Saturday, August 27, 2016

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Prior to 1994 the military refused to allow military personnel who self-identified as homosexual1. President Clinton enacted a directive that was known at "Don't ask, don't tell" in which self-identified homosexuals could serve in the military as long as they weren't "out", so to speak. In 2011, this directive was replaced with a repeal of the military ban on homosexuals entirely. "Don't ask, don't tell" was replaced, in effect, with "We won't ask because we don't care." In June of this year the military further removed restrictions on self-identified transgenders serving openly. Now the government will pay for their hormone therapy and mental counseling to aim to change the gender they were "assigned at birth". (Sounds arbitrary, doesn't it?) In other words, insofar as the homosexual and even transexual goes, "Don't ask, don't tell" is so far gone as to be only a distant memory.

Recently officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs removed an open Bible from a major’s desk based on a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRRF). One military member said, "It certainly gives the appearance of favoritism toward one religion."

It would appear that for Christians the trend is the reverse of the homosexuals and transgenders. While Christians served openly in the military in the past, it looks like we're already arriving at a "don't ask, don't tell" status for being a Christian in the military. Oh, sure, you can be, but only as long as you're not "out". Keep that to yourself. They already listed Evangelicals and other conservative Christians as examples of dangerous religious extremism. Oh, they took it back, but the military has been silencing chaplains for years, so their "We were only kidding" line was simply a cover for the growing trend toward removing Christians from the military. No, not openly ... just, you know, "don't ask, don't tell." Don't worry, civilian America, I'm sure you won't be far behind. It's already in the works.
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1 Please note. I'm using "self-identified as homosexual" as my term for what everyone else simply calls "gay" because I'm tired of allowing for the idea that "I'm born that way" or that one's choices about who they have sex with is a matter of identity or "orientation" rather than choice. Sometimes we use "scare quotes" around words or phrases to indicate that they are being used in a nonstandard or special way. I'm using the phrase "self-identified as homosexual" to indicate that they claim to be a person who cannot help but have sex with others of the same sex, but I don't agree with their claim. The same is true of the phrase, "self-identified transgenders". It is their term, but I don't agree that such a being -- someone who is the opposite sex trapped in their current body -- exists. In both cases, neither does science.

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