Navy Commander Fired over Morality, Sexuality

Stars and Stripes reports that US Navy Cmdr Steven Everhart was removed in July from his command of the submarine USS Pennsylvania. The reason? Everhart was fired for who he loved.

The investigation, which began in early June, supported charging him with violating Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 133 and 134, conduct unbecoming an officer and adultery, respectively, he said.

That the charges do not include false official statements, fraternization, or other internal military issues seems to indicate this was a non-official matter.

As even Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has noted, the US military is pretty much the last place in the United States where a person can be charged with (and convicted of) a crime for having relations with a person other than their spouse.

That creates a bit of a moral quagmire, because it requires the US military to insert itself into the bedroom of its troops — something homosexuals and other neo-sexual advocates say should be impermissible. As a result, the charge is almost always an “add-on” to other offenses — offenses which appear, at least, to be absent in this case.

Moral clarity is further complicated by the fact the US military lets its troops have sex with whomever they want, and as many people as they want. Only when they get married does the military suddenly develop a moral line — yet it is one that exists completely outside the military (fraternization excepted).

To be fair, the US military is just trying to do what society is demanding of it. If you’re a guy who wants to be with a guy, or a girl who wants to be with more than one guy, or you’re a guy who thinks he’s a girl but wants to be with a girl…whatever the case may be, society has told the military to leave it alone.

Yet those same activists, having secured “erotic liberty” for themselves, seem unwilling to defend others still considered “deviant” — like those who would have sex outside their marriage (or have an open marriage, or polygamists). The question, of course, is what makes one form of sexual behavior morally superior to the other, and upon what basis society and the military can draw a moral line in one case but not the other.

Ultimately, they can’t, which is why examples like this are so awkward. The general consensus is the swinging General or adulterous members of the military should still be “judged”. But that consensus is a social construct only; it is unable to withstand a simple question of morality — or even consistency. Perhaps the day will come when homosexuals or transgenders defend someone like Everhart or Haight for just being who they are and not living a lie, but it isn’t likely to be anytime soon.

Even an areligious pragmatic standard applied consistently would have at least been defensible in principle. “Keep your pants on unless you’re married” might do wonders to mitigate the epidemic of sexual assault, and it would present a consistent standard of behavior across the spectrum.

But that would require a “moral judgment” on the military’s part — something sexual activists claim can’t happen, lest they be swept up in the judgment.

So Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are left in a position of being told “don’t do wrong…but we can’t tell you what wrong is, or why.”