With “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ending, the subject of gays serving in the military is making the discussion rounds again, and I thought this would be a good a time as any to chime in. Without going too deep into the issue the biggest arguments for and against break down into two main schools of thought. Those in favor of allowing gays to openly serve argue that we’re keeping qualified personnel from serving during a time of need and this is discrimination akin to racial integration in the military. Those against argue that the sexual element interferes with unit cohesion and creates an unnecessary distraction. Or to repeat a phrase that Rush Limbaugh likes to use, “the purpose of the military is to hurt people and to break things. It is not the place for a social experiment.”
I say that the left’s racial analogy is bunk, as race and sex are about as different as night and day. To use a rough example, I could easily share a foxhole with the likes of Brad Pitt, Derek Jeter and George Clooney and not feel distracted in any way by their presence. By contrast, sharing the same close confines with Marisa Miller, Gisele Bundschen and Leila Lopes can almost guarantee that any red blooded male would find himself distracted. And any guy who says he wouldn’t is lying, unless of course he’d prefer to be in a foxhole with Pitt, Jeter & Clooney. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Personally, I have no problem with gays openly serving and being allowed to be openly gay. Other nations’ military’s have done it without massive disruption, and if anyone wants to put his or her life on the line to protect my freedom I’ll be the last one to stand in their way.
All of that said, I have to admit that none of my opinions on this subject matter. Why? Because I’ve never served in the military. There are some things in this world that can not even begin to be understood unless one has experienced them. Think about it – how often do married people ask for marriage advice from single friends? How often do you hear of the story of parents whose children are acting up getting helpful advice from someone who has never had kids of their own? Those stories usually conclude some time later with the originally childless person later having kids and suddenly having very different view regarding child-rearing.
The military is no different. Having recently gotten married to Sister Babe and having a few nieces have given me some insight into marriage and parenthood, but I’m not at a point where I should be throwing out advice on either. I’ve never even come close to serving in the military and wouldn’t know the first thing of what it’s like to go through basic or everyday military life. And whatever opinions I may have on each of these subjects I don’t throw out advice on marriage or raising children, and I certainly do not pretend to know how the armed forces should be run. This is a matter that should be decided by the military and them alone.
What are your thoughts? I’d be most curious to hear from current or retired military on this one.
Cross Posted at Brother Bob’s Blog