Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gays In the Military: Because I Want To Say What I Want To Say...

Over at Blackfive, we continue to wreck the joint with a lively discussion about Gays in the military. Actually, it's a pretty civil discussion which is why I decided to bring part of it over here because I want to say what I want to say and I know it would be discourteous of me to really wreck Blackfive's joint if I let loose with it.

Also, I may (or may not) shock my conservative friends with my position on "gays in the military".

So, I want to deal with one of the really funny parts of the conversation over at Five's place. First, let me say this:

Bwaahahahahahahahahaha!

I have never seen so many stereo types about gays AND women being flung around. I think you can always tell those who have had no contact with people who are gay. Or, at least do not acknowledge any such contact.

One of the commenters keeps talking about letting gays in the military will bring the "gay lifestyle" into the military. This gay life style includes bath houses and Fire Island orgies, to name a few of his concerns. I'm calling this one out specifically because I just can't figure out how barracks life and deployment is going to allow this "gay lifestyle" to come out. Now, don't get me wrong, because I have been inside a guys room at the dormitory on an AFB and I'm well aware of the proclivity to party in young people, but what I recall is that, when the weekend or time off came around, these young men (and women) were eager to get off base and go do their partying somewhere else if they could. If they couldn't, I'm also aware that these folks would party between rooms, but there was still a certain limit or line because nobody wanted the MPs to come around and being drunk and disorderly on base could get you in deep doo doo.

Still, I'm trying to figure out how this will suddenly be different or more sinister if gays were serving openly.

Please note I say "openly" because it is common knowledge that gays and lesbians serve right now, they just aren't offered any protection and can be discharged for being gay or lesbian. I suspect that being allowed to serve openly would increase, by some small degree, the number of gays or lesbians actually serving. However, I believe that there is an irrational fear that suddenly the military will be inundated with these folks who are looking to re-create the 70's version of bathhouse frolicks in the barracks or dormitories because suddenly there will be an inordinate amount of male (or female) flesh available to them.

I'm sorry, but this is still cracking me up. Mainly because I think those that would even consider serving for this reason alone would mostly wash out in basic or not even get past the recruiter. Since gays are still not totally accepted through out society, my guess is that the folks that would join would remain pretty circumspect in their behavior, at least on base. What they do off base is nobody's business, just as it is nobody's business what a straight guy or girl does as long as it does not result in getting an STD, using drugs or getting arrested for a variety of reasons (all applicable to gays).

Still, I can't get over this irrational fear of the "gay" culture suddenly exploding in the military. We know that other countries have gays serving openly and I question whether any of these have suffered a meltdown because of it (it may even be helping them since some of these countries can't float an expeditionary unit, much less an entire army, but I digress).

I also question what other sort of "gay culture" these folks are expecting to see pop up. Color coordinated uniforms? Demands for olive drab feather boas?

Another commenter talks about the "gay agenda". What is that agenda please? Don't harass them? Don't beat them up because their gay? Don't discriminate?

Yes, I'm aware that there is a push to recognize gay marriages and adoption of children. My only reservations have been about children because I don't know if the few cases we know about represents a good cross section of the effect, but I don't want to go there. The only reason this comes out is because people fear recognizing gays in one area means that we will have to recognize all other aspects of the question.

The question is, does being gay mean you can't be a soldier? I don't mean that legalistically because that is the technical point of the argument, but I mean that as in the personality question.

Another fear is that communal living will mean that a gay soldier will live or sleep next to straight soldiers, take showers, use the shitter, etc, etc, etc. When I mentioned that fearing men looking at your junk while you were showering was a) homophobic (ie, an irrational fear that another man is sexualizing you) and b) funny as hell because you know damn well men are looking at other men's junk either because it's out there or because, yes, men do compare their junk to others. It's an inescapable fact of life.

What's even funnier is that some of these folks have probably joined health clubs, been in other locker rooms and have been waving their junk around in front of gay men for ages without thinking about it or, at least, knowing about it.

So, suddenly if gay men are serving openly and they are in the shower with straight men, seeing their naked junk and their naked asses, they are going to what? Get a hard on? As if they wouldn't do that while they had their clothes on walking down the street as a civilian. There are two fears associated with homophobia (and yes, I am calling it like I see it - homophobic): a) you secretely fear you might become a homosexual; b) that a homosexual will assault you (ie, rape) if he sees your junk or your bare ass or even sees you fully clothed and you recognize his homosexuality.

Let me say two things in answer to that:

1) Get over yourself.
2) Welcome to the world of women.

I really have no sympathy for this point of view. Women have been sexualized and assaulted for eons yet somehow they are able to get up out of bed every morning, put on their clothes and go about their daily business, including serving in the military without an undue fear of this affecting their ability to perform a variety of duties.

Let me talk about my other favorite part of the "no" argument: unit cohesion and morale. Follow that up with a good dose of "the commander needs to be respected and as a gay he/she would not be respected and leadership would suffer". I love that one because this same argument has been used to exclude all sorts of people from the beginning. No integrated units in the Civil War (unless you count the white leaders and a few extremely limited units). Why? Nobody trusted black men to be brave or capable of understanding or carrying out orders. No black leaders in white units for another 100 years because people with their prejudices just knew that no white man would take orders from a black man and he might even be induced to attack him. No black leaders in all black units because they weren't capable of higher leadership.

Same discussion about women in the military. It's the language of discrimination these days. It's a cheap out so no one has to confront all the other irrational fears. If they can't think of a legal or scientific reason to exclude gays (or women or whomever) then they fall back on "unit cohesion and morale". Well, I love the military, but I do not live under any illusions about one giant conglomerate of people who all self identify like the blonde haired, blue eyes, lockstepping SS swearing undying allegiance to the fuehrer and ready to unthinkingly die?

As a supporter of the military and a person that has associated with it (closely on many occassions), I reject that description on more than one grounds and I reject that description when it comes to this vaunted "unit cohesion and morale". What I recall about these units was that there was always the quiet guy who played dungeons and dragons or read comic books or played Zelda non-stop that the others thought was wierd. There was always the big mouth who did everything and did it better than anybody else that most of the unit avoided hanging out with if they could either on the job (non war time) or during down time. There was the bully. The whiner. The guy that liked to hunt. The one that spent most of his time working on his car. The married guy with two kids. The "separated guy" that was trolling every bar in town. The divorced guy that was getting reamed with child support and was perpetually broke. The mooch. The lazy guy. The snitch. The urban street tough. The rural yolkal. The smart guy. The one with natural leadership. The one with the answers. The shit who always got the shit jobs and nobody wanted to be paired with because he screwed things up. The guy that drank too much. The guy that just did his job. The one that knew how to fix computers. The guy who's girlfriend cheated on him. The guy whose mom called every other day. The homophobe that ws worried every other guy in the unit was staring at his ass (and this is without openly serving gays). The racist guy (I know, shocking, but some do serve). The nice guy who'd do anything for people. The young puppy dog that was constantly following others around trying to "fit in". Etc, etc, etc.

The military comes in all shapes and sizes and, within these units, the band of brothers didn't always love each other like brothers and unit cohesion and morale turned like a dime, sometimes very good and sometimes not so good.

Why? Because the military is not full of drones and droids, but is truly a cross section of our civilian life. How then are they able to function? Because, when it got down to it, all those other parts get pushed to the back and people did their jobs, relied on their training, etc. It wasn't always effecient and there were disciplinary problems. Those were taken care of as they always had been and will always be taken care of. The only time these problems became obstacles that could not be over come is when leadership was lacking or the leadership turned their heads, giving tacit approval to something (that may fall under "lacking leadership").

What people are worried about is not that they will suddenly have a problem with this "cohesion and morale" that they never had before, but that it will add one more thing they have to worry about. As a person that has managed large groups of people, I can completely understand. However, it does not change the reality that we all have things we have to deal with, things that change and things we must add to our list of responsibilities. It neither changes the fact that we are leaders or that we are responsible for getting a job done, thus we must always be prepared to change to accomplish this.

As far as "front line units", let me add another observation about the varied mix and make up of people in these units. First, combat has a way of shaking the dregs to the bottom. If somebody is not fit to serve in combat their sexuality is not going to be the issue, but their ability and fitness. Secondly, I am always surprised that men who have been in combat are worried that some homosexual in the trench next to them is going to be taking time in the middle of a fire fight to admire his ass or some other body part. I've been thinking quite harshly about this since it seems from all writings, anecdotes, videos and other such evidence that if five guys are in a trench, one is gay, and they are being attacked by 20 mujihadeen firing RPGs, AK-47s and other weapons, that the first thing even the gay soldier will be doing and thinking is how to survive, how to protect his fellow soldiers who, if injured or killed greatly diminishes his ability to survive or complete the mission and how best to kill those that are attacking them.

Third, if one soldier in the trench is pre-occupied with the gayness of another soldier with him to the point he is unable to function, defend, attack or complete the mission, who is the problem in this picture?

Now that I've said that, let me conclude with a statement I made at Blackfive's Uncle Jimbo post:

Since I am an adult who has lived for __ years, I am quite aware that the idea of "normalcy" is just that. Underneath all this "normal facade" hides people who entertain all sorts of interesting notions, practice all sorts of behavior that some would call deviant and others may call "expanding their horizons" and many things in between. Since the military IS a cross section of our entire culture, I'm quite certain that this facade and these hidden practices exist within our military. And, yet, it is able to function because of certain ideas and training that transcends these personal proclivities and insures operational ability.

With all due respect, I sometimes feel that I have more respect and confidence in the military and the people serving in it than those that oppose gays. Maybe I am giving it and the people too much credit?

15 comments:

Sgt. B. said...

I'm tellin' you, in this day and age, the average war-fighter really doesn't care, as long as the person in question doesn't flaunt it in everybody's face.

I've got two friends, both honorably discharged from the Corps, who came out of the closet. I would go to war with them in a second, and trust them to watch my back.

Are they right or wrong? Not my call...

John of Argghhh! said...

I'll just fall back to the one argument (and I haven't kept up with the discussion at Matt's, I admit) that no one seems to address.

You touch on it, but you don't take it to the 'other side' so to speak.

My issue, as a commander and soldier, was pretty simple. If we let gays in, openly, the dynamic changes.

Because now the hetero soldier *knows* the guy is gay. Most of us can deal with that, I can. I don't care. But -

You talk about guys should "get over it" about being scoped out, like girls have (or haven't, depending on how good their lawyer is...). Okay as far as that goes.

I contend that you cannot let gays serve openly without going unisex. No distinctions in facilities, period.

If a hetero male has to shower with someone who he knows is gay and may be checking him out sexually (the point here is *knows*) and is made uncomfortable by that - for some reason the pro-gay crowd says that's the heteros problem and he should just adjust his thinking, because the gay guy is 'correct' and the hetero is just a 'phobe.

Why doesn't it work that way in regards to women? Why can't the men shower with the women? No one usually talks about that one - for some reason it's okay for a hetero woman to be uncomfortable being naked in a room with a man who views her as a sexual object, but it's wrong and near evil, and an expression of deep-seated problems for a hetero guy to feel that way.

Pfaugh.

So, to make this work, openly and honestly then, we pretty much have to say the sexual tension in the presence of a person who sees you as a sexual object (absent physical advances, harassment, etc) is a dysfunction on the part of the person who feels that way, they are wrong, and they either conform, or go find something else to do.

Mind you, the current generation of young soldiers has a lot fewer inhibitions than the older generations do - but am I wrong?

We either go unisex, or we acknoledge there *are* issues.

So, when can we show up at your house to use your shower? 8^)

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I linked it, but didn't really expand with my thoughts. Maybe when I'm more awake.

Beth - bethmauldin.com

Kat said...

You know, John, one thing that I didn't touch on that I really should have (I did at Blackfive's) is that women in the military also serve with lesbian women, take showers, etc, etc, etc together and I don't hear much coming from them about it.

Of course, as I noted on Blackfive, maybe everybody assumes women are largley lesbians in the service?

Or, is there something less sinister about a lesbian and a straight woman showering, living or sleeping together.

Uncle Jimbo said...

Kat,

Thanks again for all the work you did in the scrum over at Matt's. I'm enjoying it like a hotel, where I don't have to clean up.

I think John answered his own question by recognizing that most of the young troops have a much more "who gives a crap" attitude than the leadership. It is an example of our culture growing increasingly that way.

I agree with him that it would change the dynamic of a unit to have gays serve openly, I just don't believe it would be detrimental, just different and more honest.

Cordially,

Uncle J

Synova said...

Concerning women and men and what John said about going unisex... this is my feeling on that:

I've heard the arguement that women, if they were SF, would have to dump in the brush in front of the male members of their unit since that's what the guys do. Okay... let's be clear I'm not saying women should be SF, I'm just using this to illustrate something else, namely, that in a situation without the option of privacy for elimiation that lack of privacy takes on it's own nature. Given the option, I'm sure these guys prefer not to see each other piss or dump either, eh? The difference is similar in some ways to the difference between the lack of privacy when a person goes for medical care. Now, I've lots of sympathy for the poor 18 year old male who gets assigned to OB/GYN (it just seems that some illusions shouldn't be shattered at such a young age) but everyone adjusts, gets used to it, and continues on.

The problem, or potential problem, isn't at the extreme where privacy isn't possible. It's somewhere in the middle, in between. I've heard the guys say, "It's not gay if you're cold." In a situation where contact is *necessary* to share body heat, it's not "gay". Similarly, it's not the nudity that defines inappropriateness but the situation. Take showers. If it's not *necessary* to shower together it's not reasonable to expect people to do so comfortably. Accomodation can be made for privacy to the extent that it can be made. If accomodation *can't* be made, then probably the situation is such that privacy is comparatively a minor concern.

In the sort of situation where people can't even go behind a bush to dump... who's going to be looking at your ass?

In a situation where there are bushes, or better yet, privies, the person who drops his shorts and dumps in front of the other guys is... okay, seriously, would anyone consider that unexceptionable behavior?

Someone on Blackfive mentioned someone who they knew who simply made a point of showering at different times than others. If one day he didn't have that option (oh, say, he had a "report ASAP in your dress whatevers" and he just had an accident with a great deal of spaghetti sauce) would showering with others have the same sub-text?

Be it gays or girls, privacy is situationally dependant. It's not something we can say "Oh, that's old fasioned, it just doesn't matter" about, but it's equally wrong to see privacy as some insurmountable issue.

The part where problems occur is when showers *could* be private but aren't, when someone *could* respect someone elses space but doesn't. My gut feeling is that I'd worry about my daughter far less if she were in the field with an SF team than if she was on a FOB somewhere. No privacy whatsoever is safer than partial privacy. A room with a door she can shut is more of a problem, in many ways, than an open bay with a sheet hung up. People need privacy in order to misbehave as well. (Or at least it helps.)

Anonymous said...

First, thanks for bringing the discussion over here, Kat. I was definately afraid of trying to 'swim with the sharks' over there at B5, particularly considering I wanted to make a meta-point on this.
Has anyone thought about the 1st Amendment ramifications of military, as an appendage of the US Gov't, declaring homosexuality okie dokie? Could that not be read as a move against religion? Remember, it's only the appearance of support by The State in regards to religion that's enough to set off all kinds of whistles and bells based off of case law.
Meta point made. Kick my teeth in at leisure everyone.;)

NOw, some of the stereotypes used in an argument railing against stereotypes was both funny and annoying.
I played sports in varying degrees all the way up thru college. Very few of the locker rooms I was in was it okay to check out another man's package(some did, many did not). A cohort of 'tight' guys might find it fun to do with each other, but maybe not with those outside their group. Otherwise 'bathroom rules' were in affect: you looked ahead at the wall, or at your own wang, but not at the man standing next to you---or he was within rights to knock your teeth down your throat.
So to say that 'it's just as inescapble fact of life that men are looking at each others package and comparing' is neither a fact nor self evident nor inescapble(and as a guy who spent most of his life as an endo-morphic distance runner, often called 'gay' or 'fag' because I didn't play football in HS but never had my heteroness questioned when I stood in to take a charge 3 times a game in basketball season, who'd have gotten his leg broken for doing exactly what was claimed, I take great umbrage to this claim.). Some do, some don't. But a general trend does not exist from what I have seen.

It also ignores that MANY men and boys are body conscious. Lots of boys are TERRIFIED of junior high because other people will be looking at them with their clothes off in that dreaded locker room while getting ready for gym class. Some never get over it, and so come to hate sports because of it.
'Women put on their pants and deal with discrimination or predatory stares without undue fear or effect'. That's a rather interesting statement, given all the emphasis on not creating a 'hostile' environment and avoiding passive sexual harrassment(the bits about unwanted looks and leers that are a fairly typical part of a sex. harrassment rule) that's mandatory training for jobs in any field in the US, particularly in the gov't. Or are you going to say that the attitude of 'suck it up girlie, you need to just gut out the leers' is the way to go instead of having sexual harrassment codes in the workplace, any work place, because that seems to me to be what that statement leads to? I could be wrong(oi vey can I be wrong).
Sorry, but I have to throw the red instant replay review red flag.

Fears or actual same sex harrasment is a whole new can of legal worms that can't just be tossed away hueristically in light of legislation on the books.

It might help if Americans were more like the Japanese about nudity in the bath; but we aren't and wishing so doesn't change much. Deal with what is and not what with what ought to be.

Lezzies: I'm sure there are Holy Rollers and others in the female ranks that are up in arms about lesbian soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines. Why else would lesbian servicemen be outted and drummed out? Or is this only a paternalistic cabal? I think the idea that female service members, like female athletic coaches, are defacto lezs to be laughable and flat out condescending to the opposing argument(s).
Destroy me for what I HAVE done wrong, not what you suspect I may harbor(meant in the most general manner).
Less sinister? I'd say less talked about instead of less sinister, if you feel the need to use the term sinister here.

Morale:
There are some questions about morale that are valid. There will be the flat out homophobe, and there will likely be trouble between homophobe and gay soldier during down time, which makes up most of the time--being at war is a rarity. Is it worth adding one more head-ache for to satisfy principle? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the numbers in my opinion.
Gays, according to most research I've seen, only make up 3-5% of the population at large. Evangelical 'holy rollers', a group I would suspect would be the most likely to be flat out bigots about homosexuality as they are typically not very 'cosmopolitan' about things in my opinion, make up a much larger percentage of the population at large(10-20% as a guesstimate). With a voluntere force that can be a bad thing to do, alienate a large group.(Yes, many can and will be big enough people to just deal with it, but it is a valid question considering the numbers possiblely involved). It comes down to numbers. Maybe the numbers come out positively for a change to more acceptance of gays in the mil. Does anyone know with 85% confidence level what will happen?

Basically, I think the best way to handle it is a non-policy. DADT comes close. Taking a gov't position has ramifications that extend far beyond just the mil, and we can't predict those effects reliablely, yet. And because of that any policy, one way or another, is potentially dangerous. I don't like using Pragmatism much, since it's usually a cop out, but in this instance it leads me to say that the general pragmatism that seems to pervade(as evidenced by B5, Jimbo, John, and Sgt. B) is the way to go instead of an official ruling from On High.

Women inthe mil. I
take the Heinlein view. Womym can be more vicious than men and more effective warriors sometimes, but keep the ranks seperate. Young people are going to fool around, and women are going to get pregnant out of carelessness to not use birth control(guys don't wear condoms and the gals forget to get 'the pill' or whatever permutation you care to think of). Having to operate short a body IS a problem, whether it be from a man breaking his toe or a a woman getting preggers. But, which is more statistically likely to happen? Guesstimate, as I have no data, is preggers. A somewhat unavoidable problem(they're going to vertical mambo whenever they get the chance, any chance---they're young), but not a non-minimizable one.
So if women want to be tank crewers, fine, as long as it's an all female tank crew in an all female company in an all female regiment.
Ry(and no students have shown up for extended office hours. Doom on them when finals roll around in a few weeks.)

Synova said...

Just one point on the reaction of Holy Rollers (technically I suppose that refers to those churches that keep folded blankets in the front pew to cover the "rollers" if necessary, but I know what you meant)to a defacto declaration that gay is okie dokie...

There's lots of stuff that is legal that Holy Rollers don't approve of and that we don't kick people out of the military for.

Oh, and on a bit of a tangent... I don't think that lesbians are more common or tolerated in the military, though I don't think it bothers straight girls all that much if someone thinks they are lesbian. It also occures to me that I might have lent my little bit of credence to the myth one evening in the PI.

I was still a DW and p*ssed at being in a bar by myself and talking to an Airman who was similarly annoyed at the particular... well, let's just say that the half dressed Filipinas pole dancing were a challenge. Let's just say that it wasn't that hard to get all the GI's to look at *us* instead. LOL. But not lesbian. Not me, and not her either.

Kat said...

Before I go on with comments, I feel compelled to explain that some of my comments were hyperbole /rant because I had to read some less than logical comments regarding stereo types of gays and, feeling that I could not blow up on Matty O's blog and mash his comments, I had to let off some steam over here. not that I don't hold some of these beliefs, because I do in many respects, but I admit that the comments about men looking at each other's junk was more stark than the reality since I still hold that, when you are naked in a room with a bunch of men, regardless of bathroom rules, you're gonna see some stuff, even if you don't stare so it's not as if it isn't getting looked at or glanced at, even if accidentally which would be the more logical and less inflamatory point, though probably no less embarassing to think about.

That being said, I will answer some things.

John...

If I may be so bold on my own blog and say some things that are rather stark, I think the whole question comes down to (on both the gay and the unisex issue) fear of forceful penetration and the fear of injured ego. I'm sure the penetration thing is self explanatory if possibly irrational to believe that nakedness automatically turns every person into a potential rapist, so let me say that the ego is a delicate thing. It goes along with Ry's comment about showering in junior high for the first time.

From a woman's point of view, my concern would be that, of course, if we were unisex showering (without any purposeful intimate connotations) that the shape or attributes of my body would become fodder for gossip and rumor. Now, as you or Ry notes, if we had a different (less prudish) idea of the body and habits, this would be a non-issue. However, that is a fact and I well understand that this does, in some way, reflect on the whole "gay's in the military" issue.

From a guy's perspective, I can only imagine that his concern bathing with women would be the same in regards to ego and having his body parts bandied about as topics of conversation (although, I think that there would conversely be some pride in both the male and female if it were; who can tell with psyche?).

On showering with homosexual men with straight men, I can also only guess that the men would be concerned that a) certain normal bodily reactions (like erections which men do get even in the company of other straight men for various physical and mental reasons) would be misconstrued as interest; b) they would be subject to come on's both overt and covert (same fear women have as well, I won't pull any punches); c) they're bodies may become subject of discussion among homosexual men (which apparently would bother them more than if with women) as I noted.

Tell me if I am wrong about these things.

You know, as I think through the unisex thing, I think I would be less worried about it if I was in a shower room with many men and women then if I was in a shower room with one guy. I think that seems to go towards intimacy and that "fear of forceful penetration" thing. You are more vulnerable one on one (at least that is the psyche; mob actions like the one in New York where the guys surrounded the girls and molested them in a giant crowd, not withstanding).

But, back to Ry's point, I do recall the first time I had to shower in junior high, naked in front of all the other girls and I recall that, yes, my major impediment was "comparison". I mean, your body is changing and while you may be aware of it clothed (and the differences), naked and everything hanging out for the first time can be traumatic. I'm not sure people ever totally get over it, though regular exposure seems to cure many.

On that same note, many years later, I belonged to a gym that, while having separate shower stalls, the locker room itself was full of women in differing stages of undress and yes, unless someone actually said "look at this bruise" or something of the sort, we weren't running around staring at each other's breasts or other parts (if we could help it), but, as I noted earlier, stuff is hanging out and you can't miss it.

On that same note, I was aware of lesbians (and also not aware of who but aware they were there) in the locker room of this gym however, it did not pre-occupy my mind to the point that I refused to shower, change or anything else in the locker or shower. Similarly, I did have a lesbian friend who came out to us (after several years) who came over and, just like the rest of us in pre-party mode, we would all get dressed, undressed, do our hair, etc, etc, etc in the apartment and, since there were no men, we were not circumspect in where we got dressed or in what condition of undress we were in walking around.

I suppose part of this is that we had learned to trust our friend, she did not have different body parts and we did not have to fear "forceful penetration". ;) And, since we were all aware of each other's sexual preferences, we did not fear any in appropriate expectations or actions, so it was a non issue (of course, we outnumbered her, but really, the question was of friendship and trust, not about whether we believed we could "take her" if necessary.)

Now, I realize to some this discussion would be a great voyueristic experience for men who also seem to think that all women are just waiting to let the lesbian out of them, but I am trying to illustrate the point that, while everyone keeps talking about unit cohesion and morale and some sort of "trust" issue that the men would fear to be broken just by the sheer presence of a homosexual in their ranks, that trust is a function of understanding, knowing the "lines" that can or can't be crossed and each side (as if they were two different entities..uughh) adhering to them.

I mean, isn't that the point of Ry's comment?

Now, as far as unisex thing goes, I sometimes feel, when people bring it up (with all due respect) that this is supposed to be the "trump" to put paid to the conversation. Someday, we may have unisex everything in civilian and military, but I don't see the lack of unisex facilities or concepts as an impediment to this discussion.

There is a small difference. One commenter at blackfive/jimbo's discussion talked about the probability that some sort of same sex fraternization would go up since even deployed opposite sex find new and inventive ways to enjoy private time together. The fear that open homosexuals same sex, different orientation showering would contribute to some sort of increased fraternization may be real, but I do wonder how much it would increase and, if we are dealing with it now, does it make a difference who it is that is fraternizing? And, how much different is the problem (if any) that same sex fraternization poses above or beyond opposite sex?

If the amount of homosexuals are so small in the military comparitively speaking, then is the increased risk of fraternization that prohibitive to good morale over any other problems, or, as I noted earlier, is this just "one more" thing and that's a convenient reason to not do it?

That goes for the shower issue as well. If we are looking at potential risk, is not the proposal of unisex showers even more of a risk for fraternization (since there appears to be more straight men and women in the military) than homosexual?

Ry...In regards to units missing people and what the primary cause is, I'd say your guestimate is way off. However, I'd be willing to for go this discussion until such a time as we find statistics for pregnancy in the military compared to other "medical conditions". I'm just saying that, unless statistically, across all WOMEN, the highest medical reason is pregnancy, there is probably no comparison to the number of total soldiers who are out of commission for various medical conditions and it is likely that certain injuries are probably even more common, like knee, shoulder, muscle, etc injuries.

But, again, while I won't concede the point, I'll refrain from making larger statements until I have data.

As for the number of women bounced as opposed to men, it is possible that more lesbian women serve in the military than gay men though I would reject any idea that this makes the number of homosexuals serving greater than a percentage in the normal civilian population. it may just be that women are more representative.

This may actually be a point that improves the argument against the possibility of "fire island orgies" and "bath houses" since this actually was more prevalent in the male gay "culture" of the 70's but I still reject the entire argument as a fallacious stereo type.

It is possible that women are more represented in the military because, yes, the life style does lend towards a masculine spartan, disciplined lifestyle. Maybe that doesn't appeal (excuse the stereo type since I don't know) to a large swath of the gay male population? It may be that this representative quantity of women simply corresponds to the number of women being bounced?

If not, then I hate to go back to my own personal (slightly conspiratorial) idea of why this is which is that a) women in the military are still an abberation and yes, the paternalia nature of the military means that women are still on more people's radars in regards to behavior then men; b) that nature lends towards more people willing to examine and report rumors or other representative behavior to superiors in order to push women out in general.

It could be C) (reading Beth's post on this issue) that women believe that people are more accepting of same sex room mates for unmarried women, even at later ages, than of men (unmarried men at 28 who are rooming with other men of the same age being somewhat of an abberation considering marriage statistics) and so, possibly they are less protective of their situations and relationships that leads to more "outings".

This is surmising of course, that anyone has to be so secretive in the first place.

And, you know, it is really less likely that two lesbians are going to be jumped in the parking lot and beat up, either by their own sex or the opposite sex, than men (sadly-being statistically more often assaulted in civilian life and probably even more so in military life) so men may be even more pressured to keep their homosexuality hidden.

I will now address your point about "holy rollers" which may be one of the more important issues most likely to effect the military rather than fraternization, cohesion, etc. It's probably true that military life is the last real bastion of conservatives. Not that I like that sort of statistic since history says that can be a very bad thing. On the otherhand, I could see that its possible recruitment could be hurt for a short period of time, but it would greatly count on the PR campaign before.

For instance, if people let the holy roller crowd take over the discussion it will amount to "the whole military is full of gays and your young men (and women) will be exposed to gayness. They will turn gay. The military is suborning sin, etc, etc, etc" Where as a good campaign will say, "by the way, your son and daughter have been serving with gays this entire time (this is the percentage); gay people have contributed to the services as much as heteros (here's some gay heroes with ribbons, vets of wars, etc) and now we are just recognizing their contribution by not persecuting them (enter some righteous civil rights inferences here; make sure we talk about the discrimination of blacks, hispanics, japanese, etc)"

Now, the other PR issue will be the likelihood that certain gay activists will be happy to take such an issue and cram it down folks throats as a win (which I don't blame them) and try to use it as a spring board for other actions (which I don't blame them, but I know that will cause a big shudder in main stream america).

Again, it is going to be a matter of who controls the message.

after that, it is possible that a more liberal military will attract more liberal recruits that would, if not replace the loss, replace a percentage. This is, I think, borrowing trouble whence trouble has yet to rear its head.


And, finally, I want to address synova's story because, yes, funny enough, my girl friends and I have certainly done some outrageous things to either a) get attention or b) get rid of attention, including something similar to synova's story (of course, I was much younger and crazier then) as well as once acting like we were mormons, picking some guy out of the crowd and telling the guy that yes, all five of us were married to that big guy over there and yes, we all lived in separate houses and had scheduled days, etc, etc, etc, and we were all friends and shared the care of our 10 children, by the way, we were expecting two more since two were pregnant at the same time.;)

guy finally left us alone either figuring we were telling the truth or he got the hint. Just goes to show...

Anonymous said...

Much to deal with here.
Synova, I don't think you are dealing with the issue I brought up. It isn't that Holy Rollers(and no, the knee protectors in the back of the pew in front are not Holy Rollers---but funny none the lesser ;)) are offended and don't like it. It is that the gov't, since the mil is an organ of the State, issuing an edict that open homosexuality is fine amounts to a stance on morality/religion.
That they are annoyed or offended isn't the issue. It is the State taking a stance on whether their views are right or wrong, since they stem from religious belief, that is the problem.
I'm sure holy rollers are annoyed that their brothers in arms used to go see LBFMs while in the PI, but the State, and ergo the military, could not make the HR position law since it would violate the 1st Amendment.

Same here. Maybe I'm totally out of my mind and going off into a mental black hole. It's possible, but I think the issue needs to be looked at. This issue is not walled off into a box so as to prevent ripples. That's all I'm saying: what auxillary issues have not been looked at because we have focused entirely on readiness and morale(sometimes with canards thrown in)? I'm questioning whether it is legal, wrt the 1st Amendment, for the mil to even make such a policy as you and Philosopher Kat advocate.
And if I come off as a jerk, sorry. Not intended. Your arguments have been fair, honest, and without rancor so don't deserve jerkiness thrown your way.
Kat:
I think the package watch issue still is in play here because you haven't dealt with the element of this statement, 'funny as hell because you know damn well men are looking at other men's junk either because it's out there or because, yes, men do compare their junk to others', that I objected to.
This statement infers, to me least ways(is ry heading for another abyss? you be the judge, let me know if I needs an adjustment.), a uniform interest or compulsion to compare, an innate cuiriosity that pushes men to check each other out. Maybe women are like that. I don't know. But it is not a constant for men. Some do, just as many don't.
An example that illustrates what I mean. We all know many men are very anxious about their size(some commenters here and friends of Philosopher Kat are obviously exempted). Why would they want to notice, register the relative size of theirs to others, if such an action is detrimental to self image? THis is a major plank of 'bathroom/urinal rules'.

Seeing, physically seeing it, at the periphery is not the same as what you implied with that statement that curiosity about sex and other men is a given forces men to make mental register of anothers package. The implication that the norm is check and compare(in a sense I guess what I'm saying is don't ascribe what is a common behaviour amoungst women to men. And I don't think I'm out tht far on to have ventured into the realm of misogyny. Like the joke, 'When's the last time you heard a man say to another man, 'Do these pants make my butt look big?' That's where I'm going, not making a moral judgement or belittling a behaviour.) Take a look at the growing research on asexualism and how this will effect the paradigms of human sexuality we currently have.
My main point wasn't that you actually see stuff, which can be unavoidable but not always since large lockerdoors can make excellent partitions, but the underlying assumption that there exists an innate passion to see. The clarification provided doesnt seem to speak to this objection.

"From a guy's perspective, I can only imagine that his concern bathing with women would be the same in regards to ego and having his body parts bandied about as topics of conversation (although, I think that there would conversely be some pride in both the male and female if it were; who can tell with psyche?)."
In part, but also others. One being that the physical engorgement of memeber to physical stimulus would lead to accusations of creating a hostile environment or is evidence of intent to do something not nice. If civilian court cases are anything to judge by, and how a mere, unsupported or false accusation has in some cases utterly ruined a life/career, it is a concern that isn't entirely irrational.

'c) they're bodies may become subject of discussion among homosexual men (which apparently would bother them more than if with women) as I noted.'
I point to 'Time Enough For Love' by Heinlein, where he talked about how a woman being taken advantage of by a man lead to a shotgun wedding and a miraculous 6 month pregnacy, where a man being taken advantage of in similar fashion meant having to flee to the hills and change one's name. That's the culture we, in some part, have; and just saying that it isn't a mature outlook doesn't change that. Changing it requires some form of indoctrination, which I think we all object to on first principles.
Which is why I get stuck at having to have a non-policy by contradictory laws.

"Now, I realize to some this discussion would be a great voyueristic experience for men who also seem to think that all women are just waiting to let the lesbian out of them, but I am trying to illustrate the point that, while everyone keeps talking about unit cohesion and morale and some sort of "trust" issue that the men would fear to be broken just by the sheer presence of a homosexual in their ranks, that trust is a function of understanding, knowing the "lines" that can or can't be crossed and each side (as if they were two different entities..uughh) adhering to them.

I mean, isn't that the point of Ry's comment? "
I don't think I was making a point about trust. It may have been latent, but that was not my intent. But of legality. Is it legal and what legal problems will we face?
Sexual harrassment claims will need to be investigated, and I suspect, that there will be many claims(and 99.9999999% will be unwarranted).
That it unless you are saying that sexual harrassment laws should be struck down on principle that the same reasoning behind them applies to hetero objections to homsexuals in the same facilities. Is there some bigotry in the approach? Probably. But it's the same bigotry that means we have to have seperate facilities for the sexes and the whole reason we talk of 'sexualizing and objectifying' people.

"If the amount of homosexuals are so small in the military comparitively speaking, then is the increased risk of fraternization that prohibitive to good morale over any other problems, or, as I noted earlier, is this just "one more" thing and that's a convenient reason to not do it?
"
I'm not sure, since I didn't raise the point and don't recall the argument, but it sounds to me like they are making the economic 'marginal case' argument. Like seeing people drive on the shoulder on a stalled freeway. First one person does it. Then 5. Then 50. There is a bigotry in it, since we are talking about people, and it implies that gay group cannot keep it on the down low while the heterogroup does(yeah, Lyndie England really kept her relationship on the down low.).

"Ry...In regards to units missing people and what the primary cause is, I'd say your guestimate is way off. However, I'd be willing to for go this discussion until such a time as we find statistics for pregnancy in the military compared to other "medical conditions". I'm just saying that, unless statistically, across all WOMEN, the highest medical reason is pregnancy, there is probably no comparison to the number of total soldiers who are out of commission for various medical conditions and it is likely that certain injuries are probably even more common, like knee, shoulder, muscle, etc injuries.

But, again, while I won't concede the point, I'll refrain from making larger statements until I have data."
I do believe there is data. Look at the stats for the USS Ronald Reagan, aka The Baby Boat, on the breakdown of sailors being replaced for the ship and why.

But there is a second point to this. Young people are going to have sex if we mingle the sexes and sexual orientations. There will be pregnancies. To say otherwise is to ignore biological fact(even progesterone isn't 100% effective---nothing short of strict celibacy, or menopause, is 100% effective). I am saying that it doesn't even have to be a large number to be a serious problem. Does anyone else remember Lt. Smash going after Pablo Paredes for his leaving his shipmates high and dry by forcing longer watches at the AD station? Same logic here. Co mingling will lead to more pregnancies than random. So, we keep them seperate as much as is feasable to keep it down. This is *not* an argument that women should be kept out of the military. It is one that co-mingling is a mistake.

"This may actually be a point that improves the argument against the possibility of "fire island orgies" and "bath houses" since this actually was more prevalent in the male gay "culture" of the 70's but I still reject the entire argument as a fallacious stereo type." Agreed. Also irrelevant. Tailhook Scandal ruined many careers. Had nothing to do with gay orgies. Orgies? Yes. Rape? Yes. Gay? No. Canard and good on you Kat for pouncing on it.
Misconduct of the type is already handled. Gay has nothing to do with it. Conduct unbecoming to an officer or some such?

"I will now address your point about "holy rollers" which may be one of the more important issues most likely to effect the military rather than fraternization, cohesion, etc. It's probably true that military life is the last real bastion of conservatives. Not that I like that sort of statistic since history says that can be a very bad thing. On the otherhand, I could see that its possible recruitment could be hurt for a short period of time, but it would greatly count on the PR campaign before." I wasn't even going near the conservative/liberal thing. 'Constructing the proper narrative', or 'framing', means having to change the society to accept the narrative/frame, in my opinion. You'd have to make the 'holy rollers' less literalist in their views of the Bible. Creating a message of 'but gays are great patriots!', while there's still the 'but the Bible says they're evil and will burn in hell, and I may too if I go along with them,' isn't going to move in the desired direction, me thinks. First principles, indoctrination is wrong. We hate it when the moonbats do it for their purposes, and we are right to hate it because it is an ussurpation of our individuality. It's just as wrong to indoctrinate for what we see as good for the same reasons.

Not going near the last. John was considering having me shot for comments made at SWWBO's on this topic. Uh-uh. Dodged the bullet once not going there again(gawd, I'm such a pavlovian dog, totally guided by sitmuli ;)).
Ry

Kat said...

Ry...

On the first amendment issue, I do not believe that there can be any such issue. Of course, I'm not a lawyer and people try to twist all sorts of things, but here's my thoughts:

I am slightly confused about which part of the first amendment you think these folks will think is violated? Freedom of religion or freedom of speech?

In either case, I can't really see where any court would let it get past the first briefs. The military, in not discriminating and allowing gays to serve, would not be stopping people from practicing their religion. A point you have already made is that, if they hold their religion above their service to country they do not have to join the service. Thus, they are allowed to practice their religion unhindered.

If it is freedom of speech, we know that the military service only allows this up to a point and that the "discipline, morale and operational security" comes before any ideas of free speech in the military. Again, if someone did not want to serve, they don't have to so it is a moot point.

Now, the question may be more accurate in a war time draft, but, even then, there are certain suspensions of concepts within or against the military. In war time draft, if you are a white supremist and you have to serve with a Jew, too bad though, if you fail to adhere to rules and discipline, then you will be in the brig. Same concept here as you point out, there are rules already which deal with it.

So, no, I do not see it as a first amendment issue.

I think the whole pregnancy issue is over blown compared to other issues, but where I really see the fallacy in bringing this up in a discussion of potential same sex fraternization is that gay men can't get pregnant and lesbian women are less likely to. However, the fraternization issue which leads to discipline and possibly unit readiness when one or more must leave the unit, is the one area that has some merit. However the military and the masters of such attempt to minimize this in order to maximize their ability, the fact that it is minimal when compared to or added to other readiness problems like fitness, equipment, etc must be taken into account because surely the same folks that use all sorts of statistics to manage these problems must also build into their models for units and unit operability the possibility that soldiers will be injured or otherwise unfit for duty.

I believe that is why we have reserve units (I don't mean necessarily reservists, but units which we hold in reserve to replace or shore up other units). To exclude a body of people that on a whole add to the ability of the military to field an army and operate (30% are women for intance, that's something like 300k women serving inthe armed forces, NG, IRR, etc) because a possibility that they will add a minimal number of instances where a unit is inoperable is just statistically and operationally a bad decision.

Which is why, I believe, you see a lot more women out on patrols and guarding bases, etc, etc, etc. I think the military has figured out that you do not arbitrarily dismiss 30% of your forces (arguably making your total force readiness substantially less) in the midst of a war in order to pander to some moralists objections or to minimize a minimal operational problem (compared to the effect of disregarding 30% of your forces).

Cut. Nose. Spite. Face.

I recently saw some woman (Phyllis something or other) claiming that military recruitment is down because men don't want to serve with women. I found that incredibly preposterous considering what we know about the trends of enlistment, the incremental increases in enlistment goals, re-enlistments and the historical condition of the army which, in 1991 was 18 divisions and now we are down to 10. Not because of recruitment but because the government cut those forces. Which basically left fewer slots in need of recruits and often more people turning over and out at a faster rate being replaced by the same recruits that this woman claimed were no longer signing up.

Now, we know that some men may have left because they did not want to serve with women, but arguably, that was extremely low compared to those that selected early retirement, reserve or national guard positions when the army cut forces. It was no longer as good of a deal and in largely peace time, why would anyone seek employment (beyond patriotism which can only explain so much) when they can be equally patriotic and work for GE at double the salary?

I see this as the same issue with Gays or lesbians. I think the number of serving members will increase by an extremely limited percentage and many of those would simply be already serving members self identifying. I see that the impact would be minimal in terms of recruitment because, even in the holy roller camp, their are a lot more clear eyed realist who understand the purpose of secular law than people give them credit for. (and, frankly, by that I mean to say that I dispute the claim that 20% of the US is "holy roller"; 80% believes in God, but it does not mean that 1/4 of them are fanatics)

And thus, I don't believe that I would need to actually try to change holy roller literalists. They would simply be one small part of an overall, not the mega community that the media thinks we should all fear.

As for the indoctrination thing, exactly how would the common practice of presenting an idea and supporting it with some evidence be "indoctrination"? Secondly, I would argue that our entire lives are a long road of "indoctrination" it is only a question of what it is that you are being indoctrinated with.

We are, from birth to last, inundated with certain concepts. We are told the "myths" of our creation as a nation as children and then later someone else may come along and tell us something more or different but they are by no means NOT trying to indoctrinate us into their ideals. The difference is that our indoctrination typically includes things like a watered down version of the "socratic method" where our indoctrination says that we should question and search as opposed to other societies that may say don't look any further than the bible, koran, talmud, etc, etc, etc because all the answers are here.

They are both forms of indoctrination that attempts to form the narrative. In which case, the government has participated in this indoctrination for centuries including doing things like issuing the emancipation proclamation, desegregation of schools, government and military, providing women withe the right to bote, etc, etc,

Now, it wasn't always responding to the majority or its sensibilities when it did these things, but, in its defense, you can never really go wrong with giving more freedom. It's when you take it away or keep it from others that this indoctrinal idea becomes the evil burden.

and right now, that indoctrinal message is that gays are not equal and should be shunned which is where I can identify with those who are called "evil Liberals" and say that this is wrong in our government because it arguably results in less freedom for a group of people for acts which, if between a hetero couple would be, if not accepted, not concerned with.

In closing my comment, I thought about a comment that a person at Black five made, a senor lechero who said that I was being condescending and did not respect his beliefs, thus somehow I was equally in the wrong.

Well, I reject that on the grounds that he is asking for moral ambiguity on the grounds of "respect for others" when he would argue against that in any other forum when discussing whether this war or any other was "just". I also reject that because, in life, there are many who hold different opinions and they cannot all be right. Was it right for the Supreme Court to uphold return of slaves from free states? Legally, yes, morally no. Is anyone saying that we should have considered the feelings and beliefs of slave owners instead of declaring the emancipation? No. Should we have not desegregated schools and the military because some people believed that "mixing races" was immoral (and even arguably a sin against the teachings of the bible?). The answer is, no.

From these lessens I have learned that sometimes, the moral ambiguity of "respecting someone's beliefs" is actually tantamount to immorality.

Its the same reason I believe that Islamism is a nasty evil, why I believe that cultures that still practice slavery and repress women are also immoral. While I do not necessarily consider repression to be a casius bellus for unending military endeavors, I consider it a cause to continue to lambast, point to, denigrate and ultimately work for the day it changes, regardless of what culture or religious practice it comes from.

Thus, the same with discrimination of gays.

Anonymous said...

1st amendment:
I'm going with the free exercise and non-establishment clauses only.
IN some states a teacher or staffer may not wear a symbol of religious affiliation. Why? Because a state organ having such a symbol gives the appearance of the State to favor one religion and say all others are wrong. This isn't me saying this. This is rather established by case law already in SCOTUS.
Now, let's extrapolate a little bit. What, in effect, is one of the results of gov't saying that homosexuality( against Catholic Cathecism, biblical literalists, and others baseline religious doctrine) is hunkie dorie?
Is it not saying that these people are wrong, their doctrines are wrong, and therefor a defacto stance by the State on religion?
Yes, it is. That is one effect, intent is irrelevant, of such a stance.
Religious neutrality garaunteed by the 1st amendment can be a tricky thing.
" A point you have already made is that, if they hold their religion above their service to country they do not have to join the service. Thus, they are allowed to practice their religion unhindered."
No I did not make the point that to disallow gays to serve is a denial of religion. I have never said that homsexuality is a religion. What I have said is that religions that are gay friendly would seem to be getting the Nod Of Approval, which is verbotten, and the effect that would have on general pop is something that should be thought about in relation to the discussion instead of just focusing on in the military issues like readiness and morale.

Kat, I think you'll see the obvious flaw in this one: 'if they hold their religion above their service to country they do not have to join the service'. Replace gay with religion. You say this is outright discrimantion. If A holds then it is B, right?
"So, no, I do not see it as a first amendment issue. " Okay, but I just ask people to consider it in the way I presented. It was a question, not a *bam* decleration of fact. I see how it can be and am wondering if others see the same possibility.
Because I see the possibility of conflict and breach of religious neutrality I say that a non-policy on homosexuality---we don't wanna know about it, we don't wanna deal with it, so shhhhhh----is the best way to deal with it.
DADT is essentially saying that the gov't will take no stance on it. We won't actively say anything and give official weight to any religion/philosophy. Which is definately not saying anything goes and all viewpoints are to be accepted.

"I think the whole pregnancy issue is over blown compared to other issues, but where I really see the fallacy in bringing this up in a discussion " I didn't bring up the point of women being in the military. You and John did. When I initially replied to the topic o women in the military(and co-minging specifically) I attempted to set it off from the rest by giving it a title with a colon.

No fallacy. You brought it up the point of women in the mil, John brought up the idea of co-mingling(women face discrimination I think was the line of reasoning you were following), and I offered a counter---on the grounds that it(comingling of the sexes) does really effect readiness, and supported it with the example of extended watch standing in existance on the Reagan(I didn't throw in that I have a buddy who works in the reactor spaces there, and the accident that occured last year was in part caused by a shortage of watchstanders because someone was on the beach because she got knocked up by one of her crewmates and they had to fly her off, since it is annecdotal evidence only and not evidence of a general trend.).
"I believe that is why we have reserve units " and this is why I brought up Smash and Pablo Peredes. The Bonhome sailed short an air defense operator because of the loss of a single individual. Again, annecdotal and not evidence of a general trend, but is enough to make one wonder about this vast supply of reserves to fill a loss you seem to assert exists.

YOu seem to be, despite every instance I have taken the effort to say that I am not saying women cannot serve, plowing ahead like I'm a mysogonistic knuckle dragger out to kick all women out of the mil. Kat, look at what I say and react to it(men and women should not be co-mingled); and not the stock argument presented by mysogynists to exclude women from the military. Straw men make a nice cloud when they go poof, but you aren't hearing what I am actually saying(As Wes Snipes said in "White Men Can't Jump', you aren't hearing Jimmy). Knee cap me for what I do, not what you imagine I do.
"I recently saw some woman (Phyllis something or other) claiming that military recruitment is down because men don't want to serve with women. " Am I Phyllis Schafly(that's the woman you're thinking of)? Did I say, as she has, that women should be excluded from military service because it is unladylike and undoes the foundations of society by having the baby factories toting rifles? Did I? No, in fact I cited Heinlein, who held that women can be far more viscious than men and better soldiers. If'n you're gonna eviscerate me Kat, make sure you're doing it for what I do say and not for something some other idiot said or you imagined I said. I have not, nor have I ever, made the argument you are ascribing to me and you then proceed to destroy.
THis para 'Now, we know that some men may have left because they did not want to serve with women.." is immaterial, I didn't go there(and nobody seems to have gone there), in the women/men comingle issue.

Point of factly any argument that hinges on Biblical reasons for women to be excluded, not my argument mind you, should be shot down for the neutrality demanded by the establishment/free exercise duo. Doing so would wind up picking one religion over another.

"and, frankly, by that I mean to say that I dispute the claim that 20% of the US is "holy roller"; 80% believes in God, but it does not mean that 1/4 of them are fanatics" I guesstimated Kat, and identified it as such. ANd I don't think it is that far off, considering the Airforce Academy problems. BUt if I am, fine, I can live with that. It was a geusstimate, not a declaration of facts. I may have instead used, 'for the sake of argument', instead of guesstimate, but I'm a chemist and we're lazy. One is 20+ letters to type and the other is 12. but the important part is that it was not a declaration of fact and identified as such.
"As for the indoctrination thing, exactly how would the common practice of presenting an idea and supporting it with some evidence be "indoctrination"? Secondly, I would argue that our entire lives are a long road of "indoctrination" it is only a question of what it is that you are being indoctrinated with."
Which are you saying, that it would be indoctrination because all learing is ultimately indoctrination(and therefore okay, because you hold the 'right' position), or that it isn't really indoctrination because we will ultimately give someone a choice to believe the arguement in favor of something or not? To me it looks like you're trying to have it both ways(all is indoctrination but having a policy that promotes the achievments of gays isn't propoganda), but it could be that I'm wrong and that you're not. I'm asking for a clarification.

"In closing my comment, I thought about a comment that a person at Black five made, a senor lechero who said that I was being condescending and did not respect his beliefs, thus somehow I was equally in the wrong." So you are again beating me up for something senor lechero(mr. letch) did. I have not said this. I don't think it was even implied. I went head on with you Kat, and have tried to make my positions plainly visible---which does not overlap with mr letch.
"Should we have not desegregated schools and the military because some people believed that "mixing races" was immoral (and even arguably a sin against the teachings of the bible?)." The answer here is rather simple Kat. Keeping it segregated by argument from Biblical truth is the Nod Of Officialdom by the State---can't be done. So they went to a neutral position(we don't care about race, and we aren't going to cheerlead for mixing race---thus avoiding saying that any religion that held it to be wrong was itself wrong).
"I also reject that because, in life, there are many who hold different opinions and they cannot all be right." Maybe that is 'for the general readership', but that is not what I said, that's Mr Lechero, and I have not said that the gov't has to make everyone happy(kumbaiya gov't). I said in a narrow argument that the gov't has to not give official nod toward a religious stance and that women and men should not be comingled because it does lead to people being out. Period. That's all I said and intended to say.
Ry

Synova said...

Firstly, I wasn't talking about kneeling pads, I was talking about *blankets* kept handy for when women, in an excess of religious extasy roll around on the floor so that their dress rides up around their waist. Yes, saying someone is a "holy roller" implies a general excessiveness of religious enthusiasm. I was just being nit picky since all sort of hyperbolic descriptors are given to Christians who *believe* as if belief in God is itself excessive rather than, more logically, the minimum for designation as a "Christian."

Secondly, I see no 1st Amendment issues *at all* with allowing gays to serve in the military. At least not from an establishment of religion angle. At least in this day and age, anything that even appears to support religious practice fails in the courts. The rhetoric about the Great Impending Theocracy is so far out on the kool-aid fringe that it's hard to even conceive that people worry about it. *Nothing* about the military presently enforces sexual morality. The Holy Roller (TM) certainly condemns pre-marital sex, certainly condemns extra-marital sex, and utterly condemns divorce. None of those sinners are banned from military service. How does allowing sinners to serve establish religion even negatively? No one is being forced to behave in a way contrary to their religious belief by serving alongside a gay person.

I know people who refused to attend military chapel services because the military groups LDS with Christians, but there are no rules requiring attendance or prohibiting attendance of the church of your choice in the community. And it isn't a trivial matter that this dealt with matters of religious authority, who was actually *teaching* in a religious context, rather than who worked along side you.

In a military context those who follow their faith devoutly are already in a situation where they must find their standards inside themselves rather than lazily rest on the rules of the community. That is why there seems to be so many "true beleivers" in the military. It's a situation where it's very difficult to be "luke warm". Believers *believe* and those who don't eventually stop bothering with making the motions.

I'll make no claims for civilians, but the "Holy Rollers" in the military are not going to faint at the thought that the *military* defines morality since that is a bizarre concept they've never believed.

Kat said...

Kat, I think you'll see the obvious flaw in this one: 'if they hold their religion above their service to country they do not have to join the service'. Replace gay with religion. You say this is outright discrimantion. If A holds then it is B, right? "So, no, I do not see it as a first amendment issue. " Okay, but I just ask people to consider it in the way I presented. It was a question, not a *bam* decleration of fact. I see how it can be and am wondering if others see the same possibility.
Because I see the possibility of conflict and breach of religious neutrality I say that a non-policy on homosexuality---we don't wanna know about it, we don't wanna deal with it, so shhhhhh----is the best way to deal with it.


First, gay is not a religion so it is not the same as the military recognizing a religion above another and not, I don't think that whole "some religions accept it, mine doesn't so you are by default creating a hostile environment". Largely because they must be able to prove the "hostility" that would occur (besides their own) because there would have to be some intent. Secondly, they would have to prove that unacceptance of homosexuality is part of an established church doctrine and religious practice and not just the ideas of certain members. Now, don't think that just because the catholic church says it doesn't recognize homosexuality that this is cut and dried. The fact is, the entire church does not adhere to these ideas, thus because it is said doesn't make it so. there are likely some other things they would have to prove for first amendment violations, but I just believe that this would not even make it past the smell test. Remember, the government already has non descrimination in the civilian work place and, as far as I know, the employment of gays has not been successfully challenged under any first amendment clause which I believe should be the best indicator of whether that could successfully happen in the military.


Second, not only can people choose not to serve but they can also choose to still serve in the military regardless of their religion. Thus, they are not discriminated against, unlike gays who can choose to serve, quietly or they can live their lives openly and be bounced or denied.

Now, let me explain how else I feel on this subject before I answer the others in case it's not clear. Sex occurs in the bedroom. The government should not care what goes on in the bedroom. The only time what goes on in the bedroom is the government's business is when it involves violent assault on a person either by cohersion or by force.

The fact that we have laws on the books that say otherwise is ridiculous and the fact that those laws that violate the privacy of the home (which the constitution guarantees) is ridiculous, whomever they are aimed at.

The Bonhome sailed short an air defense operator because of the loss of a single individual. Again, annecdotal and not evidence of a general trend, but is enough to make one wonder about this vast supply of reserves to fill a loss you seem to assert exists.

Frankly, I know where Smash was going, but we both know that what happened on the Bonhomme was that somewhere as it was going to station a replacement either met them on station or was flown out to them before hand. And, you are still proving my point, readiness can be effected but it would take more than one man or woman to change that standing from "ready" to unable to perform. Again, redundant systems. The military lives and breathes it.

And I never imagined "vast" reserves. The problem is that your words make it seem you believe we need "vast" reserves to fill the "holes" when I know it doesn't work that way nor is it necessary.

To me it looks like you're trying to have it both ways(all is indoctrination but having a policy that promotes the achievments of gays isn't propoganda), but it could be that I'm wrong and that you're not. I'm asking for a clarification.

Yes, I am saying that everything is a form of indoctrination. Yes, I am saying that the type of indoctrination may lead you to be more or less open to questioning (it doesn't make the concept of how you came to questioning any less of an indoctrination than say the Stalinist version which said the state was always right and don't question it, and yes, since one indoctrination leads you to be more free and open minded and one puts you in a mental - if not physical- prison then yes I am saying that one sort of indoctrination is less moral than the other because of the outcome, not the fact that it was indoctrination.)

(all is indoctrination but having a policy that promotes the achievments of gays isn't propoganda),

Yes, I am trying to indoctrinate you into my way of thinking by providing propaganda (ie, information meant to sway you to my way of thinking) that does promote, if not acceptance, then non-discrimination against gays. Aren't you trying to convince me that my indoctrination and propaganda is wrong and I should believe the indoctrination and propaganda camp that says gays in the military harms the military?

Digressing a little, the words propaganda and indoctrination got a really bad rap from the post WWII Nazi days and communist days when sinister intent was applied to them. when in reality, their simplistic meanings actually stand as correct descriptors of actions. We just like to call it "education and information". ;)

I'll come back and answer some more shortly.

Anonymous said...

First, yay, I still have legs and I'm not eviscerated by a Catle Feline, just scratched and a little blood. It's always like that when you play with felines and have a good time.;)

'Second, not only can people choose not to serve but they can also choose to still serve in the military regardless of their religion. Thus, they are not discriminated against, unlike gays who can choose to serve, quietly or they can live their lives openly and be bounced or denied. Now, let me explain how else I feel on this subject before I answer the others in case it's not clear. Sex occurs in the bedroom. The government should not care what goes on in the bedroom. The only time what goes on in the bedroom is the government's business is when it involves violent assault on a person either by cohersion or by force."
I'm seeing a contradiction here. You're seeking, in essence, a gov't position on what occurs in the bedroom because the gov't shouldn't be getting into people's bedrooms?
There are breaks on both the religious and gays. Look at the stuff John's put up about using 'in Jesus' name we pray' and the AFA scandal. THere is, albeit at a lesser level, a trend of 'we don't want to know about your religion, and if you talk about it we're getting you into official trouble.'
Not parrallel, but similar. Synova hit at this a bit too.


THe apostatacy thing. Sigh. Then no religion can ever claim anything because there are always those who don't agree with something within a religion.
It also ignores that there are a large number of Catholics who are serving that do follow the official Cathecism, and you are now saying that their religion is wrong.

ANd if we can throw out whatever rules we don't like and have 'druthers it's rather pointless to continue, no? I am not about to try and tell you what you think is wrong to think or feel, though I would argue that it cannot be done because of the constraints that exist. If you aren't equally constrained then there is no point. You don't think the authority exists. My whole argument is a non-starter since you don't recognize the foundations upon which it is based.

"Frankly, I know where Smash was going, but we both know that what happened on the Bonhomme was that somewhere as it was going to station a replacement either met them on station or was flown out to them before hand." Do we? I don't.
I do know the RR sailed around S. America, fromt the Atlantic to the Pacific, without picking up another reactor watchstander.
So, no, I don't think this is a given or proven. It may have happened and it may not have. I'll have to ask around to see if the Bonhome did get another AD operator to replace Paredes.

I used vast because you used the # 300K. That seems like a rather large number of human beings to me.

I do think that com-mingling has put a strain on manpower as slots have to be filled. THere isn't an infinite supply of a rating or people trained in a given field. Not all parts are interchangable. There's redundancy built in, but not one that makes losses, and long losses for pregnancy(6 months or more), a triffle.
Remember, some of these replacements are going to be pissed that they were hauled away from their families, away from their comfort or cut short their well earned leaves, and away from schools for career advancement.

All I'm saying is that it is a reasonable concern instead of a canard, and that because of this concern comingling should be curtailed.

I think you're wrong that all is indoctrination. But that's a HUGE argument about the origins of knowledge I'm not equipped or willing to undertake. Find some other sucker to beat up on that one, Kat. ;)
Ry