Don't Ask Don't Tell Study Results

A report was released by the Pentagon that affects all of us in the military. In this study, military members were actually used to form part of the report, complete with an anonymous survey (which I was not a part of). The Washington Post had an article showing that, "about 70 percent of active duty and reserve members of the military saw little or no problem with ending the 17-year-old policy." I tend to agree with the general consensus. While I don't believe the act of homosexuality allows a person to be right with God (not that they can't come to Christ, mind you). 


According to Business Week, the Pentagon report also showed that, "ending the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian service members would present a “low” risk to overall military effectiveness, a Pentagon study says." For those who may say that these are biased sources, Fox News reported on the issue, quoting Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who was a former Marine officer, saying essentially that the Pentagon set up a survey to get a specific result. 


It is difficult to write about this topic as an unbiased person, as I am both a Christian and a career sailor. However, I disagree with Mr. Hunter, who was my representative while I was stationed in San Diego. I believe that he toed the political line, and that comes from my dealing with him in the past (including writing him letters on other issues). He is a Republican, and so he states things as a Republican. Hey, I call it like it is.


As a sailor, I know this is inevitable. We will have homosexuals serving openly in the military because it is the current issue in America and so it will be getting the attention. The only question is whether legalized marriage will happen before or after Don't Ask Don't Tell gets repealed. 


As a Christian, I know this is inevitable. See a pattern here? In no way am I saying that homosexuality is acceptable to God, but that's something for God to figure out, not me. I just try to do what he says, and that is to care about every human being and share my faith when I can.

5 comments:

JD said...

Your statement of "inevitability" seems to indicate an abdication of any defense of virtue or morality. If we refuse to defend right, we certainly can't complain when the culture goes wrong. Do you believe people should attempt to influence the culture in a way they believe to be right?

With regard to Hunter, more groups are reviewing the results and calling foul on the decision to ignore the large percentages of "negative or very negative" responses (that dwarf the positive responses, as discussed here). If you were faced with a choice with 5% positive to 30% negative response, which would you choose?

All that said, I can kind of understand why you're noncommittal on an issue of morality like this. I read your post on abortion and see you essentially have the same position there. I wouldn't suggest necessarily that you make abortion (or DADT) a continual focus in every conversation you have with a nonbeliever, but I was shocked by your apparent decision to ignore injustice and immorality for “political” reasons. If we can’t explain “wrong,” how will we draw men to “right?”

Pro-life positions can even be defended apart from religion. Ie, if you can’t say when life begins because its “above your paygrade,” wouldn’t it logically be better to err on the side of life? Likewise, DADT can be defended apart from religion.

Your post about abortion left me with the impression you wouldn't stand up for the life of a child because it would be a "distraction." Last time I checked, concern for the widow, poor, and orphan were pretty high on Jesus' list, as were "the little children." If you won’t take a stand there, I can completely understand why you won’t take a stand on issues related to DADT. And to me, that’s kind of sad.

Dan said...

JD,
First, thank you for your comment. It presents quite the challenge. Here is my response.
Secondly, there is no scripture, that I can think of, where a believer is allowed to complain about culture going wrong, whether he "stood" for right or not. I'm not a scholar, so I will broadcast my apology to all if you tell me of one. Now, I will not argue that the act of homosexuality is a sin. I have always made it clear, both to my readers and to those around me in my workplace, that homosexuality is wrong. However, we are not doing God's work by keeping a homosexual from serving in the military. We are doing God's work when we warn the homosexual of God's coming judgement. Do you see the difference between the two situations? One proposes a negative (unable to serve in a secular institution) while the other proposes a positive (eternal life). We trade eternal life, or the chance for it, for a moral victory in a political situation.
As to my issues with the abortion debate, it cannot be defended apart from religion. Unbelievers have no spiritual reason to defend life, although I'm sure some do. They are not under the blood of Christ as they are not believers, therefore why should we expect them to comply with our idea of right and wrong? Furthermore, how does one defend an unborn baby? Voting? I've done that. Change the Supreme Court's decision? We cannot do that (you and I cannot...I realize that a new judge could). So what do you want me to do?
In your comment, you never gave a verse for changing a government position. I will give you one for my position: Matt 28:18-20, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Nothing I've written has ever suggested that I don't care about the widows, the poor, or children. If anything is true, it is the opposite. My heart aches for people to come to Christ and my writing shows it, as do my actions in building relationships with people and other ministry work. I could spend a great deal of time defending myself from other points of your discussion, but I'd like instead to get your ideas on what I've written so far. Besides, this is getting painfully long so I'll close.
Thank you again for your comment. I appreciate the fact that you've given me the other side of the issue.

JD said...

"there is no scripture...where a believer is allowed to complain."

I didn't say anything about believers. The point was that if citizens don't like the way culture is going, they need to participate in the governance of it. That's true for everyone, regardless of faith.

However, we are not doing God's work by keeping a homosexual from serving in the military.

You'll have to explain your paradigm to me. On the surface, you could equivalently say that putting criminals in jail isn't doing God's work either, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

We trade eternal life...for a moral victory in a political situation.

I strongly disagree, and would describe that as a false dichotomy. You'll never convince a parent they can bring their child to Christ by allowing them to do whatever they want. They don't "trade eternal life" for their kids when they create behavioral boundaries, regardless of the child's desires. Similarly, society can demand moral behavior, and citizens can support society in that, without "trading" anything.

Nothing I've written has ever suggested that I don't care about the widows, the poor, or children.

If that were the case, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You said you "left the unborn defenseless" because the topic of abortion was a "distraction." To me, calling the life of a child a "distraction" "suggests" you don't care. I grant you may not have meant to convey that, but you might consider the way you articulated your position revealed something about your relative concerns.

So what do you want me to do?

According to your words, you "stayed silent" and left the innocent defenseless. So a simple recommendation is to speak up. I'm by no means suggesting you say "Hi, my name's Dan, and I oppose abortion and homosexuality." But you've implied the opposite -- that you've not spoken up in defense of the unborn when you felt you should have, and that you don't care about the acceptance of homosexuality (or its practical impacts to the military).

Consider communicating a more balanced position. You can speak up when the topic of abortion arises, and you're not risking the eternal soul of the listener when you do -- though that doesn't discount wisdom and discretion (= balance). You can defend the value of virtue and morality, rather than express indifference in the face of an "inevitable" change, which is what I tried to do here.

All that said, I suspect we share beliefs but may have differing personalities. There's nothing wrong with that (the body of Christ is composed of many kinds). On topics of faith expression, I've suggested that you be a little more assertive and direct, and you'd probably (fairly) suggest I be a little more circumspect and a little less blunt. Perhaps we complement each other a bit.

JD said...

[I got a web error when I hit post the first time, so I'll resubmit to make sure it went through...]

"there is no scripture...where a believer is allowed to complain."

I didn't say anything about believers. The point was that if citizens don't like the way culture is going, they need to participate in the governance of it. That's true for everyone, regardless of faith.

However, we are not doing God's work by keeping a homosexual from serving in the military.

You'll have to explain your paradigm to me. On the surface, you could equivalently say that putting criminals in jail isn't doing God's work either, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

We trade eternal life...for a moral victory in a political situation.

I strongly disagree, and would describe that as a false dichotomy. You'll never convince a parent they can bring their child to Christ by allowing them to do whatever they want. They don't "trade eternal life" for their kids when they create behavioral boundaries, regardless of the child's desires. Similarly, society can demand moral behavior, and citizens can support society in that, without "trading" anything.

Nothing I've written has ever suggested that I don't care about the widows, the poor, or children.

If that were the case, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You said you "left the unborn defenseless" because the topic of abortion was a "distraction." To me, calling the life of a child a "distraction" "suggests" you don't care. I grant you may not have meant to convey that, but you might consider the way you articulated your position revealed something about your relative concerns.

So what do you want me to do?

According to your words, you "stayed silent" and left the innocent defenseless. So a simple recommendation is to speak up. I'm by no means suggesting you say "Hi, my name's Dan, and I oppose abortion and homosexuality." But you've implied the opposite -- that you've not spoken up in defense of the unborn when you felt you should have, and that you don't care about the acceptance of homosexuality (or its practical impacts to the military).

Consider communicating a more balanced position. You can speak up when the topic of abortion arises, and you're not risking the eternal soul of the listener when you do -- though that doesn't discount wisdom and discretion (= balance). You can defend the value of virtue and morality, rather than express indifference in the face of an "inevitable" change, which is what I tried to do here.

All that said, I suspect we share beliefs but may have differing personalities. There's nothing wrong with that (the body of Christ is composed of many kinds). On topics of faith expression, I've suggested that you be a little more assertive and direct, and you'd probably (fairly) suggest I be a little more circumspect and a little less blunt. Perhaps we complement each other a bit.

Dan said...

JD, I'm sorry to have taken so long with this reply. Blogger thought it was spam (have no idea why), so I just saw it.

I subscribe, right or wrong, to the idea of building relationships with people I plan to discuss Christ with. I make no effort to make sweeping policy stances. My goal was to suggest that we would have an opportunity to build relationships in the midst of this inevitable situation. I wrote about it again today in my thoughts for chaplains.

The fact is that I don't agree with you. I just don't. I think we probably do complement each other, however. I have several believing friends who disagree vehemently with how I feel about things, and vice versa. No harm no foul.

As a side note, the life of a child is not a distraction. The political issue of abortion is. I don't know if you're a dispensationalist or not, or how you feel about the Rapture, End Times, etc, but I believe things have to get worse...indeed, will get worse, before the end. In a weird sort of way, I would actually would rather it come quickly. It's just how I feel about it.