The real difficulty with don’t ask, don’t tell
A week or so ago, Josh Marshal highlighted a poll that shows 69% of the public favors gays in the military. After a couple of seconds of thinking about why Obama isn’t engaging that obviously winning political battle, I emailed Josh with what I came up with. I throw it out for thoughts.
The problem with gays in the military isn’t one of public opinion.
It’s that huge portions of the officer corps and senior enlisted ranks are, to varying degrees, radical Christian fundamentalists.
Notwithstanding all their blather about motes in eyes and let he who is without sin and all sin being equal in the eyes of God, Christians reserve special judgment for gays.
And often, it just cannot be helped.
How does a good Christian promote a gay subordinate knowing (in a really heartfelt way) that God will bless or curse a country after judging its fruits (definitely no pun intended).
Through the eyes of a person that believes the earth is 6,000 years old, Sodom and Gomorrah are the very real consequences for a nation that embraces such abomination before the Lord.
Seriously, there are fairly challenging practical obstacles to repealing DADT. We’ve allowed our military to become part and parcel with a militant religion. Upsetting that applecart could have national security consequences that might be forcing the powers that be to defer action until peacetime is upon us.
I don’t know how difficult this is for you to see being from New York and Jewish (no offense intended – I was from NY when I joined the Marines and the culture of pressured religiosity was difficult for me to understand and get used to at first). But if you could imagine the Israeli military being run by the most fanatical settlers, we’d have a close approximation.