Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Gospel According to General Pace

Just posted to The Huffington Post:

"I believe homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts." -- General Peter Pace

According to news reports, the general said his views stemmed from his personal "upbringing," where he was taught that some types of behavior are immoral. Like every other American, General Pace is entitled to believe anything he wants -- but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he is not entitled to create public policy based on those beliefs.

And he is most certainly not entitled to put our military at greater risk because of them.

Here's news for General Pace: I've got views from my personal upbringing that taught me some types of behavior are immoral, too. And at the top of that list today is the immoral act of continuing to put our brave young men and women on the front at risk because of the shortsighted leadership of narrow, homophobic ideologues like General Pace. Continuing to send our children into harm's way under-staffed, under-equipped and over-extended while discharging loyal, qualified, patriotic service men and women who happen to be gay and lesbian illustrates an extraordinary failure in leadership at a time when this nation can ill-afford any more failed leadership.

Bravo to Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign for hitting the nail on the head: "Our military needs the best qualified men and women who are willing to serve in the military, protect our freedoms and preserve our American values of equality." My son, Jim, is one of those best qualified men who volunteered to serve his country and is currently serving with distinction as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief in Iraq.

His life is on the line daily because he understands himself to be defending a way of life that includes liberty and justice for all as a core value - those are among the values his "upbringing" taught him to revere. And those are the values he is willing to fight for: for us. All of us. My son's sacrifice deserves better leadership than what he's getting from General Pace. So do the sacrifices of the gay and lesbian comrades who put their lives on the line along with his. And so does this great nation of ours.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Susan---It must be heartbreaking for him to hear his top commanders spew that drivel.You and your sons are in my prayers.

Padre Wayne said...

Indeed, E -- my heartfelt prayers are with your son, and perhaps even more especially with the gay men and women who have been told by their leadership that they are immoral.

From Andrew Sullivan's blog, a reader wrote: "Somewhere in the streets of Baghdad, a 22 year old has been told he is sacrificing his life under a leader who thinks his love for another human being is immoral. I just hope there are enough voices getting to that soldier telling them how many Americans appreciate the double-sacrifice he or she is making."

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Susan, mistyped "E" for "S"

C.B. said...

Pace's comments clearly bring pain to the gays and lesbians who serve our country in the military. But it never fails to astonish me that "traditionalists" like Pace seem to have no idea that their comments/positions are also hurtful/damaging and demoralizing to those in the military who have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, relatives and friends are LGBT, as well.

Anonymous said...

How about Eric ALva, the heroic Marine who was the first one injured in Iraq? He lost a leg. He recently came out as a gay man after 17 years in the corps.

I'd like to see if Pace is going to call Alva immoral. to his face.

It's time generals like Pace and Boykin learn that their personal religious views on "morality" are inappropriately expressed when they are in uniform.


John Gibson said...

Time was a lot of people in the part of the country I grew up in were taught and believed that it was immoral for a Black man to marry a White woman. Doesn't mean it was right then, much less that anyone should still feel that way today.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I am so proud of you and having raised a great American son, who so willing serving our country. I am a Veteran of the Vietnam Era, 1972-1974. I also knew I was gay, but so ashamed because of my Roman Catholic upbringing, so I was in the closet until I was about 30, Iam now 53 yrs. old and proud of all of my accoplishments, when I was out at sea, I would open my bible and sit on me 3'50" double barrel gun and pray. I have and always will love God and serve our Lord with all my heart and soul. There was this one young white guy whom had just come on board and you have to serve a two week kitchen duty and when every one was done eating they would literally throw there left over food in his face, (he was so cute and inocent), the called him "Mary" and faggot. I did not, but he did not last long, so I knew I had to stay in the closet. Why all the hate in the world? A human being is a human being, no matter sexual orientation, gender, skin tone, shape or color of eyes, hair or no hair, I just don't understand. What a statement Pace has made, a bigot, discrimatory, he might have his own issues, becuase the straight men I know have no problem with gays and lesbians as they are comfortable with who they are. And bishop Shori needs to come out of the fog and quit repeating herself and make a decsion. I remeber in the early 1980's when I was barely coming out of the closet and lost 150 friends and it was my lesbian sisters who were there for my brother gay guys who were dying. We serve a mighty God and no one can take that away from us.

Anonymous said...

so let me get this "straight". War as a means of settling disputes is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus - making it immoral. And we are listening to a purveyor of immorality hold forth about immorality?