Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Proud of My Peeps

In Tuesday's Johnson City Press, two FPCE folks had letters published. This was in response by a request from the paper regarding Don't Ask Don't Tell. Wise words by these wise women:
Members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community should be given the opportunity to serve their country openly. Anything less is discrimination, end of argument.

It is also a ridiculous waste of money to fire those who have attempted to follow the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

As of January 2009, 13,000 highly qualified men and women have been fired from the military since DADT was implemented in 1993.

It costs about $70,000 to get a soldier through basic training alone. Multiply that by 13,000 and we’ve wasted more than $900 million at the very least. This doesn’t include any additional training, equipment or support for highly trained individuals such as those in special ops, interpreters and officers.

The only argument left for keeping GLBT people out of the army is the “hostile work environment” argument. I recommend asking female soldiers if they have ever been exposed to a hostile work environment from their heterosexual male peers and superiors. According to the Pentagon, one-third of women in 2008 said they had. In 2007, 2,688 sexual assaults were reported.

Perhaps we should also ban heterosexual men from serving in the military. It makes just as much sense as banning gays or lesbians.

SANDRA GARRETT

Elizabethton
That's our beloved Snad. And from our beloved Sandy:
People used to say that blacks could not serve with whites or the structure of the army would break down. Then people used to say that women could not serve because their male comrades would be too worried about them to fight effectively. Well, those myths have been debunked and it’s time to debunk the current myth.

There is no reason gays cannot serve side by side with their heterosexual comrades. People who claim that it will interfere with the effectiveness of the unit are looking at the world through bigoted lenses. The only people who are upset are those who don’t like gays.

Why should anyone care if the guy holding a gun next to him is Jewish or black or gay? Or if the guy holding a gun next to him is a girl? As long as he or she can shoot straight and do the job, that’s all that matters.

Science has proved that gay people, just like heterosexual people, are born that way. They are not “evil” or “sinners.” You can be sure that if your god hates the same people that you do then he was created in your image.

Anyone who wants to treat a class of people differently because they belong to that class can only be described one way: bigoted.

I applaud everyone who wants to serve their country and it’s nobody’s business who sleeps with whom.

SANDY PHILLIPS

Jonesborough

8 comments:

  1. I served more than 8 years active duty army with DADT. I agree it is flawed and should be done away with, but what accomadations should be made (if any) with it gone? Currently, on deployment, sometimes in harsh environments, it is a challenge to deal with showering and changing clothes while in the presence of people of the opposite sex. It is done, but it is a distraction, I remember my boss who shared the same tent with me for the 1st gulf war was an expert at changing her clothes inside her sleeping bag. I did whatever I needed to do, and if I had ever caught her watching it would have probably just stroked my ego. Anyway, while I've never been confortable showering with other men, gay or straight, I personally wouldn't be more bothered if I knew them to be gay, on the other hand I suspect some would. Would you be ok with lifting the burden on the military coming up with seperate showers for men and women? Everyone shower together or separate by orientation perhaps. I'd be inclined to just say it is part of the job, like being examined by an opposite sex doctor, just everyone stay professional, but I'd like to hear other's opinions on it, particularly how would you justify separating the sexs if it isn't for the purpose of accomadating people "feeling like" they are being the objects of lust in someone else's eyes, even if in reality they aren't.

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  2. One way to deal with the issue is to simply expect people to get over the notion that everyone is thinking of everyone else as a possible sexual encounter.

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  3. Thanks Snad-I liked your letter btw and thought it was well written. One follow-up from a week or so ago. To me the difference between Devotion and Fanaticism is devotion seems to indicate more the duration of something while fanaticism indicates the intensity. One can devote an hour of time to something or a lifetime. Fanatacism is more of an obsessive passion for something, being passionate about the wrong thing-bad (As the link by John demonstrated) passionate about a good thing-good.

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  4. I didn't serve in the army, but I went to college in the 70s.

    Bathing suits, skimpy bathing suits, topless, nude, you get used to it all quite fast. Sexual attraction occurs or does not occur with or without clothing or physical proximity.

    Sometimes it's just a special look or glance that brings it on.

    But the army depends on brain washing to function, and some of that brain washing involves gay bashing. To allow gays openly in the army requires re-programing the brainwashing routines, and that takes time.

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  5. a few of comments:

    1. I doubt that in the midst of combat anyone is thinking about getting laid.

    2. With the command to integrate the armed forces back in 1948 the armed forces took on a task that the wider society could not accept. Nevertheless over the years, and I'm sure it took years, the military accepted racial integration. There is nothing like being in boot camp with your drill sargent of a different race to make you keep your prejudiced mouth closed.

    3. I suspect that the military could deal with the issue in a similar fashion. Showers and bunks would be a problem at first, not because of homosexuals but because of those who are prejudiced against them. If enough are punished for the prejudiced acts early on the troops will recognize that the military establishment is serious.

    4. Way back in Greek times fighting next to one's male lover was considered to be the strongest fighting force, with lovers protecting each other.

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  6. Jodie -

    You may be right about the gay-basking element. When my husband was a Marine in the 1970s his DIs used every derogatory word for a woman, a woman's anatomy, or a violent act against a woman that a person could think of, as part of that indoctrination process. That too, has gone by the wayside.

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  7. Exactly. Integration in the 40's and 50's caused changes to the unit, no question. The unit got over it.

    Repealing DADT will cause some difficulties initially too, and it would be dishonest to suppose that it wouldn't. But again, the unit will get over it. What I don't understand are those people who claim to be supporters of our military and our servicemembers who, at the same time, apparently believe that everyone in the military is a Neanderthal.

    I guess I simply have more confidence in the professionalism of our servicemembers than they do.

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  8. I guess I simply have more confidence in the professionalism of our service members than they do.

    It appears to me that the military itself is coming around. It is the haters and the politicians who are afraid of them that tries to stall progress.

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