Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

20 February 2010

End Government Discrimination in the Military Based on Sexuality

The federal government of the United States of America rests its legitimacy on its defense and preservation of the rights of the sovereign American individual to his life, his liberty, his property, and his pursuit of happiness.  Each such American individual has the right to the choice of his own values and the management and control of his own life and his own body.  The only restriction is that he not initiate the use of force against others in his pursuit of his values and as he acts to manage his own life.  Central to a man choosing his values, managing his own actions, and controlling his own body is his exploring and discovering, developing and understanding, and expressing his own individual sexuality.  With the sole limitation that he does this by himself or with other consenting adults, his sexual activities are not the business of government.  Other individuals are free to think what they will of his choices and actions, but they have no right to use force to interfere with him, provided he has not initiated the use of force or acted upon a child or a known mentally incompetent person.

When government uses its monopoly on the use of force to deny a citizen his exercise of control over his life by refusing to hire him on the basis of his sexuality, that government has acted to violate a fundamental right of every individual.  In doing so, it has undermined its very legitimacy.  When the federal government of the U.S. refused to allow black Americans to serve in the military or when it segregated black American units from other units, it severely undermined the legitimacy of the U.S.  It did this until Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower allowed black troops, who had been kept in a support role in WWII, to take up arms and reinforce white units then under severe strain in The Battle of the Bulge.  Gen. Eisenhower continued to press for integration of the military as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1945 - 1948 and in 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981, ordering the integration of the armed forces of the United States.  The Army finally announced its plan to desegregate in July 1952.  President Eisenhower, using similar arguments, had the Justice Department file a brief favoring public school desegregation when Brown vs. Board of Education came up before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952.

After a great deal of fuss, the military also underwent desegregation with respect to women.  Despite all claims that desegregating our military with respect to black Americans and women would greatly harm its fighting capability, the U.S. military in recent years has proven to be the best it has ever been and as about as good as any military has ever been in human history.  The American military is at its best when it best represents American ideals of personal and individual liberty and the value of individuals acting upon their independent judgment and in their rational self-interest.  While there are times when our military men give up their lives for their beliefs, they generally are the best military forces in the world because they carry out their mission to protect our freedoms while living to fight another day.  We value life in America.  We value the lives of Americans of all races, both sexes, and of the many complex and individual sexualities of our people.

Admiral Mike Mullen, our present Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated earlier this month that he believes it is important that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in effect in the military since 1993 with respect to same-sex relations and acts should be abandoned.  He believes the fighting capability of our military will not be harmed by doing so.  A past Secretary of Defense and Vice President, Dick Chaney, said last weekend that he believes that "When the chiefs [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] come forward and say 'We think we can do it,' then it strikes me that it's time to reconsider the policy."

For years now, it has been clear that attitudes on sex in general and on non-heterosexual sex in particular were changing, with the younger generation being much more open-minded about the differences in individual sexuality.  To a fair degree, this owes to a weakening of the explicit and dogmatic beliefs of many of the Judeo-Christian religions.  While most Americans still believe in God and hold to some Judeo-Christian beliefs, those beliefs have been becoming more and more vague on the one hand and more tolerant on the other.  With respect to human sexuality, this is more or less consistent with a greater realization that not everyone is the same and that sex is not only about procreation.  There is a greater willingness to see sex as being one of life's greatest pleasures and therefore worthy of one's efforts to personally explore and discover those joys and to develop one's own optimal and rich sexuality.  The American independence of mind is beginning to overcome the strictures of a peculiarly unfriendly religious dogma toward sex in general and non-heterosexuality in particular.

Many of man's other religions have been much more open-minded, tolerant, and interested in sex and non-heterosexuality.  Contrary to considerable Christian propaganda, many societies in which bisexuality and homosexuality was widespread achieved high levels of civilization in various times.  One can list China, Japan, Persia, Greece, Egypt, Phoenicia, and Rome.  This was also the case among the educated in the cities of Renaissance Italy and later France.  Then there was the phenomena of the British upper class in their public schools, which are actually private in the U.K.  Those who claim that homosexuality and bisexuality must undermine civilization, fail to take note of the fact that many of the great achievers around the world and throughout human history in the arts, sciences, and business have not been heterosexual.  Tying this back to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, many a great general and many elite soldiers have also not been heterosexual.

If our government is to be fully legitimate, it must stop discrimination against Americans who are not fully heterosexual in its hiring in general and specifically in its armed forces.  On this one issue, Obama agrees with me.  Can you believe that?  There is at least one thing he is not wrongheaded about.

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