or provide a stable, loving union, the right wing is suddenly on the other side.

Why are they fighting?

Gays argue that open service and same sex marriage are matters of simple equality—which sounds good, because everyone agrees that inequality is un-American and bad. But the contest over equality cannot possibly account for the passion on both sides of these issues. Who is against equality, abstractly? The fight is hot because gays are seeking equal access to the very social institutions, marriage and the military, that confer social approval. In America, and in most of western culture, the soldier and the householder are models of social virtue. If gays can marry and serve their country, well, “Gay is Good” as the old movement button says.

Breaking this down shows how many gays are forced to live lives equal to second rate citizens. Whether those who support DADT and are against same-sex marriage intend that outcome or not, this is what is imbued into their realities. In the case of DADT, the government is called to enforce and uphold Judeo-Christian “morals” when last time I checked there was a separation of church and state. No government is to support or trample on any religious institution. The church already calls gays sinners and throws them down into the ranks of being untouchables. Now the church wants to continue having the state enforce their morals in an ambiguous and guised manner.

Many of the hot topic issues today have the ability of being labeled “the civil rights issue” of our time; homosexuality and having openly gay military members serving, both intertwined yet separate, are strikingly resemblant of Plessy v. Ferguson:

The Pentagon noted that some of the resistance it found to open service came from “moral and religious objections to homosexuality.” Without missing a step, the report continued, “aside from that, much of the concern about ‘open’ service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes,” which were “exaggerated” and “inconsistent with” the military’s actual experience, concluding, without another word about peoples’ religious morality, that the policy should be repealed.

Separating the classes, groups, and or those with different sexual orientations divides our country, our humanity, and threatens our national security. Also, Hirshman singles out the unwritten qualifications required for presidency or high office. Just as our presidents have to have a church / religious experience to be considered ripe for our commander and chief position, so do they have to be normal in terms of having a heterosexual marriage and a glowingly unblemished family. Again, we have a separation of church and state but Judeo-Christian morals and ideals are upheld as normal and “the way”. You’ll be damned to not follow them if you want to be president or a “normal” citizen, so goes today’s wind.

December 5, 2010

Quote of the Day by Scott Brown

by Vince

“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. … When a soldier answers the call to serve and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.

“Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.” —Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown on siding to vote for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

December 4, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Translate

by Vince

I feel that keeping DADT would continue to force many of our skilled men and women serving the USA to leave the military. The entire notion and name – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – sickens me. It invites everyone to not talk about it, avoid it, and hope that we can all go on with our lives. That in itself is simply not a healthy way of being. Avoiding issues do not make them go away and since when did forcing your soldiers to lie become an American virtue? It smells of irony when those sometimes most concerned with American security stand for this law:

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” does nothing but deprive the military of talent it needs and invade the privacy of gay service members just trying to do their jobs and live their lives. Political and military leaders who support the current law may believe that homosexual soldiers threaten unit cohesion and military readiness, but the real damage is caused by denying enlistment to patriotic Americans and wrenching qualified individuals out of effective military units. This does not serve the military or the nation well.

Consider: more than 58 Arabic linguists have been kicked out since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted. How much valuable intelligence could those men and women be providing today to troops in harm’s way?

December 4, 2010

Some of the DADT Hearings

by Vince

This first clip is some highlights of John McCain. McCain disagrees with Robert Gates et al when it comes to a military referendum. I don’t know what I think about this; some questions could be asked of the military but I understand the dilemma of knowing where to draw the line. See all of this and some in the below video.

 

December 2, 2010

Windowsill Readings and Vids

by Vince
December 2, 2010

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.”

– Special Forces Officer quoted in Pentagon DADT report

H/T: Outside the Beltway

Tags: ,
December 1, 2010

Windowsill Readings

by Vince
  • Is Harry Potter in cahoots with hell?
  • More on the effects of American Exceptionalism.
  • Sharon Angle is still hanging around; she is quoted as saying that she wishes she would of had a more positive campaign (what a load of steaming  bullshit).
  • Joe Scarbough wants the GOP to confront Sarah Palin.
  • Pentagon Study Confirms Discrimination in the Military is Harmful and Unnecessary”, so says the study.
November 30, 2010

Question of the Week

by Vince

Given the position of the President (aka the Commander-in-Chief), the Secretary of Defense, the Joints Chiefs along with the now-released Pentagon report (not to mention the survey results from the troops themselves), is there is really any reason to retain the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy save for basic anti-homosexual prejudice?

In other words:  is there really anyone who can credibly argue at this point that the policy regarding homosexuals openly serving in the armed services is anything other than basic discrimination?

Email me at vgiordano at gmail dot com.

Hat tip for the question: Outside the Beltway

November 27, 2010

Holiday Reading and Videos

by Vince
I meant to post this last night. I ended up seeing the new Harry Potter movie (!). Any who, enjoy the reading and videos and the holiday weekend!
November 13, 2010

DADT: Splitting Apart Families, Students, and Our Souls

by Vince

CINDY MCCAIN:

Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.

They can’t serve our country openly.

VARIETY OF SPEAKERS:

What’s worse, these laws that legislate discrimination teach bullies that what they’re doing is acceptable.

CINDY MCCAIN:

Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn’t they?

 

My time in the classroom has had me listening in to what students talk about and most notably how they address one another.  In each one of my classes yesterday, for example, there was at least one instance of someone being called gay. I thought of Andrew Marin and instantly asked a few probing questions about their gay assertions. My second question is usually “do you know that my uncle is gay?” Most student usually do not look up at me when I ask them this and burrow down, trying hard to possibly hide their embarrassment. I don’t take what they say personally and I usually sit down near them and talk through with them about what they are saying and feeling inside when they throw about a usual “he’s gay” assertion.

Most male students are nervous of the possibility of a gay male student hitting on them, touching them, or openly pursuing them. I ask them if this has ever happened to them or anyone they know. I haven’t heard of one student who has had an example of this happening. Truly, the irrational fear of being hit on has found a place in many people, young and old, of white or of foreign descent, and is in dire need of direct addressing.

Some other students then assume fellow students of theirs are gay by the way they dress, who they hang out with, and by other various behaviors they see and judge. One boy said yesterday that he thought a female student he knew was gay because she hung out with all girls. I asked him what if this girl had been abused and raped by her father, uncle, or other male in her life and never wanted to be touched by a man or be around one if she didn’t have to. Instantly, the boy said that that treatment of the girl is totally wrong. In the end, we sometimes never really know.

I don’t know if that sparked a light bulb moment for him, and ultimately that is beyond my powers, but I hope to instill in the students a few things. One, when I am their teacher, each student will be treated by one another with respect and not isolated, put down, or demonized. Second, I want to get across that the label of “he/she is gay” is so ingrained that we don’t even think about its ramifications or where it comes from.

I still am not convinced after studying the scriptures from both sides of the ideological aisle what my final view on same-sex attraction, marriage, or DADT is. What I can stand for is not treating students, citizens, or normal human beings as second rate citizens, looking to talk about these issues first theologically and then politically, and seeing these large, complex issues just as they are: large and complex and needed to be seen under the scope of a human, Godly lens along with the Constitution (which doesn’t say anything about who one can or can’t marry).

H/T: AMERICAblog

November 12, 2010

‘I Don’t Care If Your Straight As Long As You Can Shoot Straight’

by Vince

Bryan Fischer was on the Big Picture. I really don’t like it when the guest and host talk over each other.

September 22, 2010

Don’t Ask, Tell, or Listen

by Vince

John “I don’t care what you say” McCain. Has he listened to this piece? Prevalent amongst Christianists is the inability to simply listen. This trait can cross political lines but is essential for any sort of normalized rapport.

Here is a video a year ago of Sullivan lamenting. Who would of ever thought the left would lag behind in DADT reform?

September 21, 2010

What About The Children? Malignancy Rooted in the Marriage Debate

by Vince

Updated; added a link to DADT below (as of 9/21/10 at 8:49pm)
Andrew Sullivan continues on with the sulfuric same-sex marriage debate by reading the cover story by the National Review. He and I agree that this issue, along with DADT, are absolutely a theological issue first and a political issue second. The NRO stance echoes the Vatican doctrine of marriage: primarily for procreative purposes.

The article is a mass of non sequiturs. It assumes that if marriage is “for” something—regulating procreative sex—then using it for anything else must be “against” marriage, which is like saying that if mouths are “for” eating, we mustn’t use them for talking or breathing. It claims (conjecturally) that marriage would not have arisen if not for the fact that men and women make babies, from which it concludes that society has no stake in childless marriages.

Since this is primarily a theological issue, this all can’t be solved in political terms. Even court rulings dictate what is legal or illegal but cannot override the popular consensus amongst the church pertaining to same sex marriage. The key verses that are always thought of in mind, sometimes even recited verbatim on call, are Genesis 19 (make sure to read Ezekiel 16:49-50), Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9-11. See chapter 7 in Love is an Orientation for a better effort than I can ever muster at unpacking those “Big 5”.

The material to dig through related to this topic is literally endless. The material I have read, in short listing, has been enlightening but in my eyes (and the eyes of a graduate from a feminist woman’s college) has fallen short of fully encompassing the subject.

I could pontificate about the annals of political movements dabbering with this subject, but that is all downstream from the ultimate priorities and beliefs that make up the foundation of the same-sex marriage polemic. A spiritual mentor of mine in college, who is happy with being a neophyte when it comes to politics, always said that politics are downstream from our hearts, our faith, and our religious beings.

September 18, 2010

Windowsill Readings, Musings, and Laughs

by Vince

A map here of the largest metro’s in the USA and their performances. More on the ‘great divide” here and here.

A gay soldier says that DADT erodes the strong military lessons each soldier learns.

September 4, 2010

Knowing a Culture

by Vince

I am currently reading Andrew Marin’s controversial book Love is an Orientation. A quote of his stood out to me today: “We have to go to the culture before we know the culture. For most of us, this comes in slowly taken smaller steps toward involvement” (my emphasis added).

Instantly, when I think of Christian communities pursuing an evangelical approach to the GLBT (gay lesbian bi-sexual and trans gender) community, it is almost in “rush in” terms. Rush in, share the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray for a conversion to a heterosexual lifestyle. Now I may be painting with a wide brush, but that approach is appealing at times because many within the church (I included at times) don’t know what to say and silence kills. Solution? Blabber about salvation or just say something to stop the awkward quiet.

What this “rush in” approach accomplishes is 1) not actively listening to that person and their story, 2) assumes they are not a Christian or know God (because you can’t be gay and a Christian, or can you?), and 3) turns any sort of conversation into a battle and putting the other person instantly on the defensive.

Marin’s book tackles each of those three statements and some, so I say it is worth reading. Marin notes that it almost comes off that if you are gay, your story doesn’t matter until you turn straight. If you are gay, you may even be burdened with others thinking your story follows a stereotypical path (absent father, sexual abuse, etc.) All humans deserve to have their story heard. For if we stop listening, how are we to understand each other beyond the stereotypes our world churns out?

Back to the initial quote, the world and media (and sometimes the GLBT community) tells you churches are, to name a few, hypocritical, overly judgmental, and uber-obsessed with salvation and the rapture. Likewise, the same outlets, sometimes along with the church, tell you that the GLBT community is all about promiscuity, meth and other drug use, rave parties, infecting others with HIV/AIDS, and have couples that will raise kids to destroy our morals. Did I miss anything?

No matter where you stand on these issues, you may have first-hand knowledge of the GLBT community or a Christian church and can speak against the above stereotypes. The speed of approaching each community is crucial for future dialogue pertaining to anything church/sexual related (Proposition 8 and DADT to name two important ones). I see that in the end, we have to address both personally and ecumenically these root issues. If we do not, issues such as DADT are impossible to deal with and lead down dangerous (I don’t throw this word around lightly) paths.

August 27, 2010

War is Always Political

by Vince

Duh!

The current approach promotes soldiers to lie about their sexual orientation. You are punished for telling the truth. Is is patriotic to lie? Is it in line with white Christianism to lie? Look how far the debate of whether being gay is a sin or not has gone.