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Posts Tagged ‘War’

Gay rights: Don’t ask, don’t think

Posted by Mats on 03/10/2010

Frank TurekThe central argument in favor of same-sex marriage or overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell” contains a fatal flaw. In fact, this is the flaw at the heart of the entire gay rights movement.

Joint Chief Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen dutifully proclaimed the flaw as truth the other day when speaking in favor of ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He said, “I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”

Lie about who they are?

Sorry Admiral, but as a former ROTC instructor and legal officer in the United States Navy, I helped deny entrance to potential recruits and prosecuted existing service people for all sorts of behaviors that were incompatible with unit cohesion and military readiness. As you know, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice prohibits numerous behaviors that are not criminal offenses in civilian life (including adultery, fraternization, and gambling with a subordinate), yet I never once saw anyone excused for their behavior by claiming that’s who they are.

The military is essential to our survival as a nation. It’s not a social experiment, and serving in it is not a right. People have to qualify and then make sacrifices. Military people must subordinate many of their individual rights to advance the national interest. Recruits must agree to give up some of the freedoms that civilians enjoy, including certain sexual freedoms and even the freedom of speech! So even if homosexual behavior is permitted in society, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be permitted in the military.

Having served, I believe that the military needs as few sexual distractions as possible, be they from men and women serving together in combat or open homosexuality. The job is too difficult and critical to be complicating matters sexually.

More could be said, but I want to zero in on the fatal flaw in most gay-rights causes, and the one the Admiral repeated. It is the failure to distinguish between desires and behavior. Having certain sexual desires — whether you were “born” with them or acquired them sometime in life — does not mean that you are being discriminated against if the law doesn’t allow the behavior you desire.

Take marriage as an example. Despite complaints by homosexual activists, every person in America already has equal marriage rights. We’re all playing by the same rules — we all have the same right to marry any non-related adult of the opposite sex. Those rules do not deny anyone “equal protection of the laws” because the qualifications to enter a marriage apply equally to everyone — every adult person has the same right to marry.

“But what about homosexuals?” you ask. The question would better be stated “what about people with homosexual desires?” Put that way, you can see the flaw. If sexual desires alone are the criteria by which we change our marriage (or military) laws to give people “equal rights,” then why not change them to include polygamy? After all, most men seem born with a desire for many women. How about those who desire their relatives? By the gay rights logic, such people don’t have “equal rights” because our marriage laws have no provision for incest. And bisexuals don’t have “equal rights” because existing marriage laws don’t allow them to marry a man and a woman.

If desires alone guarantee someone special rights, why are there no special rights for pedophiles and gay bashers? The answer is obvious — because desires, even if you were “born” with them, do not justify behavior, do not make anyone a special class, and should have no impact on our laws. (See Born gay or a gay basher: No excuse.)

Laws encourage good behavior or prevent bad behavior. Desires are irrelevant. We enact all kinds of laws in the country and military that conflict with people’s desires. In fact, that’s why we need them! We wouldn’t need any laws if people always desired to do good, which is why James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

In other words, there should be no legal class of “gay” or “straight,” just a legal class called “person.” And it doesn’t matter whether persons desire sex with the same or opposite sex, or whether they desire sex with children, parents, or farm animals. What matters is whether the behavior desired is something the country or military should prohibit, permit, or promote. Those are the only three choices we have when it comes to making law.

The standard comparisons to race and interracial marriage don’t work either. Sexual behavior is always a choice, race never is. You’ll find many former homosexuals, but you’ll never find a former African American. And your race has no effect on your military readiness, but your sexual behavior often can. Likewise, race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it. Interracial couples can procreate and nurture the next generation (the overriding societal purpose of marriage), but homosexual couples cannot.

The truth is that our marriage and military laws do not discriminate against persons for “who they are” — they discriminate against the behaviors in which they engage. But so what? That’s what most laws do. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment discriminates against the behavior of some businessmen who might like to improve their profits through slavery, but it does not discriminate against those businessmen as persons. And the First Amendment’s freedom-of-religion protections discriminate against the behavior of some Muslims who want to impose Islamic law on the entire nation, but it does not discriminate against those Muslims as persons. Likewise, our marriage and military laws discriminate against the desired behaviors of homosexuals, polygamists, bigamists, and the incestuous, but they do not discriminate against them as persons.

Now some may object to my comparison of homosexuality to polygamy, incest, or pedophilia. I agree that the behaviors are not the same, but the point here is that the logic used to justify homosexuality is the same. “I was born with these desires” could also be used to justify polygamy, incest, pedophilia, and even gay bashing — “Don’t blame me. I just have the anti-gay gene!”

That’s the logic reduced to the absurd. And that’s why people who want to make a case for same-sex marriage or homosexual practice in the military should use different arguments. Claiming you “are” your sexual desires is a case of don’t ask, don’t think.

Frank Turek is the founder and president of and an award-winning author. He hosts a weekly TV program called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” This column is published with permission.

Opinions expressed in ‘Perspectives’ columns published by are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network,, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

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Leftists showing “respect” for the Troops

Posted by Mats on 07/12/2009

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Almost Everyone Hated Obama’s Afghanistan Speech

Posted by Mats on 02/12/2009

Original Article


Almost Everyone Hated Obama’s Afghanistan SpeechPhoto: Getty Images

President Obama’s task last night wasn’t enviable: make a costly and unpopular decision with unpredictable prospects of success sound like something America should have confidence in. It’s like looking for support from your wife and kids after gathering them in the living room to tell them you’re putting the last of the family savings into your dream of opening a restaurant that only serves applesauce — “Just applesauce? Can that actually work?” — except, obviously, way more serious and consequential, since actual human lives and billions upon billions of dollars are at stake. Anyway, judging by the reactions to President Obama’s speech, he has a lot more convincing to do.

• Clive Crook says the speech contradicted itself in multiple places, was “surprisingly unconfident,” and probably just “confused people.” [Atlantic]

• Mattew Yglesias found it “oddly weak on the feasibility point and instead lead [sic] into the weird kinda sorta promise to start winding the war down in 2011 which struck me as a promise vague enough to not reassure the left while also being concrete enough to set the right-wing piranhas in motion.” [Think Progress]

• Fred Barnes “had hoped Obama would declare that nothing will deter him, as commander-in-chief, from prevailing in Afghanistan. But it turns out a lot of things might deter him.” [Blog/Weekly Standard]

• Taeggan Goddard says “it’s hard to feel positive after this one,” which “didn’t do much to change public opinion on an increasingly unpopular war.” [Political Wire]

• Ross Douthat calls the speech “a strange and schizophrenic one, laying its emphasis on two not-necessarily-compatible goals — victory, and a swift withdrawal.” [Ross Douthat/NYT]

• Jennifer Rubin thinks that, owing to “either personal peevishness or political expediency,” Obama “felt compelled to get in his digs” yet again at George W. Bush, “even in a wartime speech in which bipartisanship would have been essential.” [Contentions/Commentary]

• Bill Kristol thinks Obama “spoke as a war president,” though he didn’t appreciate Obama’s “foolish eagerness to tell us he’s as eager as can be to get us out of Afghanistan as soon as he can.” [Post Partisan/WP]

• Nile Gardiner writes that Obama’s “speech was less a rallying cry for victory over barbarism, than a dull professorial-style lecture that sought to justify his confused approach to the US mission in a cold and clinical fashion that simply failed to convince or inspire.” [Telegraph UK]

• Chris Cillizza isn’t sure if the speech will “change any minds.” [Fix/WP]

• Richard Cohen found the speech “well written and spoken with conviction,” but he still doesn’t think the plan will work. [Post Partisan/WP]

• Richard Just “basically liked Obama’s speech” but was “bothered” by how “weirdly inconsistent [it was] with itself.” [Plank/New Republic]

• Michael Crowley notes that Obama’s speech was consistent with his speech on Afghanistan in March, but is unlikely to sway the American people. While Obama’s “tactic of addressing opposing views … was mature and persuasive, and demonstrated the thought he had put into this decision,” he also said “almost nothing that would qualify as the sort of bracing, hard truth that Candidate Obama promised to tell the public.” [Plank/New Republic]

• Kevin Drum was “pretty underwhelmed.” Two main problems were the total lack of discussion about new tactics and that “most of the speech wasn’t even devoted to the war at all.” [Mother Jones]

• Adam Serwer calls it “perhaps his least inspiring speech ever” and “Bush-like in its embrace of platitudes and vagaries.” [Tapped/American Prospect]

• Joan Walsh says that “[a]t the moment he needed all of his persuasive powers, Obama gave the worst major speech of his presidency.” [Salon]

Related: John Heilemann on “Obama’s Afghan War Trade

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US Army Burning Bibles

Posted by Mats on 20/05/2009

By Jihadwatch (20.05.2009)

Crusaders at work. “Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan,” from CNN, May 20 (thanks to Kapil):

(CNN) — Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.

Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.

“The decision was made that it was a ‘force protection’ measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims,” Wright told CNN on Tuesday.

Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, Wright said.

The Bibles were written in the languages Pashto and Dari.

This decision came to light recently, after the Al Jazeera English network aired video of a group prayer service and chapel sermon that a reporter said suggested U.S. troops were being encouraged to spread Christianity….

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