Thank G-d for the cautious rationality of Kathleen Parker. (For those uncomfortable with the idea of a single deity or of openly printing the name of it, I have censored it while I study the effect it might have on comprehending this post).
Parker wrote a column for the Washington Post last week about the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy (I need to start reading a real newspaper - I didn't see this article until it was reprinted in the Cincinnati Enquirer today).
Parker explains that "gays and lesbians are equal to the task of serving in the military ... it is so obvious and true" and that "Equally absurd is the notion that gays cannot abide by the rules against fraternization. There's no evidence that gays are less able to control their libidos than are heterosexuals." and that "gays and lesbians already have served honorably and valiantly, so what ... is the big deal?"
This is why she is such a great writer, because just when you think she is caving in to "the enlightened views of a few urban dwellers" she sets us all straight with the fact that "the military really is not about you. And the right to serve belongs to no one", that "In combat ... unit cohesion is crucial. Whether serving as 'openly gay,' ... will affect that cohesion is the great unknown" and we need extensive further study to decide whether the military can survive overturning "DADT".
It should be obvious. The question goes beyond gay people. We are fortunate that the military has not forced white soldiers to serve with people who are openly of African, Mexican or (G-d fobid) Japanese origin until we can study what effect it would have on the morale of xenophobes and their ability to function cohesively.
I am forced to reveal here that I was, at first, of a different orientation that Parker. I sent her an email asking "Is this satire? Take your column and substitute "Jewish" for "homosexual". Would you seriously state that a study is needed to determine how it would affect "unit cohesion" if Christian soldiers had to serve with soldiers who were openly Jewish?" I am embarrassed to have been that openly ignorant.
Parker brilliantly replied, simply, "I'm sure you are aware that skin color and ethnicity do not equate to sexual behavior." What was I thinking? i forgot that being Jewish means being of a different ethnicity and skin color, having a funny accent and a hooked nose. We must continue to force Jewish soldiers to hide the fact that they don't believe Jesus is the son of G-d or that, in the privacy of their homes, they light funny candlesticks with those of their ethnic persuasion - at least until we can study the ability of Christian soldiers to serve effectively alongside them, knowing what they are.
The only group that should not be subject to a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is bigoted homophobes. First of all, they can't help being who they are. secondly, as long as everyone they hate or fear or are uncomfortable with is prohibited from revealing their differences, there will be no disruption of unit cohesion when they act upon their unnatural proclivities.
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