October 31, 2014

Fr. Alexander F.C. Webster: End of DADT Paves Way for New Discrimination

Fr. Alexander Webster

Source: Stars and Stripes (download newspaper version) | Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster

Sept. 20, 2011, a date that will live in infamy, the U.S. armed forces were deliberately and successfully attacked by advocates of the scourge of homosexuality. The elimination of the last vestige of moral restraint on sexual perversion in the U.S. military, commonly known as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ushers in a new Orwellian era in which the military leadership of our nation will proclaim the unnatural as natural, the unhealthy as healthy and the immoral as moral.

On Aug. 25, 2010, before the DADT policy was rescinded by Congress and the current president of the United States, I wrote the following in a guest column in Stars and Stripes (“Chaplains in no-win situation on ‘don’t ask’?”): “A ‘nondiscrimination’ policy would surely mutate into approval and celebration of the ‘gay’ lifestyle, followed by ‘affirmative action’ recruitment of homosexuals, politically correct ideological indoctrination throughout the armed forces including family members, and, finally, active discrimination against — and persecution of — those who dare to express a dissenting opinion.”

Perhaps in another year or so we shall know with certainty whether that prediction was exaggerated or prescient. However, several portents of the latter prospect are already evident.

Wasting no time, U.S. Marine Corps recruiters accepted an invitation from the executive director of a “gay rights” center in Tulsa, Okla., to “celebrate” the end of DADT on Sept. 20 by setting up a recruitment booth near the center’s AIDS quilt. The New York Times reported that the USMC was “the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar”. That gives new meaning to the Corps leading the way.

Last April, still five months shy of the mandated expiration of DADT, the U.S. Navy chief of chaplains, Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, publicly embarrassed himself and his Chaplains Corps when he proactively paved the way for homosexual weddings by U.S. Navy chaplains in certain U.S. Navy chapels. In a memo dated April 13, Chaplain Tidd announced: “Consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization, a chaplain may officiate a same-sex, civil marriage: if it is conducted in accordance with a state that permits same-sex marriage or union; and if that chaplain is, according to the applicable state and local laws, otherwise fully certified to officiate that state’s marriages.”

He also gave the green light for Navy chapels to be the venue “if the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal”.

What the admiral and his legal advisers somehow overlooked was the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which does not countenance such faux “weddings” in lieu of marriage between one man and one woman. Since Navy bases fall under Title 10 of the U.S. Code and are federal territory, the admiral, in his eagerness to accommodate a sexual minority, was effectively authorizing a violation of federal law. Four weeks later, after a storm of protest across the nation, particularly some 63 outraged members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the admiral ordered a right full rudder reverse starboard, changed course, and suspended his directive “pending additional legal and policy review.”

Most ominous, however, was the punishment that a military chaplain had to endure as long ago as March, fully six months before the official commencement of the new post-DADT era. That chaplain’s endorser — that is, the religious authority who approves clergy of a particular faith group or denomination for military service — informed me on background that the eager minister’s orders for an assignment in Germany were suspended by the service component’s Chief of Chaplains office, and that the minister would have to be “supervised closely.” Why? The young chaplain had forwarded an email opposed to repeal of DADT and to homosexuality on moral grounds.

There we have the first punitive action, to my knowledge, against conscientious chaplains who dare to dissent from the new ideological groupthink that has captured the minds of the American military leadership. If my prediction last year proves correct, I fear that chaplain’s fate will be suffered by many.

As an Orthodox priest who still loves all of the troops I served as a chaplain for a quarter of a century, I pray that God the Holy Trinity will preserve and protect the U.S. armed forces — especially in this new Dark Age.

Father Alexander F.C. Webster, an archpriest in the Orthodox Church in America, retired in June 2010 as an Army Reserve chaplain at the rank of colonel after more than 24 years of military service. He is the author or co-author of four books on topics of social ethics, including “The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West.”

Comments

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    Michael Bauman says:

    With the other sexual experiement of integrating men and women in combat units being met with a high degree of sexual assualt, harrasment and just plain fornication, this next experiment is likely to be even more a problem. Both impact unit cohesion, morale and combat readiness. Well, I guess we could have a no straight Christians policy for military recruitment–wouldn’t have to worry about chaplin’s at all then. That would solve everything. Oh wait, what about observant Muslims? Boy they’ve really put themselves in a PC wringer there.

    Whatever happened to the 1st Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    (emphasis mine)

    Everybody’s equal, just some are more equal than others.

    The recent punishment handed out to a 14 year old in a public school for expressing his opinon to a friend in class that homosexuality is wrong, Fr. Webster is more than prescient: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/22/texas-school-punishes-boy-for-opposing-homosexuality/

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    Scott Rose says:

    Webster’s opposition to ending sexual orientation apartheid in U.S. society is completely based on his religious beliefs. The U.S. Constitution, meanwhile, clearly states that no one person may impose their religious opinions on anybody else involuntarily by means of the government. Many religious leaders today favor full acceptance of and full legal equality for those of their fellow citizens that happen to be LGBTers. Is Webster arrogant and hateful enough to hypothesize that he and those who agree with him uniquely understand the authentic religious stance towards LGBTers and the U.S. Constitution? It’s arrogant in a first instance for him to believe that his faith-based non-acceptance of gay human beings should be the basis of any U.S. law or policy. Webster’s claim that he “loves” the troops definitely is bogus vis-a-vis those of the troops he served that were gay. And however that may be, gay people frankly don’t give a hang whether you claim to “love” them. They do not need, want or care about your supposed “love” and even less do they care about your acceptance and approval. They have their right to serve openly in the U.S. military and if you want to complain that within the military now, nobody is permitted to create a hostile environment for them, that would say a lot more about you than about them, wouldn’t it?

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    Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

    Actually, the Constitution says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Trying to justify the normalization of homosexuality by reducing criticism of the lifestyle to a Constitutional prohibition of religious expression doesn’t wash, and your more enlightened cohorts will tell you the same thing.

    Be careful here. If you reduce morality to religion in order to claim the Constitution prohibits any expression of moral restraint (your essential argument), it will in the end come back to bite you, especially as the lessening of restraints lead to even further weakening of the social fabric (it will). A society can only bear increasing tension for so long, and pushing too hard (you are) will stir up a backlash.

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      Scott Rose says:

      How very Christian of you, Jacobse monster, to threaten violence because a minority is being given its civil rights in the society. We saw how that worked, for example during the Inquisition, and again during the Holocaust, when the Vatican wished Adolph Hitler a happy birthday every year he was in power. Alternately, look at it from the scientific point of view. All major medical associations are fully accepting of gay human beings and their full legal equality. You are expressing a non-scientific view of homosexuality akin to the Church’s opinions of Galileo’s science during the time Galileo was alive (and for centuries afterwards). Furthermore, as previously stated, many faith leaders favor LGBT equality. You do not know better than they whether God wants LGBTers to have acceptance and equality. You do not. Look around the world at which countries have equality and which do not. Holland does; Iran does not. Canada does; Yemen does not. Spain does; Saudi Arabia does not. Argentina does; Uganda does not. In each of the countries that don’t, it is homo–hot-&-bothered heterosupremacist theocRATS like you, Jacobse monster, keeping the gay human beings oppressed. Your free exercise of religion does not give you a right to deny me my civil rights, any more than it gives you a right to carry out the New Testament-mandated revenge against all Jews for their alleged accountability for the death of your beloved Jesus. Get a grip.

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        Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

        Scott, why so angry?

        Here’s my prediction. Even if you got every conceivable concession you demanded, you would still be angry. In fact, I think the concessions will inflate anger even more because the activist has to face that the discomfort he has about his homosexuality doesn’t come those who disapprove of it, but from inside himself.

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          alexis says:

          Father J:
          Nice job in fending off Scott’s verbal attacks with calm and reason. Usually when someone uses nicknames or other sorts of inanity, he or she has lost the argument.

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        Eliot Ryan says:

        Galileo… science and … LGBT

        Science is far understanding the universe. In order to rescue the Big-Bang Theory scientists came up with the
        Inflation Theory: “The Universe expanded by a factor of ten to the power fifty, from smaller than an atom to bigger than a galaxy. The inflation lasted between ten to the power minus thirty-five and ten to the power minus thirty-two seconds after the Big Bang and it was driven by vast amounts of energy. This implies that the primordial matter greatly exceeded the speed of light and contradicts Einstein’s postulate regarding the speed of light being the maximum attainable velocity for all particles/objects. The Inflation theory resembles the Scripture: “The world was spoken into existence”.

        When properly understood, science and religion are not in contradiction. The physical body of a human being is a micro-universe and functions in a similar manner as the universe. Science is far from understanding it. It is not all about “you being happy” here in this life which is but a minute compared to a eternity of weeping and gnashing teeth.

        Monsters are those who thick people into believing that there is nothing wrong with this “life style”.
        No matter how hard you will try you cannot “proclaim the unnatural as natural, the unhealthy as healthy and the immoral as moral”. You cannot undo the laws of nature. According to the laws of nature such people should go extinct anyway.

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          Eliot Ryan says:

          Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. … and many thousands of years later science comes along and we are being told that light particles (photons) were certainly present in the early universe. Ten to power minus five second after the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with gamma-ray photons at well over 1 trillion K. Photons produced particles of matter and antimatter which annihilated and became photons again …

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    Rob says:

    Michael B is concerned about “unit cohesion, morale and combat readiness.”

    Is it unreasonable to expect soldiers to put aside their religious, ethnic, political and racial differences when fighting a war? (..and unit cohesion was the argument against forcibly integrating the military) I’ve not served, so you must pardon my ignorance, but it seems that being in the line of fire should make such things pale into insignificance. If bullets are flying at your head and your jeep is trying to navigate IEDs, is the fact that the guy next to you prays to a Buddha , has a same-sex partner back home or even voted for Obama really going to lessen your willingness or capacity to engage? To me, all that would matter is if the guy can shoot straight and has the bravery to get the job done. But perhaps someone can explain to me why my thinking is off …

    In any rate, some of you act as if our military was a bastion of sexual morality prior to DADT. Are you kidding me?

    From the 1960s and until today U.S. camptown prostitution still exists outside U.S military bases (for example outside Camp Casey & Camp Stanley). This was the result of negotiation between the Korean government and the U.S. military, involving prostitution for United States soldiers in camptowns surrounding the U.S military bases. The government registered the prostitutes and required them to carry medical certification. The U.S military police provide for the security in these U.S camptown prostitution sites and detained the prostitutes who were thought to be ill to prevent epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. This government involvement was in the past motivated in part by fears that the American military which protected South Korea from North Korea would leave. Katherine H.S. Moon estimates that 1 million Korean women were used in prostitution by U.S. servicemen between the end of Word War II and the mid-1990s. [8]

    Yet somehow, allowing gay men and women to serve openly is going to erode the moral fiber of the military?

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    Scott Rose says:

    In the name of Jesus, Christians have persecuted, tortured, oppressed and killed minorities for over 2,000 years. What an admirable record.

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      Eliot Ryan says:

      Scott:
      Just plain myths, like the Galileo myth.

      The Galileo myth is used by modernist atheists and scoffers to attack the record of Christianity and I really think that we should all honestly consider the real evidence and not popular modernist spin.

      The truth is that the Christians have been persecuted, tortured, oppressed and killed for almost 2,000 years.

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        Scott Rose says:

        Adolph Hitler was baptized and never excommunicated. When he had his Anschluss of Austria, he stopped and said Christian prayers at his mother’s grave in a Catholic cemetery. Beside him were priests with swastikas on their religious garments. The Wehrmacht uniform belt buckle read “Gott mit uns,” God is with us. The Vatican wished Hitler a happy birthday every year he was in power. The female leaders of the women’s branches of the Nazi party all exhorted German women to keep good Christian households for the sake of the Reich. Pope Benedict, moreover, was a Nazi collaborator and today heads a misognystic worldwide anti-gay hate organization.

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        Scott Rose says:

        It’s always a surprise when a Christian is a shameless bullshitter. For example, according to a Christian, the Christians, not the Native Americans in North and South America were the victims of the massacres of those Natives.

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          Scott Rose says:

          The bottom line here is that I am fully accepting of myself (as are my entire family, circle of friends, and colleagues) and if you don’t like it you can go jump off a cliff for all I care. Like all of the most modern and enlightened societies, the United States now has out and proud gay and lesbian members of its military. If you don’t like that, again, go jump off a cliff for all I care. Who cares about your ignorance-driven, pompous and smug and conceited anti-gay bigotry? Stick it!

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            Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

            Scott, if you were as happy with yourself as you claim, you wouldn’t be here screaming profanities. In any case, you are done here. Thanks for visiting.

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      John Panos says:

      Scott, nothing personal, but if you really believe what you wrote, you are either an idiot, have no actual facts of history whatsoever, or are so indoctrinated in hatred you can discern anything anymore.

      You’re pitiful, in other words. And pity you, I do. In your rage, you know neither friend nor foe.

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        Eliot Ryan says:

        Documented by whom? The Holocaust was all about scientific racism, politics and finances. It had to do with people not being true Christians. The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed, ambition and all sort of passions. The Communist Holocaust victim’s (mostly Christians) was more ten times the figure of what we call “the Holocaust” and the history is still ignoring it.

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    Rob says:

    Scott,
    Religion is not in itself the enemy of mankind. While it is true that Christianity has inspired unfortunate historical events from the Inquisition to the fighting amongst Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, it has also provided the inspiration to those who opposed American slavery as well as the many who have sacrificed their own lives for the good of others on mission fields and in poorer nations across the world. The faith that religious belief offers (and Christianity affords in particular) also provides hope in the face of the difficult travails and sorrow that life often deals us. Families who must face the death of a child or a loved one often refer to their reliance on their faith and religious beliefs in getting them through.

    I’ve witnessed it make bad man probably worse than they would have been otherwise, but it’s made good people better than they would have been as well. Perhaps you can say it’s a magnifier of the human spirit. Religious sentiment seems to be very tightly interwoven into our collective consciousness, like it or not. Certainly, religious belief cannot be eradicated, nor should we try. It would be as wrongheaded as the fundamentalist notion that we can eradicate “heresy”.

    I understand the threat you feel from the Religious Right regarding your sexual orientation. The stuff I’ve seen out there from some anti-gay groups is truly vile. Some of them barely stop short of calling for the death of gay people. Barely. However, I think, based on my limited readings from this site, that your response to Fr Hans was misdirected. He may come across as a curmudgeon in print regarding this issue, but from my experience, he treats gay persons individually as people and with respect. I have never witnessed him in dialogue with an admitted gay person use pejorative terms or in any demean their humanity (and challenging your ideas about things is not demeaning you).

    Certainly, it will win no converts for other readers out there, but will rather only confirm in their minds their own belief that gays are themselves a threat and out to harm the lives of those who have certain moral convictions based on their own beliefs.

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      alexis says:

      How true. The Lord Jesus, His followers, and Christian civilization have contributed so much to the good of mankind, especially in the realms of law, music, science, medicine, architecture, etc. I would highly recommend Olasky and Schmidt’s “The Great Divide,” which compares and contrasts Christianity and Islam. Christianity and religion aside, homosexuality absolutely makes no sense.

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    Scott: Your profane language here is edifying and embarrassing. Still please remember that in the end all this is not about you being right or “accepted’. It is about the fate of your own soul and the souls of your “loved” ones.

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    isaac says:

    I thought Scott was doing a parody of a badly educated pro-gay marriage advocate during his first post or two, but now I see it was just authentic ignorance.

    A larger question that isn’t being addressed is what any Christian is doing in a military that does anything other than defend the homeland from direct attack. Christians should simply stop enlisting just like Christians should be bowing out of state marriages and only get married in church.

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      Fr. Peter M. Dubinin says:

      I found the article and responses most fascinating and wasn’t going to respond until I read this response from isaac. I am an Orthodox priest (18 years) and an Army chaplain (15 years). Why would we encourage Christians to not be decidedly engaged in every facet of society? During the time of “deliberation” in anticipation of the repeal of DADT, I voiced my concerns through channels provided by the Army for that purpose. I believe the military made the wrong decision in the repeal, but I am not about to leave the military over it. I will by the grace of God continue faithful to my Savior and Church and let the institution do what it believes it must to me in response. I do not believe it is in our best interest as Christians to make it easy for the military to silence us by simply leaving the military or not enlisting. Believe me, I have experienced a bit of a backlash for my actions consistent with the teaching of the Church and defense of the US constitution.

      One of my concerns as a priest serving in the Army as a chaplain has to do with what I would characterize as benign neglect of our service members and their families by the Church, especially their parishes (obviously not all; so please refrain from – O but in our parish we…). Our Orthodox sons and daughters are among the most least prepared spiritually to enter such a spiritual battlefield as the military. Is it so hard for a priest to encourage their youth through a spiritual basic training or boot camp prior to enlistment? As Orthodox Christians in the US we don’t even know enough to instruct the military to rightly identify the religious faith of our sons and daughters insisting on our ethnic identification – Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox…. We are Orthodox Christians, period, and if we identify ourselves as anything else then we are giving the institution easy reason to deal with each group seperately rather than collectively; we have already accomplished the “divide” part of “divide and conquer.” There are four Orthodox jurisdictions endorsing Orthodox clergy to serve in the military – ROCOR, OCA, GOA and Antioch. As an Orthodox Church we are not taken seriously; we do not speak with one voice and a growing disdain for military service among the Orthodox in the country is noticed in the chaplaincy and contributes to not being taken seriously.

      Fr. Peter

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        Karen says:

        Fr. Peter, thank you so much for this perspective. It is much needed. May the Lord have mercy on you and your colleagues as you minister, especially among the faithful, within our troops. I agree, let’s not concede any part of the arena of our spiritual warfare to the enemy willingly. Let’s at least go out fighting with everything we’ve got.

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        Eliot Ryan says:

        Fr. Peter:

        One of my concerns as a priest serving in the Army as a chaplain has to do with what I would characterize as benign neglect of our service members and their families by the Church[...] Our Orthodox sons and daughters are among the most least prepared spiritually to enter such a spiritual battlefield as the military.

        Certainly there is a need to reassess how we are “doing business”…

        If in some schools students consistently fail to pass their exams or if professional sports teams lose most of their games we expect those in charge (teachers, principals, coaches) to be reprimanded or replaced. When the vast majority of Orthodox Christians do not grasp essential doctrines certainly there is a need to reassess how we are “doing business.”

        A complex worldly institution teaching novelties without grounding in authentic church tradition is not the way to go. Catholicism- and its offspring, Protestantism, and the present state of the post-Cristian Europe it is a clear indication that such an approach is doomed to end in failure.

        There is no “formula” for the truly God-pleasing Orthodox life; the confession of faith must be in godliness.

        The Restoration of the Orthodox Way of Life
        by Archbishop Andrew of New-Diveyevo
        On how to survive as an Orthodox Christian in the anti-Christian 20th century.
        [...]

        In every place where historical circumstances have driven him—Kiev, Berlin, Wendlingen, New York State—a close-knit Orthodox community has formed around him; and this is closer to a key to understanding his teaching. Such communities, rare today among Orthodox Christians, do not arise spontaneously, but only in especially favorable circumstances, if there is present a conscious Orthodox philosophy of life. This conscious Patristic philosophy is what, most of all, we can learn from Archbishop Andrew.
        [...]

        There is no “formula” for the truly God-pleasing Orthodox life; anything outward can become a counterfeit; everything depends on the state of the soul, which must be trembling before God, having the law of God before it in every area of life, every moment keeping what is God’s in honor, in the first place in life.
        [...]
        Humanism takes possession of men in various ways, not usually by a conscious intellectual conversion to it, but more often by laxness and unawareness in spiritual life. The Orthodox answer to this danger—whose ultimate end is the reign of Antichrist—is a conscious Orthodox philosophy of life.
        [...]
        Elder Nectarius showed me my path, the path of pastoral service, and prepared me for it with the help of his disciple, Fr. Vincent. He taught me that the confession of faith must be in godliness. The Divine must enter into every side of our life, personal, family, and public.
        [...]
        For the course of nearly two years, under ceaseless bombings, Divine services were celebrated every day in the cathedral.

        [...]
        Against contemporary man the same temptations, the same passions and seductions battle that tempted men a thousand years ago. Sin remains sin forever, and not a jot or tittle of the law of Christ changes: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Seek ye first the of God and its Kingdom righteousness, and all else will be added unto you.” The most important thing is to create a pure heart and keep it that way. Here there can be no talk of reforms. The Lord Himself has already given us everything needful in His Church.
        [...]
        “The dogmas of faith, faith itself is revealed to us, and none of us doubts it; but the confession of faith must be in godliness. ‘No one is good save God alone’—this is to hold what is God’s in honor. It is the Divine that must be our concern; it must enter into all sides of our life—personal, family, public. [...] One of the methods for godliness is given by the Holy Church in a spiritual exercise which trains our mind to the remembrance of the Name of God—’Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.’ Monastics are given a prayer-rope, but for a priest in the world the prayerful remembrance of his spiritual children can serve for training in the remembrance of the Name of God.”

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      Alec Haapala says:

      I served for 20 years in the Navy. I became a Christian during the first two. The next 18 years I looked on every duty station as a mission field and every deployment as a missions trip courtesy of the US Government. I do not know how many lives were impacted with the Gospel during this time, but I know of a few, and that is enough.

      Additionally, before there was DADT, there was the simple UCMJ prohibition against homosexual behavior. While serving on ships, I knew of a number of sailors that were more or less openly practicing homosexual behavior. What was the response of their shipmates? Leave it at the gate and you will be left alone, bring on board and you will be “written up”.

      Bottom line, before DADT, everyone was “mission focused” on our job and did not worry or care about what sailors did in their off time. It was Clinton’s trying to force a change in the UCMJ that brought about DADT, which required the chain of command to prosecute and discharge those who practiced homosexual behaviors. Prior to that there was much leeway in a commander’s decisions on when to enforce the UCMJ based on his understanding of how things would impact the mission and unit cohesion.

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    Pravoslavac says:

    “Scott” has done us a great service by illustrating what “progressives” will do to Christians if (when?) given the chance. Sometimes it’s a red star, sometimes it’s a rainbow flag. In the name of “tolerance” and “equality” they will close our churches, murder our clergy, and put us in the GULAG.

    Thanks for the moment of clarity there.

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      Eliot Ryan says:

      I think we should express compassion and sorrow for “Scott”‘s state and for the state of all “Scotts” out there. There is much confusion in the world today, and it is truly difficult to move from confusion to clarity.

      On Conscience

      Just as the Law of God puts the fear of God’s judgement into a sinner, so likewise conscience puts fear into him and cries within the sinner, “Man, it shall go miserably for you.” Just as the effect of the Law of God and of conscience are the same, so shall they be the same at the Judgement of Christ. There the Law of God which he violated will accuse the sinner; the conscience offended by his sins will also accuse him.

      There, these two, conscience and the Law of God, will be the witnesses and the accusers against every sinner. It happens that an evil conscience is as though asleep; but when it awakens and begins to accuse the sinner, then cruel torment will come upon him through his conscience, whence it is that many kill themselves, not enduring the pangs of conscience.

      For just as there is no better repose than from a pure conscience, so likewise there is no greater disquiet and torment than from a wicked conscience. If conscience torments so much here, how shall it torment a sinner in the age to come when all his sins shall stand before him and it accuses him of them and torments him?

      O sinners, why do we sleep? Let us awaken and repent and cleanse our sins by repentance and contrition of heart, and let us correct ourselves and cease from sinning and offending our conscience, lest we appear before the Judgement of Christ with an evil conscience blackened with sins, when the books of the conscience shall be opened and each shall receive according to his works.

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      M. Stankovich says:

      “Scott” has done us a great service by illustrating what “progressives” will do to Christians if (when?) given the chance.

      I certainly hope you are kidding. “Scott” has done nothing but garner post after post of “satisfaction” by hanging meat in front of what he perceives as hungry dogs; otherwise known as the “payoff.” Seriously, you need to be able to clearly distinguish between “progressives” and psychopaths. And by offering no definition of what a “progressive” might be – homosexual, vulgar, hostile? – or what it is “they” might do to Christians, your words hang in the air like a lurid “catch can” of inclusiveness for all “disagreeables.” I urge prudence in “diagnosis,” as it can be a tricky business.

      I think we should express compassion and sorrow for “Scott”‘s state and for the state of all “Scotts” out there.

      If my assessment is correct, Scott’s “state” is neither angry nor “tormented,” because he feels nothing at all. This is the hallmark of an anti-social personality, a psychopath. And the tip off? Provocation; increasing hostility toward “sober” reaction; increasing hostility commensurate to the increasing “outrage”; and provocation leading to “forced exclusion.” And just to be sure we’re clear, “provocation.” He or she has moved on to fish elsewhere. If Fr. Johannes had responded at comment at 3.1 as he did at comment 5.1.2.1.1, he would have accomplished what I strive for daily working in a state prison: “containing” anti-social personalities. It is the only behaviour to which they will respond.

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        Eliot Ryan says:

        M. Stankovich : You are probably correct in your assessment. Still, it is sad and tragic that a fellow human being can deteriorate into such a pitiable state. A solitary confinement would probably help such a person to focus on self exploration, on inward exploration of meaning and self-awareness of the divine spark, however dim, resident within him/her.

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    Rob says:

    I have watched this debate closely for some time, and while Mr Rose’s posts were unacceptably profane and do not reflect the sentiments of the majority of those who support gay marriage, I do think I understand to a degree why many gay activists are beginning to react like an alley cat backed into a corner when dealing with anyone in the religious sphere who opposes gay marriage.

    Three observations:
    a) The vehement opposition and moral indignation expressed by many in the religious community against gay marriage and homosexuality are out of proportion to the degree of sin, even when using the yardstick of Scriptural norms. Senator Ruben Diaz at a Nation for Marriage rally made a point of quoting the Leviticus mandate of death in regards to homosexuality (ignoring that the Old Testament required death for working on the Sabbath as well). Even Fr. Hans incorrectly referred to the destruction of Sodom as occurring solely due to God’s wrath over the sin of homosexuality (see Ezekiel 16:49). As a gay person, what should one gather from such assertions? We reserve the death penalty only for the most heinous of crimes. It seems that we’re suggesting that to engage in homosexual conduct is to have reached the nadir of the human soul. If that is the case, what does one do when confronting real and monstrous evil in this world? A gang loyal to a Mexican drug lord recently kidnapped some narc agents, bound them, sawed off their heads with a hacksaw and then hung their bodies upside down beneath a bridge in a callous display of contempt. What is there left to say to such things when you’ve already reserved your supreme indignation towards two men who are physically affectionate with each other?

    b) Those who claim to speak purely from the vantage point of Biblical morality are inconsistent in their treatment of it. To me, divorce causes more tangible harm in some instances than gay marriage. It leaves one or more children without a parent and causes cynicism in their hearts regarding the potential and good of marriage. It often involves the violation of a sacred vow. Yet, few seem really interested in legislating or even critiquing divorce laws, despite God’s explicitly mentioned hatred of divorce (Malachi 2:16) as well as three passages detailing Christ’s condemnation of it. Further, I can’t recall a single instance of a divorcee being labeled with the same pejorative terms that gays are (reprobate, pervert, etc.).

    c) The arguments against gay marriage are often incoherent. On several news casts when arguing against gay marriage, some pro-family spokesperson will often trot out the statistics of gay male promiscuity. It does need to be addressed, but why is it being discussed with those who are striving to repudiate that type of behavior? Further, they talk in vague terms about the decline of the “traditional family” as if gays are somehow responsible
    for the divorce or reluctance to marry on the part of heterosexuals. I, for one, do not see the correlation.

    When you look at these things, it does make sense that some will feel they are being “targeted” and that the opposition to homosexual conduct is based less on principle than on prejudice. In Africa, numerous Christian pastors have pushed for the criminalization of homosexual conduct – up to 10 years – as well as anyone who hides/assists known homosexuals. Pravo fears the gulag. I’m thinking gay men and women do as well. At this point, I think we can still avoid a fiery conflagration between forces if we resolve to uphold the notions of mutual respect and the freedoms this nation was founded upon, even if it’s freedom to express our beliefs or live in ways we do not always understand or agree with (and I suggest this to both sides).

Care to comment?

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