We didn’t ask, but they’re telling any­way

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Sept. 20 marked the of­fi­cial end of the De­fense Depart­ment’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” pol­icy. As would be ex­pected, there was a spate of opinion ar­ti­cles by newly lib­er­ated ac­tive­duty ser­vice per­son­nel cel­e­brat­ing their new­found free­dom to be who they re­ally are. Make no mis­take, this is­sue is not about ac­cep­tance; it is about the des­per­ate com­pul­sion that some in the ho­mo­sex­ual com­mu­nity have to cel­e­brate their life­style. That is the prob­lem: It is all about them, not the coun­try, not their ser­vice and not their com­rades.

Maj. Dar­rel Choat, U.S. Marine Corps, is a good ex­am­ple. His es­say on the sub­ject in Tues­day’s edi­tion of The Washington Post con­tained the words “me,” “my” and “I” 41 times; the term “us” in ref­er­ence to the Marine Corps was not used, and “our” was only used once. In his mis­sive, he com­plains that not one se­nior Marine gen­eral of­fi­cer “set a lead­er­ship tone that will turn the page on the prej­u­dice of the past.” Maj. Choat and his cronies in the ho­mo­sex­ual com­mu­nity will not be happy un­til there is a gay pride month to cel­e­brate their her­itage to match sim­i­lar cel­e­bra­tions of di­ver­sity for blacks, His­pan­ics, Amer­i­can In­di­ans and peo­ple from the Pa­cific Rim.

Maj. Choat be­moans the fact that blacks were pub­licly rec­og­nized by the Marine Corps com­man­dant af­ter the Bat­tle of Saipan in 1944 for their con­tri- bu­tion and won­ders when ho­mo­sex­u­als will re­ceive sim­i­lar recog­ni­tion.

If I were black, I’d be deeply offended by the anal­ogy. Be­ing born of color is not a life­style choice. Deeply re­li­gious peo­ple — and the Marines have plenty of them — are not morally offended by the pres­ence of some­one of an­other race; they are deeply offended by some­one who flaunts moral con­duct that runs against the grain of their be­lief.

The mil­i­tary trains its peo­ple to sub­or­di­nate self to the good of the whole. This is the very essence of the dis­ci­pline and unit co­he­sion needed in com­bat. Maj. Choat and his fel­low ho­mo­sex­ual ad­vo­cates are about self. They want the or­ga­ni­za­tion to be about them. Ac­cep­tance and tol­er­ance are not enough — they crave cel­e­bra­tion and won’t stop un­til they get it.

Very few peo­ple in the mil­i­tary are fall­ing for the ar­gu­ment that this is about tol­er­ance. Most peo­ple I have served with have known or sup­posed that some­one they worked with was ho­mo­sex­ual. As long as that per­son was com­pe­tent and did not dis­rupt the unit, the as­sump­tion was that what he did off-duty was no one else’s busi­ness. But that is not the agenda here. The real pur­pose is to make the rest of the unit openly em­brace the en­tire life­style, and that will be dis­rup­tive to good or­der and dis­ci­pline, even though the uni­formed lack­eys who have sup­ported this change in pol­icy deny it will cause prob­lems.

The De­fense Depart­ment can­not ed­u­cate its way out of this one. It will be ask­ing peo­ple to say that some­thing is right that all of their re­li­gious and moral up­bring­ing tells them is wrong. Un­less some de­gree of re­straint is shown on the part of peo­ple im­ple­ment­ing the pol­icy, this will not end hap­pily. Maj. Choat and his ilk have al­ready shown to be try­ing to force the open em­brace of gays in uni­form. Se­nior Marines have done the right thing. They have their or­ders and will carry them out, even though many feel it is a bad or­der. That will never be enough for the ac­tivists.

If ho­mo­sex­u­als serv­ing in the armed ser­vices keep their heads and don’t go over­board with their new­found free­dom, things will likely be fine, but some like Maj. Choat are ea­ger to rub this sit­u­a­tion in the faces of their com­rades. The ma­jor fol­lowed up his ar­ti­cle with an in­ter­view on National Pub­lic Ra­dio in which he gid­dily promised to take a date to the Marine Corps Ball. No one can stop him from do­ing this. This is all about him. How­ever, his fel­low stu­dents and the fac­ulty at the Marine Corps Univer­sity are un­der no obli­ga­tion to go to the ball. There is no rule that can force Marines to at­tend a dance. There are other ways to cel­e­brate the birth­day of the corps. A boy­cott would draw the line and send the mes­sage that just be­cause this is le­gal, it isn’t OK. If Maj. Choat and his date want to have the last laugh, they should be al­lowed to dance — alone.

Gary An­der­son is a re­tired Marine Corps of­fi­cer.

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