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03/14/2007

Barber sticks with insensitive Pace

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images Img4297E7C83Ba21 1-1-1-1Calling the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman's words "refreshing and candid truths," the Concerned Women For America's male spokesman, Matt Barber, has this to say regarding General Pace's gay-unfriendly comments and those who have spoken out against them:

It is extremely troubling that liberals in Congress, in an attempt to appease militant homosexual pressure groups, would suggest such radical San Francisco-style social experimentation within the ranks of our military during a time of war.

General Pace is to be commended for publicly expressing the common sense values shared by the majority of Americans, for having the courage to face down America’s self-appointed thought police and for his bold attempt to reign in our nation’s political correctness run amok.

Okay, first off: Isn't it funny the way social conservatives use the term "San Francisco-style?" Whereas you, me, and the mailman may use it to imply chocolate of the Ghirardelli kind, sourdough bread, or Rice of the Roni variety, folks like Mr. Barber use the term to mean "more leftist than a gay marriage performed at Planned Parenthood by an activist judge that used to work for the ACLU." But here's the thing -- freedom, justice, liberty, and equality for ALL are not concepts confined to Haight-Ashbury or the Castro! These are American-style concepts, the likes of which are promised to us in our nation's most precious governing documents. The unnatural experiment here is the denial of qualified, tax-paying citizens the right to serve in their country's armed forces on the basis of their sexual orientation (especially considering the objections are largely based in religious interpretation).

Next -- We're so tired of hearing the "we are at war" reason for not addressing the issue of inequality in the military. The fact that we are at war is EVEN MORE REASON to talk about this! It's not like dealing with war policy takes up every last minute of legislative time. Many, many other issues are and should be addressed in Congress. It is insulting to suggest that those lawmakers who are addressing Don't Ask, Don't Tell are showing complacency or disrespect for the war effort in any way. If anything, they are trying to strengthen both our armed forces and the principles for which our soldiers are supposed to be fighting!

Moving on -- General Pace did not express "the common sense values shared by the majority of Americans" when he said, "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts." He was conveying the narrow-sensed condemnations embraced by a large portion of stone-casting Americans. We believe (or at least sincerely hope) that a much larger portion of Americans have reconciled their religious beliefs with actuality in much more accurate ways. We believe that a majority of Americans know it is not their place to judge others. We believe a majority of Americans support the idea that their religious views should not be used to influence government policies. We DON'T believe a majority of Americans have analyzed the Biblical texts used to condemn gay people fully enough, but we do believe that if they would, this country's gay antipathy would largely dissipate overnight. We believe that a majority of Americans are seeking peace, not divisiveness.

Lastly -- Why is that those who are encouraging thinks like gay-acceptance are the "thought police," yet those who dedicate a large portion of their lives to condemning gay people and encouraging others to do the same -- such as Mr. Barber and the Concerned Women For America -- are simply "pro-family?" Because call us crazy, but it seems to us that THEY are the ones who are "arresting" our thought that gay people should be able to marry, adopt, obtain protections, achieve equal immigration abilities, etc. They are the ones who fought to keep our sex lives criminalized! They are the ones who wish to "rehabilitate" us so that we become "ex-gays!" They are trying to use their thoughts on Biblical morality to police the entire nation; we are merely refusing to be their prisoner!

What Gen. Pace said was out of line and offensive to millions. Call our thoughts "political correctness run amok" if you wish, Mr. Barber. We'd much rather be seen as too PC than viewed as cruel and unjust.

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff: “Homosexuality is Immoral” [CWA]

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Your thoughts

Speaking as an openly lesbian serving member (obviously not from the USA!), I have to say that all this concern over gay folks in the military is almost laughable... After all, other countries have gone through the transition with no effect whatsoever - the USA is the *last* western nation to still prevent gays from serving in the military, you'd think they could just look at their neighbours and see that it's no big deal...

But, of course, it isn't about unit cohesion, or any of the other reasons they trot out... In fact, it has nothing to do with the military at all. It's all to do with politics, and getting people to the polling booths, voting for the "right" candidates.

*sigh* The sad thing is, though, that the average voter called by this particular dog-whistle won't even realise it was all a manipulation...

Posted by: Anon | Mar 14, 2007 4:52:18 PM

Have you noticed that the far right seems to keep using SF—and the state of California in general—as the punchline of some obscure in-joke?

Sheesh, you'd almost think that we didn't kick out our governor and replace him with *their* bodybuilder! (Not that *I* didn't oppose that...)

Posted by: Qit | Aug 7, 2007 5:15:17 PM

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