Let me start this by saying that I hate no one. Not my nation’s worst enemies, not those who have done deliberate harm to me or tried to do to my family. Not those who have expressed hatred toward anyone.
It was not always this way, but over the course of years and living–sometimes reliving–terrible things that have happened in my life, I have found that love, not hatred, is always the best path to freedom.
Since our nation’s founding, brave men and women have given their lives in dozens of calls to arms for various reasons but always in the defense of our national interests, whatever our civil authorities determined that interest to be.
Often, when they did not return in a coffin draped in Old Glory’s colors, they returned with wounds, seen and unseen, from which they often never fully recovered. All of them should be loved for their selfless dedication to our country.
Somehow, in the last few years, sexuality in our national conversation has come to the forefront of many aspects of our national life, particularly in education at every level. Right or wrong, this is so and this is the topic on this Memorial Day.
My father is a patriot and, in his day, an unabashed Cold Warrior who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955. Until his retirement 23 years ago, he stayed that way and his opinions and way of life carried over into mine. I, too was a naval officer for a few years.
Homosexuality in the service was something dealt with harshly in my father’s time and mine in the early 1980’s. In every instance in my service, homosexuality that was, please pardon the expression, exposed was dealt with quickly by discharge from the service. Times have definitely changed now that the policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed as a matter of national policy. Now everyone serving can enjoy their sexuality openly without fear of official reprisal. Individual behaviors on military bases, battle fields, warships and the like notwithstanding.
As a Christian, and a former naval officer, this is especially troubling to me. No one wants to live their lives, or parts of their lives, in secret. But the idea of discriminating for or against anyone based on the way they engage in sexual activity is anathema to most people, I believe. We have all seen examples of outward homosexual behavior in Gay Pride parades and the use of words like “HATE” to describe anyone who has anything negative to say about such events. Often, “hate” is used to describe people like Christians when they speak out against it.
I recently read that all of the taxpayer supported military academies now have openly gay clubs, events, and courses designed to make such sexual behavior more acceptable and mainstream in the country’s service.
My mom and dad have an album of my father’s Midshipman days where they attended the annual Ring Dance, where the middie’s sweetheart would be given her ring (remember that the academies didn’t become co-ed until 1976) to wear as a treasure for life. I sent an email to my dad today that his beloved academy had their first openly gay attendance this year. The photo above shows one such couple, third from the left.
I said earlier that I hate no one. I don’t. My Christian faith won’t allow it and it isn’t good for me to have those feelings anyway.
To love people requires that I have these characteristics in my heart and ready to bring to bear at all times. These are the weapons of my warfare now:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Not my feelings. They mean nothing. Objective belief is everything to any Christian who is applying the double-edged sword of truth in his or her life. The notion that any sexual behaviors in any milieu deserve a special status is just wrong. It is especially wrong when the lives of men and women at arms on our behalf are put at risk when leadership is sacrificed for politically correct reasons related to sexuality or any other criteria, for that matter.
Confidence in leadership is at the core of military life and always has been, since there were military forces. This should remain so. We shall see the long term effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the near future, I believe.
As always, the media will either gloss over it, or smooth it out, or marginalize those of us who object to the use of sexual behaviors as a mainstream course of life. Haters. Bigots. Unreasoning hypocrites. I urge those of you who would be tempted to think we are this way to look deeper.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32
Read and meditate on the Scripture above and then engage in a civil discourse before you decide. Behaviors have consequences and they have not changed. No threats of hell-fire and damnation. Love has nothing to do with this.
I hope your Memorial Day is filled with peaceful moments of joy, fond memories of loved ones lost to war, and God’s grace always.