Gen. Pace: no apologies for calling gays immoral
Pace is not backing down one bit. That should be a real boost to the estimated 65,000 gays and lesbians serving, fighting, dying, and returning home battered and broken for their country. Here is his “clarification” from the DoD:
“Yesterday, during a wide ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, I was asked if I think the current policy as codified in U.S. Code, generally referred to as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” should still hold.
“People have a wide range of opinions on this sensitive subject. The important thing to remember is that we have a policy in effect, and the Department of Defense has a statutory responsibility to implement that policy.
“I made two points in support of the policy during the interview. One, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” allows individuals to serve this nation; and two, it does not make a judgment about the morality of individual acts. “In expressing my support for the current policy, I also offered some personal opinions about moral conduct.
“I should have focused more on my support of the policy and less on my personal moral views.”
That statement shows no regret; he’s sorry that this blew up in his face because his personal opinion was made public. Unfortunately he also used that personal view to justify his support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He can’t take that back — it’s already out there.
He’s clearly not sorry about that we all now know that he considers hard-working, dedicated gay and lesbian service members immoral. Homos are. however, welcome to serve in silence and get blown up by an IED as long as their orientation isn’t declared because doing so gives Pace the vapors because of his “personal upbringing.” Pace is entitled to his personal beliefs, but they are not relevant regarding DADT as a policy, which he made the mistake of of conflating. This is the game the theocrats like to play, merging church and state, muddying civil matters with their particular biblical perspective — then they regard it as an attack on their religious beliefs. [Check out the support of Pace by Exodus’s Alan Chambers and fundie and failed presidential candidate, Gary Bauer — it’s after the flip.]
Pace’s comments were uncalled for, particularly for a military official — that’s what he’s being taken to task for. If he cannot separate his personal views from the policy he defends — and doesn’t see how those views affect women and men in uniform who are gay, then he’s got to apologize. It’s obviously not forthcoming.
Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first U.S. military service member wounded in the Iraq war, recently came out at a press conference for the reintroduction of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (which would repeal DADT). He had this to say about Pace’s “immorality” comments:
“Judging gay men and women in the military for factors unrelated to their fitness to serve undermines our military’s effectiveness. Certain leaders’ bigotry should not be a rational basis for discrimination. This kind of prejudice is going to continue to have a direct impact on our national security as we allow qualified gay men and women to lose their jobs for no good reason. This policy – and General Pace’s bigotry – is outdated, unnecessary and counter to the same American values our soldiers are giving their lives for each and every day.”
HRC’s Joe Solomonese:
“What is immoral is to weaken our national security because of personal prejudices. General Pace’s comments were irresponsible, offensive and a slap in the face to the gay men and women who are currently serving their country with honor and bravery.”
Thanks, General Pace — just like Tim Hardaway, you brought your bigotry to the fore, and it has spurred necessary discussion about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that needs to happen in Congress. Notice no Republicans on the Hill have came to his defense; in fact John Warner had this to say.
In a rare rebuke of the nation’s top military officer, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., says he strongly disagrees with Gen. Peter Pace’s views that homosexuality is “immoral.”
“I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman’s view that homosexuality is immoral,” Warner said in a statement released by his office.
The rest of the silence by Republicans on the Hill telegraphs that they don’t want to have this discussion about repealing DADT.
.. what really has General Pace in such “hot water” is not that he defended the policy, but that he made the “mistake” of answering honestly and dared to express his view that homosexual conduct is “immoral” – a view shared by millions of Americans and taught by every major religion. Once again, we are seeing how the demands to normalize homosexuality are coming in direct conflict with religious freedom.
This is yet one more example of why we are losing the culture war. We have gone from a culture where expressing support for immoral behavior could cost you your job to a culture where expressing support for traditional morality can cost you your job. When a small group of radicals can convince us that our values are “bigoted,” that we must remain silent, that we have no rights to express our views publicly, they win and we lose. The debate is shut down because we have surrendered the field.
And ex-gay-for-pay Alan Chambers weighs in:
General Pace’s comments were true and firmly rooted in his upbringing and faith.
I am thankful for the fact that we still have leaders in high posts who are willing to be respectfully honest about their beliefs and opinions without regard for what is politically correct. I am tired of our leaders caving into the intimidation that comes from the heavy handed gay activist community. There is still room in the debate over homosexuality for the Judeo-Christian perspective.
Sigh. These folks are swirling the bowl. There is no room for debate about the morality or immorality of homosexuality in the military. The debate is whether openly gay and lesbian servicemembers can serve their country, just as their heterosexual fellow citizens can. There is no bible-based decision making that is relevant when the issue goes before Congress.