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FIRST-PERSON: DADT & when wrong becomes right

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Watching the news Sunday morning before I went to church, I heard that the Senate had passed a bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and that President Obama will quickly sign the bill into law. The newscaster compared this event to the desegregation of the military. As a black man and a former United States Air Force line officer, I was annoyed to no end.

I was annoyed by the implications of the newscaster’s statement. I was born black. I am happy that God made me as He did, but I did not have a choice in the matter. There is nothing immoral about being black, of course, but there is something immoral about practicing homosexuality, because it is a matter of choice.

The desegregation of the military was necessary because it was the right thing to do. Racism is a denial that all men are made in the image of God. Segregation was and is sinful and an affront to a Holy God. Desegregation was good for our country because it allowed for all people to serve our country in equal ways and to advance themselves. My father and stepfather both retired from the Air Force after serving more than 20 years. I attained the rank of major and swore my brother in when he became a second lieutenant.

During my 12 years of active duty, I was aware of only one person who was homosexual. He was discreet, and since my superiors took no action against him, I didn’t either.

I did not approve of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but in retrospect I can see that it was a workable approach to the problem. It actually changed nothing. Those whose sexual orientation became known were subject to the penalties of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). In much the same way, adultery is a punishable offense under the UCMJ. One can be discharged from the military for a host of other reasons that indicate an immoral nature. Somehow, I do not believe that anyone is trying to repeal the policy on adultery or these other offenses. Does this mean that homosexuality is no longer immoral, while adultery still is?

This repeal of DADT is nothing less than an endorsement of homosexuality. Our politicians who voted for this repeal and the judges who endorse “homosexual marriage” are nothing less than morally challenged social engineers. Most of these have never served in our military. In all likelihood, their children will not, either. They receive the benefits from the sacrifices of those who wear the uniform.

They are what Angelo Codevilla, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, calls “the ruling class.” They have more in common with each other than they do with rank-and-file Americans. In fact, they see themselves as the saviors of mankind, because they consider their vision of how things should be to be superior to everyone else’s. They might claim to believe in God, but they could not care less about how He wants us to live.

God calls homosexuality an abomination. It is just as sinful as segregation. God has designed all of us to know that stealing, lying and murder are wrong. These things, like all sins, are contrary to God’s nature and purpose. Sin in any form is always destructive to the individual and to society as a whole. The late Sen. Patrick Moynihan said that when we accept what is immoral, we define deviancy down.

When we act in accordance with God’s nature, will and purpose, we are happier. Consequently, when a society’s laws encourage virtue and discourage vice, that society is likely to be happier and more successful.

But when we live contrary to God’s nature, will and purpose, we experience shame, guilt and a number of other negative emotions. A society that endorses immorality is going to be an unhappy society; it eventually will fail.

The ruling progressives who endorse homosexuality generally also endorse abortion as a means of contraception, euthanasia and a nanny state with the redistribution of wealth as its foundation. Perhaps they will come to endorse polygamy, incest and bestiality. A society with such moral confusion is hopeless and truly on the road to destruction.

You and I can see what they do not. We can see that only God can bring our country back from the brink. Brothers and sisters, it is time for us to get on our knees and pray.
Craig Vincent Mitchell is a professor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a fellow of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

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  • Craig Vincent Mitchell