Army Major General David Haight Fired for Who He Loves
USA Today, via a FOIA request, has revealed that an Army two-star General was investigated and fired simply for who he loved:
Maj. Gen. David Haight, Army Ranger, combat veteran and family man…[had] an 11-year affair and a “swinger lifestyle” of swapping sexual partners…
It is a travesty, of course, that MajGen David Haight would be persecuted for who — or how many — he chose to love. He has been forced to live a lie and deny who he really is just so he can risk his life in sacrifice for the country he holds dear. Does that personal sacrifice mean nothing to those who choose to demean him?
The military’s official line is this “lifestyle” made him susceptible to blackmail. This accusation is actually code for moral turpitude, and it has been debunked by reputable gay rights groups who fought the same persecution just a few years ago. Their data, provided by the Defense Personnel Security Research and Education Center, indicated that not a single case of alleged espionage involved blackmail over sexuality. The claim was just a homophobic way to attack a disfavored sexual lifestyle.
It appears Maj Gen Haight will be allowed to retire, though it may be at reduced rank based on when he last served “honorably.”
And yet no one seems to see the hypocrisy.
Upon what moral standard can Gen Haight be crucified while “sexuality trumps religion” throughout the rest of the US military?
Gen Haight was fired in May. In June, the US military officially celebrated men who have sex with men, women who have sex with women, and both who have sex with both. Whether any of those people is married is irrelevant — as is the number of partners they have — because sex, not marriage, was being celebrated.
That Gen Haight has been excoriated — without defense from the same erotic liberty groups who fought for their own sexual freedom just recently — seems to indicate that some portions of society may yet have a moral line beyond which they will not go.
But why? Why will they demand sexual freedom for themselves and not support it for others?
Maybe its because of religion. Some will likely note that MajGen Haight is a graduate of the Mormon BYU — and that he is a “distant relative” of one of the 12 LDS “apostles,” David B. Haight.
When homosexual advocates claimed they just wanted to be free to love, free to serve, etc., critics at the time noted that permitting homosexuals to openly serve would erase — not move — the moral standard. Yet even homosexual groups continued to oppose other forms of sexual liberty (polyamory, for example) for no other apparent reason than they found it “icky.”
By what consistent standard can anyone, much less the US government, say they will officially recognize, condone, support, and even celebrate sexuality between people of the same gender — and yet persecute someone who participates in ‘swinging’ or any other sexual practice?
Would Gen Haight’s conduct been acceptable if he was homosexual?
That’s a good question, considering a homosexual Air Force officer was just aquitted of sexual assault at court-martial. The incident over which he was charged took place in a lurid, multi-partner homosexual tryst — but he wasn’t charged for the group sexual rendezvous. What’s the military standard for casual sex that permits one officer to do it but not another?
There is certainly a religious argument to be made that defines (or condemns) certain sexual behavior: God created man and woman, and He created the institution of marriage — all for His glory. That “absolute standard” is a criterion against which all conduct can be measured — consistently, all the time. Sex outside of marriage? Shouldn’t be doing it. At all. Cheating on your husband? Not ok. Homosexuality? Nope. Not married yet? Keep your pants on. Then you don’t have to worry about issues of consent, child parentage, dependency status, etc., etc. It’s amazing how simple life is when you just follow a simple, moral standard. (Note no one said it was easy — just simple.)
Unfortunately, some parts of society and government have tried to separate themselves so far from religion that they’ve eliminated any “high ground” upon which they can stand, even when they’re desperate for one.
That said, one can still try to make a religiously neutral argument of character. For example, what does it say of the character of a man who cheats on his wife for 11 years? A few people will notice that statement still requires a moral judgment — albeit a moral judgment many are still comfortable making, even if it is intellectually inconsistent for them to do so.
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh was even derided when he cited the “hook up culture” as contributing to the sexual ills of society. Such a statement, of course, required a moral judgment — which made some people uncomfortable, which ultimately forced Gen Welsh to refine his intended meaning to how “young men treat young women.” That’s not exactly what he meant, and everybody knew it.
Gen Haight’s conduct was reprehensible — but that’s a character judgment that can only come with integrity from a position of morality, one almost certainly grounded in religion. Does it even matter, though? His lifestyle preference may be officially acceptable soon (after all, it’s already almost socially acceptable). In a few years he may be able to appeal to have his discharge status upgraded retroactively and regain the pay he lost, just as others have when social mores changed and their sexual choices were no longer considered “wrong.”
When the moral “standard” is a sliding scale, anything is possible.
By contrast, when the moral standard is based on God alone, truth, liberty, and life are possible.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Also at the Stars and Stripes.