Thursday, October 21, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell repeal

Since I don’t have any close friends or relatives who are openly gay and because I am not gay myself, it would be easy to simply ignore the whole controversy surrounding gays in the military and gay marriage.
But I can’t. It still ticks me off to no end that such a basic issue of civil rights continues to be such a hotbed of controversy today.
I am disappointed that the Obama administration is fighting against the latest court ruling striking down the antiquated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. This idea that the military needs more time to study the matter and adjust and prepare is all a lot of bullshit. If you are in the military, you deal with it. End of story. If you can’t handle it, then get the hell out.
There will always be rightwingers who will claim that integrating the military will have adverse impacts on troop readiness and cohesion, whether we are talking about race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. And every time their prognostications have proven false and their fears unfounded.
What’s more is that it seems like such a simple issue to me. Sexual orientation is a matter of biology, not choice. Throughout history, in every society and every culture, there has always been about the same percentage of the population that is homosexual. It is simply part of the natural balance of life. Put another way, it is the way God set things up.
I am well aware of the fact that the Bible condemns homosexuality. I’ve been reading the Bible straight through recently (I’m up to Nehemiah) and what strikes me about it is the huge swath of things in the Bible that we completely ignore and blow off today. Sure, the ancient Israelites condemned homosexuality (and by extension believed that God did as well), but they also condemned eating pork and touching a woman while she is menustrating and a long list of other “abominations” that we conveniently overlook today. And then there are all the things they condoned or tolerated that we now find insufferable and wrong. Things such as slavery, polygamy, animal sacrifice, and much more.
It is not fair to ignore the parts of the Bible that we personally find inconvenient while strictly enforcing other parts when they happen to mesh with our favored ideology. The best thing is to consider the Bible in its historical context and weigh it against the teachings of Christ who called on us to put aside our judgmental ways and focus on neighborly love and forgiveness.
Homosexuality is a fact of life and we really need to evolve as a society to the point where we are not always freaking out about it.