If you think open homosexuality is not compatible with serving in the military, you must be an idiot. That was the general consensus among panelists discussing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law during a recent Sunday morning talk show. Jake Tapper, host of This Week, said that most Americans now favor repealing the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.
But some Republicans in Congress appear to be dragging their feet on lifting the ban. Why? Because “they’re not being very intelligent,” quipped conservative commentator George Will.
Evidently, homophobic isn’t descriptive enough when it comes to disparaging anyone who would dare criticize our society’s universal acceptance of homosexuality.
Besides being bigots, Bible-thumping critics are also half-wits.
In fact, as Philip Klein helpfully notes at the American Spectator, we don’t even need a brain to understand that the ban should be lifted. For him—and he’s probably smart—it’s a “no-brainer.”
But in 1993, apparently the truth wasn’t as blindingly obvious as it is today. Or, perhaps, people were dumber. Colin Powell, for instance, was one of the foremost supporters of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In explaining why he favored the law, Powell said, “It involves matters of privacy and human sexuality that in our judgment, if allowed to exist in the force, would affect the cohesion and well-being of the force.”
Made sense during the horse-and-buggy days of the early 1990s. Today, though, we live in a much more intelligent age. Attitudes have changed, Powell says, which is why he now hopes the law will be abolished.
Most conservatives seem to agree with the older, wiser, more mature Powell of 2010. The ban has “outlived its usefulness,” said the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes earlier this year. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer says the old-fashioned law is discriminatory. To support his argument, Krauthammer told Fox News, “The mores in the country have changed, certainly in the last 16 years, and certainly among the young” (emphasis mine).
Matthew Dowd, whose son recently completed five years of service in the military, can vouch for the profound impact young people have had on changing society’s attitudes regarding homosexual behavior. Ten years ago, he said on This Week, 80 percent of the military supported “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Today, he estimated, 80 percent favor lifting the ban.
The younger generation sees homosexuality on television, in movies—they act it out in their lives, Dowd explained.
At this point in the discussion, had it taken place a generation ago, a less “intelligent” George Will might have pointed out how perversely illogical it was for America’s leaders to seek guidance from teenagers on where to set the nation’s moral compass.
But we live in a much different world today—one where the teenage-dominant rule of children is seen as sophisticated and wise. “For people of Matt’s son’s generation, being gay is like being left-handed. It’s not really very interesting,” Mr. Will said in response to Dowd’s keen analysis about the need for new legislation that falls in line with the teenage behavior being promoted on television.
As support for his analysis, George Will highlighted a recent Supreme Court opinion in which our justices concluded that America’s “evolving” standard of decency is actually a sign of a “maturing society.”
That, as Robert Knight recently observed in the Washington Times, is like saying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were more mature and sophisticated than Jerusalem during the reign of King David. It’s like saying the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were smarter than God.
Those two cities were famous for their widespread practice and acceptance of homosexuality. Besides that, the Apostle Jude wrote, they gave themselves over to fornication. The Prophet Ezekiel added that while Sodom was prosperous, it was full of pride and arrogance (Ezekiel 16:49-50).
This is the same kind of “sophisticated” and “intelligent” society we have devolved into today—one where homosexuality is regarded as good, rather than abominable (Romans 1:22-32; see also Chapter 3 of our editor in chief’s booklet The Epistles of Peter: A Living Hope). It is exactly as the Prophet Isaiah said we would be: “The very look on their faces gives them away and shows their guilt. And they boast that their sin is equal to the sin of Sodom; they are not even ashamed. What a catastrophe! They have doomed themselves” (Isaiah 3:9; Living Bible).
During his 3½-year ministry, Jesus also spoke of the catastrophic doom our peoples are facing because of our many sins. In Luke 17:28-30, He prophesied that at the end of this age, our sophisticated, ultra-modern and anti-God society would degenerate into the way it was during the days of Sodom and Gomorrah—and that it would result in universal destruction.
There is, however, hope. Surprisingly, it’s even alluded to at the end of Robert Knight’s piece quoted above (kudos to the Washington Times for printing it). Whether or not Knight actually believes in the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth, he’s absolutely right about this: “Someday, the smartest folks in America will wonder how they could have been so foolish.” ▪