Thanks to our lovely Ophelia, it came to my attention that Judge Joe Rehyanksy of Hamilton County, Tennessee published an article on The Daily Caller advocating for what amounts to corrective rape for lesbian troops. This is just the tip of the iceberg of unbelievable crud that’s been catapulted into the Internet-o-sphere regarding DADT and gay service-members, so, for your head-shaking, brain-exploding enjoyment, here are the worst of the worst arguments.
Let’s start with good ol’ Joe. The Daily Caller briefly removed parts of his article, but that’s what’s so nice and scary about the Internet: you can’t scrub it clean; people will copy and paste and remember forever anything that is made public for longer than 2.5 seconds.
According to The Raw Story, Joe employed my favorite of all pseudo-sciences, evolutionary psychology, to argue that men cannot distinguish between straight and lesbian women, but will try to bed any and every warm body they are exposed to:
“It fell to men to swing through the trees and scour the caves in search of as many women as possible to subdue and impregnate – a tough job but someone had to do it.”
Yeah, because having sex with as many people as possible is such a burden, man. Also, Joe strongly opposes allowing gay men to serve openly, writing:
“[S]houldn’t the overwhelmingly straight warriors who answer their county’s call be spared the indignity of showering with other men who achieve lascivious enjoyment from the sight of those lithe naked bodies, and who may be tempted to seek more than the view?”
Hey, Joe, if that whole judge thing doesn’t work out for you, your colorful vocabulary and strong imagination may lend you an edge in the world of erotic publishing. Jussayin’.
Next up, we have another post from The Daily Caller, this time by staff reporter Caroline May, who posits that repealing DADT will set in place non-discrimination laws that interfere with the rights of chaplains to freedom of speech.
She cites a letter from 66 retired chaplains to President Obama and Defense Secretary Richard Gates, which states,
“The affects of this ban would be felt keenly within a chaplain’s religious duties, but it would extend outside the pulpit, too. Since chaplains are tasked with teaching classes in moral leadership and ethics both on armed forces bases and at branch schools, such censorship would prevent them from providing the full moral instruction their faith background gives them.”
I actually don’t think this argument is complete crud. But, while I understand the moral concerns the chaplains are voicing, precedence shows their views will be accommodated. As it stands now, chaplains are allowed to opt out of administering rites or marrying people outside their own faith (see Fr. Peter Dubinin’s comments, particularly 5:38 and 11:53). There’s no reason to believe anyone will be forced to act against their faith, so in the wise words of my dad: let’s cross that bridge and file that ACLU complaint when we come to it.
When it comes to teaching ethics courses to soldiers of all denominations, there is no reason for chaplains to mention homosexuality. Soldiers have no business proselytizing during work hours; they shouldn’t be discussing sexuality at all with their comrades. If a soldier believes that homosexuality is a sin, the ethical thing to do is to keep quiet during work hours, just as the ethical GLBT soldiers keep their love lives private and the ethical Jewish soldiers refrain from making a big deal when the mess hall serves ribs and ethical Mormon soldiers don’t tell everyone enjoying a Coke with their Burger King that they’re going to hell.
When it comes to personal counseling, chaplains should be allowed to voice what their beliefs are, and if they clash with what the individual soldier is looking for, they can recommend seeing another chaplain or taking advantage of the non-religious counseling services that are available on all military bases. This is already what is happening and there’s no reason to change the formula.
Part of the unique call of the Chaplains Corp means working with chaplains of other faiths and serving all soldiers, regardless of their beliefs. People who take issue with the separation of church and state (which is going to handicap a chaplain of any faith) or the Accommodation of Religious Practices Within the Armed Services should not join the chaplaincy.
If you want to read more, Jason Poling, pastor of New Hope Community Church, has a great op-ed. about this in the Washington Post.
I intended to write about more arguments than these two, but got a bit bogged down, so I’ll close out this post now. Anybody who wants to discuss the ramifications of repealing DADT: I’ll see you in the comments!