Blogs 4 Brownback

March 15, 2007

Picking Up the Pace

Filed under: Blogging,Democratic Idiocy,Homosexuality,Sam Brownback — Psycheout @ 9:16 pm

Previously I documented the unfair attack on Sam Brownback by the far left smear site [Don’t] Think Progress in Anatomy of a Smear. Naturally they mischaracterized General Pace’s original comments in an earlier post in an attempt to make a story out of nothing. Naturally the blogosphere went wild!

Apparently, even after reading my post, some people just don’t get it. So I’ll take a little time out of following the latest Brownback buzz to try and explain this one more time.

In civilian life, homosexuality is more or less tolerated in our society. The 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas pretty much settled laws against sodomy for now, I guess. I don’t really know or care to read up on it. I’ll have to admit that, due to my libertarian streak, I frankly don’t care that much about what people do in their own homes behind closed doors. And I’m really not an expert, nor am I interested in, homosexuality. Hash out this issue in the comments if you wish.

But my point is that it’s considered rather un-PC to say that certain homosexual acts are immoral [illegal] in public in the wider civilian world. But things are much different in military life. When you join the armed services you sign away certain rights and must conform to the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice). Regulations are not a matter of opinion and are not a subject for discussion. One either follows the rules to the letter or faces the consequences.

Are you with me so far? Civilian and military life are not equivalent. There are a different set of rules for each. Got it? Good.

Now General Peter Pace was speaking as a military man, not as a civilian, as I understand it. He is thoroughly versed in the UCMJ. Therefore his words have to be considered in the context of the regulations which he is required to obey and enforce. Certain homosexual acts, which I won’t go into here for obvious reasons, are forbidden under the UCMJ, as is adultery.

Peter Pace is a General and not a diplomat. He was probably unaware that a matter-of-fact statement of established military policy would be taken out of context and cause a firestorm of pearl clutching. He probably knows better now.

Anyone wanting to research this topic further are encouraged to read this DOD document on homosexuality and the UCMJ: Homosexual Conduct. This is a MS Word document. You should be able to see it in html here.

Homosexuality itself is not labelled immoral [illegal], but certain acts are.

A statement of homosexuality does not violate the UCMJ nor do all homosexual acts (holding hands, touching, caressing, etc.)

Well, that’s enough of that. This is a family friendly website after all.

Hopefully this is the last I will have to say about this subject. If I have been unclear or unconvincing somehow, feel free to discuss this issue in our comment thread.

Update: Added the word “illegal” where only “immoral” appeared in the original post. Hopefully this soothes the ruffled feathers of mcclaud (didn’t he have his own TV show?) somehow so he will stop clutching at pearls over this distinction with little difference. Happy now?

— Psycheout

19 Comments »

  1. […] Update 4: See my next (and hopefully my final) entry on this issue: Picking Up the Pace. […]

    Pingback by Anatomy of a Smear « Blogs 4 Brownback — March 15, 2007 @ 11:29 pm | Reply

  2. Oh, I get it.

    I wanted to clarify that my point was that Pace and Brownback need to pick their words better. This may be Pace’s first time, and as a military member, Generals are supposed to be more reserved in public speaking. I’m guessing he got caught up in the moment or something and then blurted out the wrong thing.

    However, Brownback has done a few times. The proper term to be used in this case is that according to the UCMJ and other military law, homosexuality is ILLEGAL. Not IMMORAL, per se. That confers a larger context than is being discussed. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is a legal matter more than one of morality.

    Seriously, sometimes people in leadership positions need to stop reacting by their gut. A cool, reserved head always wins more support then blurting out something without considering the consequences.

    Both of their personal opinions are welcomed, but let’s not set a precedence that gives the opposition power to abuse us.

    Comment by mcclaud — March 16, 2007 @ 12:36 am | Reply

  3. But my point is that it’s considered rather un-PC to say that certain homosexual acts are immoral in public in the wider civilian world. But things are much different in
    military life. When you join the armed services you sign away certain rights and must conform to the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice). Regulations are not a matter of opinion and are not a subject for discussion. One either follows the rules to the letter or faces the consequences.

    Are you with me so far?

    Nope!

    I would rather not have the dignity of a human being depend on whether a general is talking about it or somebody else. The not uncommon willingness to concede that any differences we’re making here (or some other similar contexts) is at the core of a lot of human rights issues (need I even say prisoners should have the same rights not matter who’s running the prison, for example).

    [Ed Note: clarified formatting for our readers’ sake]

    Comment by Karl H. Beckers — March 16, 2007 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  4. … any differences we’re making here (…) are alright is …

    Comment by Karl H. Beckers — March 16, 2007 @ 12:56 am | Reply

  5. Er, Karl, are you familiar with the UCMJ? If not, could you please familiarize yourself with military regulations before you make a fool of yourself with your ignorance? Thank you.

    “Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” — Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)

    Taking a look at your site, Karl, I noticed that you haven’t updated it since August 6th 2001. I do understand that 9/11 changed everything, but I think it’s time you got on with your life.

    Best wishes,
    — Psycheout

    Comment by Psycheout — March 16, 2007 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  6. mcclaud, mcclaud, mcclaud, Pace only blurted out the regulations in public. Oh noes!

    But you are correct, words should come from the mind, and not from the heart. I guess.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 16, 2007 @ 2:32 am | Reply

  7. Well, in front of the press and the divided public, with the mantle of leadership that can easily influence and be stripped, words should come from the head. Otherwise, you can speak from your heart all you want.

    Precedence. Precedence.

    Comment by mcclaud — March 16, 2007 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  8. The idea that immoral and illegal are distinctions without difference is absurd. Rosa Parks broke the law, and did so for deeply moral reasons. A man who steals a loaf of bread for his starving family breaks the law also, but does so for moral reasons. Pace acknowledged that he was going beyond the policy argument by commenting on the morality of homosexuality. The policy requires a form of tolerance, accepting homosexuals into the service so long as people aren’t open about it. Pace’s comments reject that.

    I do not consider homosexuality to be immoral. Pace does. I consider a policy – like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – which discriminates against homosexuals to be immoral. Pace does not, and neither does Brownback. Brownback defended not just the policy, but Pace’s comments on morality. That is as intolerant as what Pace said.

    Comment by Josh — March 16, 2007 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  9. I do not consider homosexuality to be immoral. Pace does. I consider a policy – like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – which discriminates against homosexuals to be immoral. Pace does not, and neither does Brownback. Brownback defended not just the policy, but Pace’s comments on morality. That is as intolerant as what Pace said.”

    You act as if protecting America’s values were “intolerant.” Try to understand that you conception of tolerance is as alien to us as that of a NAMBLA member would be for you.

    Comment by Sisyphus — March 16, 2007 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  10. Oh man … who is America, who determines what “America’s values” are?
    At a time I was under the impression that tolerating other people’s different opinions and ways of life was not in conflict with America’s values (though a number of people in other parts of the world will say that that did not necessarily include a great ability to comprehend other people’s different ways of life.) And it should really go without saying that the end of tolerance is reached where other people are harmed (even if there are some corner-cases where the question whether that is the case may be debatable.)

    Comment by Karl H. Beckers — March 16, 2007 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  11. At a time I was under the impression that tolerating other people’s different opinions and ways of life was not in conflict with America’s values (though a number of people in other parts of the world will say that that did not necessarily include a great ability to comprehend other people’s different ways of life.) And it should really go without saying that the end of tolerance is reached where other people are harmed

    There is a difference, however, between tolerating something and approving of it. As I mentioned in an earlier thread, being somewhat Libertarian, I really don’t care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom, as long as they are not hurting anybody else via their actions.

    However, there appears to be this relentless message that tolerating homosexuality is not enough. That it must be applauded and embraced, and that there is something wrong and horrible about someone who does not necessarily approve of same-sex relationships. Acceptance and tolerance have to go both ways.

    Comment by lyssie — March 16, 2007 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  12. And it should really go without saying that the end of tolerance is reached where other people are harmed (even if there are some corner-cases where the question whether that is the case may be debatable.)”

    Homosexuality harms us all. It harms the participants by endangering them with Hellfire, and it harms the children by teaching them that a lifestyle sure to lead them to damnation is acceptable.

    Comment by Sisyphus — March 16, 2007 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  13. I don’t think it teaches children that homosexuality is acceptable.

    Hiding children from behavior or hiding behavior from children doesn’t teach the children the belief that the behavior is wrong/a sin. Neither does criminalizing the behavior. If all those were true, there would be no criminals or sinners today, since we engage in trying to hide and criminalize what we view as immoral behavior a lot in society.

    If you want to influence your children to believe in what you believe in, to follow your morality, you need to EDUCATE them. And I don’t mean with the back of your hand, or using examples of hate and intolerance. Use love, logic and patience. Educate with priniciples. Show compassion. Embrace diversity.

    Most parents today how come to me for advice ask, “I tell my kids that’s not right repeatedly and they still do it. Why? Why do they do things that are harmful to their souls?” So I use research and analogies.

    Most kids are curious. They want to know WHY or HOW or WHEN or WHAT. The more you repress this curiosity, the stronger it gets. Moreso, when children get older, they tend to test the limits of parental control in aspects their parents did not educate and show tolerance for. So they start getting involved in activities their parents don’t approve of. Parents think the more they try to clamp down and deny/hide the reality of something that they view harmful to their children, it will go away. In reality, it has the opposite effect. Young adults often run with open arms to the unknown and dangerous. Either to spite their parents, or to prove their ability to survive.

    Fear is a good motivator. However, religious fear is not. This is also easy explained. Humans begin their lives with a narrow view that is focused primarily on them and short terms. As they grow up, they slowly become a little more altruistic and a little more concerned about long term. “Hellfire” is definitely a long term concern. Most young adults are unconcerned with the “long term” results of their actions. Heck, most ADULTS are unconcerned with long term effects of action. So there is no fear of sin. There is no fear of consequences.

    So how do you educate your child not to sin or do something you view immoral? Well, the truth is you don’t. You can’t choose what your children will do when they grow up. Society has infinite influences on children, both seen and unseen. Their opinions are formed within their own contexts and experiences. What I tell parents is that if they are concerned not to give up on their kids. And not to stop loving them when they do sin. The best influence on a child’s life is one that is inspired by love – not fear, not hatred, not anger, not repetitiously telling your kids about EVIL and HELLFIRE. More often than not – in about 87% of all cases – using religious threats, hiding behavior, and showing intolerance for something causes a child to withdraw from the influence of a parent.

    Comment by mcclaud — March 16, 2007 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  14. Please see my post on this subject here…
    http://www.truthmanifested.org/Default.aspx?tabid=36&EntryID=55

    Comment by JimC — March 16, 2007 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  15. Thank you very much mcclaud.
    Your post gives me back the feeling that what I understood in my Catholic primary school was not completely wrong, i. e. the primary news Christianity brought to the area where it arose at the time was that it replaced sin as the primary concept of religion with love. So, even if I may be regarded as not enough of a Christian because I think it make zero difference whether you say God is love or love is God, at least it is love not fear, damnation, hellfire.
    I totally agree with what you said about fear as a motivator (and the vast majority of psychologists would, too.) The tremendously much stronger motivator is love (even if it may take longer and more effort to work.) The only way to teach a child anything is to act as a living example.

    And @JimC: Can’t wait to see my comment to your post approved

    Comment by Karl H. Beckers — March 17, 2007 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  16. Karl said : “And @JimC: Can’t wait to see my comment to your post approved”

    Karl, I do not see a pending aprroval, but I also disabled requiring approval today so perhaps something got lost. If you can please repost your comment. I’m sorry for any trouble but I have been trying to reconfigure the setting of my blog. I do know that anonymous unapproved comments are now working…

    Anyway, with respect to mcclaud’s fear comments, I have two children and how I teach them to respect God’s Word and take it seriously. If you are a Christian and reject God’s Word, then you reject Christ,
    John 1:1-14
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    Here we see that Christ is the Word of God made flesh and dwelt among us. The Word of God tell’s of the consequences of sin,
    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Ephesians 5:3-20
    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

    So obviously, fearing/shunning sin is in God’s Word, if you do not believe these verses, then you reject the Word of God and therefore reject Christ, for Christ is the Word made flesh. I teach my children to love God and to obey His commandments and to not love sin for God hates sin. The “fear” is simply to not be out of the will of God and to find favor in the eyes of the Lord.
    Proverbs 22:6
    Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
    So, if you raise your kids in the Word of God then you will not need to teach them about fear for they will love God and keep His commandments and they will naturally fear disappointing the Father.

    Here is more scripture speaking to the separation of believers and those that dwell in sin.
    2 Cor 6:14-18
    14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

    So you see it is clear from God’s Word that Christians need to live a separated life, not from society but from sin and by extension acceptance of sin.

    I must end this comment with one request….
    2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Comment by JimC — March 17, 2007 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  17. To Psycheout:

    I would disagree with you that Pace’s comments were inline with his military and professional capacities. As pointed out in the posts above, according to UCMJ, homosexuality is considered illegal, not immoral (of course it could be argued that the latter created the former) If Pace would have made the comments as a private person, that’s fine, he’s entitled to his opinion; acting in an official capacity, he should have limited his comments to UCMJ dictates.

    I would point out to some of the commentators here that there are gay and lesbian service people who have been maimed and have died due to their service in the military; that alone is a very strong argument that any prohibitions against homosexuals in the military should be repealed. If they are willing to give their lives for their country, who they sleep with seems increasingly trivial anymore.

    To the religiously inspired commenters who seem to be obsessed with the idea of hellfire for the demented amongst us; I’m certainly not going to give a whole lot of credence to some proscriptions penned by scribes over two millenia ago. May I remind you (ad nauseum) that biblical scripture was also used by white segregationists to justify and condone slavery during the civil war era and for the suppresion of blacks during the civil rights era. Slavery was commonplace in Christ’s day. If the scriptures denouncing homosexuals are viewed to be as valid today, then shouldn’t and wouldn’t it be faithful to scripture that we reinstitute slavery? All of this is an exercise in anachronism, of course.

    I’m a gay man and an atheist besides. I rejected religion long ago because my faith, who I was once a devoted adherent to, insisted on teaching me that because of my yearning to find love with someone of the same sex, I should spend the rest of my life in shame and self-loathing. Well, homey decided not to play that and decided that he’d rather live his life in love and spiritual fulfilment with the help of the teachings of Jesus and many other of the great prophets and teachers that history provides us.

    If it ends up that, my bad, there is a God after all, I’m sure he’ll take into consideration that I always strived to live my life with those teachings in mind. Since the concept of god has gone through so many confusing, bewildering and startling metamorphesies throughout biblical history, I’m sure it’s all very relative to her.

    Comment by tontocal — March 18, 2007 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  18. Tontocal, thank you for your service and your heartfelt comment. We appreciate all points of view here at Blogs 4 Brownback, as I’m sure Sam Brownback himself does.

    There is, however, no prohibition against homosexuals in the military, but homosexual acts are strictly forbidden as are many other behaviors (adultery, et al). This is for the sake of troop morale.

    And I think that G-d will forgive you if you would only ask him to, through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I will not judge you for your homosexuality, and neither would Sam Brownback. What you do in your own life here on Earth is between you and G-d. Consider simply asking for forgiveness and realize that all of us who are human are sinners, but that Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins. For that we should all be eternally grateful.

    I hope you find happiness and redemption in whatever path you choose. And I really do mean that. Best of luck, tontocal. You will be in my prayers.

    Respectfully,
    — Psycheout

    Comment by Psycheout — March 18, 2007 @ 1:39 am | Reply

  19. To Psycheout:

    And thank you for your heartfelt comments as well. Just to clear up any confusion, I’ve never served in the military, (you thanked me for my service) but I have been keeping tabs on many things military, including the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.

    To say that homosexuality per se is not prohibited in the code, only ‘homosexual acts’, while true, is a bit disingenuous. There was an outright ban before Clinton negotiated the DADT policy. How else does the military (or the general public for that matter) define someone as homosexual but by their ‘acts’?

    I thank you for your prayers but I’m not quite sure what you will be praying for, exactly. No sarcasm meant here but are you praying that I will find redemption by renouncing my sexual orientation and accepting Jesus as my personal savior or something? If that’s the case, I might suggest that you find another subject for your prayers that might prove more successful. If you hope for my re-conversion, I can assure you that your prayers will yield no results whatsoever. I did not reject religion in general and Christianity in particular simply out of hand; it was through much soul searching and contemplation. In doing that, I have found a level of spiritual awareness that would never have been possible for me if I had continued to be constrained by Christian doctrine.

    Wishing you and Senator Brownback well. I would not support him (for obvious reasons) but I do wish him luck; he’s as much deserving of a hearing as any other candidate in the field.

    sincerly,
    Patrick

    Comment by tontocal — March 18, 2007 @ 12:30 pm | Reply


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