Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't Ask is done, but we ALL still have a ways to go

Don’t ask don’t tell has been repealed. I have two thoughts.

1. It’s about time.

2. That was a pretty moronic rule to begin with.

First of all I’m going to start by saying this: I am happy that the decision has been made to end this policy. It was long overdue. There have been countless lives affected by this DADT and I hope that this will be the first of many necessary steps toward making openly gay and lesbian soldiers a reality in our armed forces.

Now on to the part about it being moronic… I mean seriously… Being a soldier is no joke. Those who choose to be soldiers are willingly putting themselves in harms way. And they choose to do this to protect us, the regular American citizens that have no desire to be out there. I cannot begin to imagine how many good soldiers we lost by having this policy. How many lives were lost because some of our best soldiers couldn’t go out into the field of battle? In a time when our soldiers are over extended and ill-equipped we’ve allowed our collective bigotry to prevent us from putting our best foot forward.


This is in no way an endorsement of the wars we have going on. I am not the biggest fan of war in general, nor some of the specific decisions that have been made with our recent foreign policy. I believe that we should do our best to avoid war at all costs unless absolutely necessary.

Plus I think that peace is pretty cool. But that’s just me.

But to deny someone the right to serve their country, no, protect their country, as a soldier because of their sexuality is terrible.

And it is wrong.

But of course we have seen this before. It wasn’t too long ago that the US military was segregated along racial lines. It seems that we are hard pressed to learn lessons from the past.

What has been will be again, 
   what has been done will be done again; 
   there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9

Most of us are afraid of what is different. We are afraid of what is new. We resist change.

But that’s not the way the world works. The world is constantly changing. We move through seasons. We experience sunshine, winds and rains. Though we follow the same path around the sun we never come back to the same place.

Time marches on and so must we.

We have seen this battle waged before but under different banners. Whether it is race or gender, nationality or sexuality the struggles remain the same.

Either we can be fair, or we can be unjust.

This is a matter of morality. Everyone has all the right in the world to think or feel however they want to about anyone else. But they do not have the right to let those thoughts fuel actions that negatively affect the lives of others. They do not have the right to impose their will on others.

What is right for you is just that; right for you.

For our gay brothers and sisters this is just one battle of a larger war. I wish them the best as a fellow from one under represented group to another.

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Jesus of Nazareth Matthew 7:12

I want the freedom to live my life as I choose so long as I don’t hurt others. I believe that everyone else should have that same right. If freedom is denied to one then it is denied to us all.

Stay strong. There is still a long way to go… for ALL OF US.


  1. I agree. It doesn't matter what laws are implemented to regulate individuals on "their" moral choices. People are going to do what they choose to do. No one has the right to dictate what those decisions should be, only merely suggest.

    God created us with the right to choose, no one has the right to take that right away, especially, when they're fighting to preserve and protect our rights in this very country.

    OKAY, I feel myself getting upset, so I digress...

    I believe its this very mind set that Jesus spoke against the Pharisees about. They could quote the laws real good, but could not do the one thing that fulfilled those very laws...LOVE one another first and foremost.


  2. I appreciate this post!

    Humbly I admit I feel DADT may have been a positive effort vs. a negative.

    Sexuality unlike skin color, is not something that is seen upon entering a room full of people. It is personal. Like preferring chocolate ice cream over vanilla. (Overly simple but hopefully you get my point.) If entering a room it is done so with a partner in tow, or a bowl of chocolate ice cream in hand, then the information can be known to the room full of people upon sight. Otherwise, no. Skin color on the other, with partner in tow or bowl of ice cream in hand, or not, the room full of people with ALWAYS see color. ALWAYS. With or without words, sound, or accompaniment.

    DADT to me, was a way for a very homophobic society to deal with a very real issue of discrimination. I don't think to prevent gays to be in the military, but in a weird quiet way, to acknowledge them. To show realization and understanding that gays are and have been in the military for sometimes. And that of the many contributions made by soldiers, there was now way to tell which were straight vs. gay. And at the end of the day, it does and did not matter.

    In a situation that is not very open to change or new ideas, sometimes forcing a new issue can do more harm that good. I.e. if you want to be treated the same as other soldiers, then be the same. In an arena were sexuality, music choice, religion, background can all be areas of discord, why wouldn't sexuality do the same.

    Of my understanding of the military for family and friends who have been part of this "Gang for America" the more similarities that are promoted the greater amount of cohesion created. It is this cohesive "like mind" that allows these soldiers dealing with insurmountable experiences to excel and remain safe. Pointing out the differences from the start, could backfire. Meaning, if a person doesn't dig gays, and knew at boot camp someone was gay, they may choose to not have anything to do with that person because they are gay. Where as if after months of learning of a person, knowing in hard times they can be trusted and relied upon, a person finds out someone is gay, they just might change their viewpoint about gays.

    I hope this repeal does not cause new problems for gays in what is to me, a still very homophobic military. Ignorance sometimes can be bliss. Enlightenment though can bring about positive change.

    This war must continue..."do not go gentle into that dark night. Rage against the dying of the light." Rage on.


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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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