Morality and the Military, Part 2

Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund has an interesting article at the Christian Post entitled Morality and the Military, covering much of the recent discussion on the policy most often known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The repeal of DADT was wrong not, primarily, because the changes it will bring will radically transform both the U.S. military and its relationship with key allies all over the world, and inevitably undermine the security and defenses of our nation. Nor even because it was passed over the vehement objections of the great majority of America’s fighting servicemen whose daily lives and service it will soon and drastically impact.

No, ultimately there’s only one reason to oppose the repeal – and it is, of course, the reason that almost no politician or military officer is willing or able to say, right out loud. 

The repeal was and should be opposed because it endorses homosexual behavior – and homosexual behavior is morally wrong.

The hue and cry begins. An outrage! Intolerance! Bigotry of the most blind and blatant sort! Religious zealotry! Radical homophobia!

Sears has an interesting take on the moral outrage over economic imbalance — the perception that its not “fair” that the “rich” should share wealth with the “poor” — which is ultimately founded not in humanity:

Where do these ideas come from? This supreme conviction that the wealthy should share with the poor? That every person should be treated equally before the law, in the schools, in the hospitals? That employment, that insurance, that life itself should be “fair?”

What in nature – human or otherwise – would ever compel us to such a conclusion?

Nothing. Because these ideas come not from our demonstrably selfish, competitive, cutthroat instincts, but from something – from Someone – Who calls us to move beyond those instincts to a life more selfless, more giving, more compassionate, more fair…

How do we say that such a distinctively Judeo-Christian morality applies to our economics, but not to our culture? To our charities for strangers, but not to our schools for our own children? To the administration and ethics of business, but not the administration and ethics of our courts?

Finally, importantly, as has been said here before:

How do we command our soldiers to be so morally grounded and upright that they refuse to kill with indiscriminate hatred…to enjoy torture…to rape and pillage and feed the bloodlusts of battle – but not so upright as to frown on the self-destructive passions of immoral sexual behavior?

With the repeal of DADT, we are handing the men charged with protecting our borders and defending our freedoms a moral compass with no “magnetic north.” We are telling them to “be good” in the ways we want them to be, and to ignore “bad” as it suits our politically-correct purposes.


  • Firstly, altruism can be explained through evolutionary biology, there is no need to posit any deity and certainly not the specifically Christian one. But, if one does use the morality of the Christian deity, one should do so consistently but as usual the author does not. To be consistent, one would need to look to ban remarried divorcees from the military, after all Jesus said that was adultery, an immoral act.

  • I disagree with Mr. Sears on a couple of things. First off, charity, or the desire to help those with less is not distinctly Judeo-Christian. Pretty much every religion has people who are charitable (even atheism if you with to cal it a religion). Shoot, the ultimate fair economic scheme – communism – is considered in the US to be very unChristian. (In a side argument, altruism doesn’t actually exist. You always get something, even if it’s just the warm fuzzys, thus you get a reward, making it not truly selfless, meaning it’s not really altruism)

    Also Mr. Sears seems to believe that the only reason the argument against repeal failed was that it didn’t focus enough on pushing Judeo-Christian morality into the argument. I disagree. I feel that a lot of the political battles fought this way would have so much more progress if those arguing realized that the whole country is not Christian. I think it failed because it had too much religion falling into the argument.

  • There are a few false assumptions/conclusions going on here.

    First, our allies will not look down upon us for the repeal. There are currently 28 countries which allow openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers to serve. Including Israel and Great Britain. They’ve had minimal problems with integration.

    Secondly, we do not have a Christian military. No one faith can determine what is and is not appropriate to set standards for our soldiers.

    Thirdly, not all Christians agree with you or Sears. Members of the ELCA, Episcopalian Church of America, UCC, MCC, and other mainstream denominations were for the repeal of DADT.

    I will not cry “intolerance” or “bigotry” or “religious zealotry” or “homophobia” at you or anyone else. As a Christian, I respect your interpretation of the Bible even if I don’t agree with it. But I think you need to remember that we don’t all think like you or Sears on social justice issues, and need to remember that, in the larger world, not everyone is ascribing to your faith.

    If you want to preach about the sin of homosexuality as a chaplain, that’s your right (and it is as far as I’m concerned, I see nothing illegal about it despite cries to the contrary). If you want to take your Christian soldiers off base to a concert or prayer meeting, that’s your right, and I’d encourage it, to be frank. But you can’t impose your views on the entire military and single out an entire class of people for discrimination based on nothing more than your personal faith.