The Military Gets a Dose of 'Hope and Change'

As a former officer in the U.S. Marines, I oppose the pending legislation that would create a "right" for homosexuals and bisexuals to serve openly in the military. President Obama revived the idea in his State of the Union Address. By May, it passed in the House and was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The full Senate is set to vote when it receives a Defense Department report on how the Pentagon might minimize the law's harm to unit cohesion, recruiting, and retention. 

But there is more at stake than unit cohesion and troop levels. I believe the new law is targeted at military leaders who hold traditional Judeo-Christian values. It is designed to push them -- and the traditional military culture they foster -- out of the armed services by putting them into an impossible moral dilemma. A new crop of progressive-minded leaders could then alter military culture for generations. 

The military is one of the few federally funded institutions that remains unashamedly respectful of traditional American values. This has frustrated progressives for decades. The Constitution wisely gives civilian leaders institutional control over the military, but the culture of the military has eluded the influence of the political class. President Obama and the liberals in Congress now see their opportunity to gain control over the leaders who control the culture of the military.

The new law does more than create a right for gays and bisexuals to serve. It elevates gay and bisexual self-expression as part of the military value system and legislates a worldview in which homosexuality and bisexuality are no different from -- and are morally equal to -- heterosexuality. This is part of the larger gay rights agenda, which seeks to use government power to declare once and for all that God has not spoken on sexuality and marriage, and that anyone who believes Him is wrong, immoral, and even a bigot.

This will put a large number of military leaders in an intolerable moral dilemma. Good military leaders take seriously their duty to honor the chain of command all the way up to the White House. They know their role is to put a personal face on the laws and policies passed in Washington, and that to oppose them is insubordination. If the rule regarding gay and bisexual conduct is changed, military leaders will be required to teach, support, enforce, and even to persuade their subordinates that homosexual and bisexual behaviors are morally equivalent to heterosexual behavior. Military leaders who hold religious convictions to the contrary will in essence be required by law to betray their religious beliefs. 

Faced with this dilemma, many Christians, Jews, and others who hold the traditional moral beliefs that have long anchored the military's culture will elect to leave. Behind them will come a crop of leaders who are more comfortable with the new mandatory belief system. They will naturally be more socially progressive, more politically liberal, and more disdainful of traditional Americans and their values. Thus, the new law will change the type of person who aspires to be a leader in the U.S. armed forces. As the leaders change, the culture of military will gradually change in keeping with their more liberal-progressive worldview.

Our military is strong because it fights not for license, but for freedom. Many of its members volunteer to serve because they know the principles of freedom -- the ideas that all men are created equal, that each person possesses certain unalienable rights, and that government power should be carefully limited -- should come from God. If enough military leaders who believe in that same God are forced out, the military will become yet another secular-progressive government bureaucracy beholden to the progressive political class. Will enough people volunteer for such a military? When America faces its next existential threat, will our military fight as well for the secular bureaucracy as it has in the past for freedom? I hope we never have to find out.

Adam G. Mersereau is the author of Uncivil Society: Government's War Against God and the Plight of the Christian Citizen, published in May by Bridge-Logos Publishers. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and left active duty in 1995 at the rank of Captain. 
As a former officer in the U.S. Marines, I oppose the pending legislation that would create a "right" for homosexuals and bisexuals to serve openly in the military. President Obama revived the idea in his State of the Union Address. By May, it passed in the House and was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The full Senate is set to vote when it receives a Defense Department report on how the Pentagon might minimize the law's harm to unit cohesion, recruiting, and retention. 

But there is more at stake than unit cohesion and troop levels. I believe the new law is targeted at military leaders who hold traditional Judeo-Christian values. It is designed to push them -- and the traditional military culture they foster -- out of the armed services by putting them into an impossible moral dilemma. A new crop of progressive-minded leaders could then alter military culture for generations. 

The military is one of the few federally funded institutions that remains unashamedly respectful of traditional American values. This has frustrated progressives for decades. The Constitution wisely gives civilian leaders institutional control over the military, but the culture of the military has eluded the influence of the political class. President Obama and the liberals in Congress now see their opportunity to gain control over the leaders who control the culture of the military.

The new law does more than create a right for gays and bisexuals to serve. It elevates gay and bisexual self-expression as part of the military value system and legislates a worldview in which homosexuality and bisexuality are no different from -- and are morally equal to -- heterosexuality. This is part of the larger gay rights agenda, which seeks to use government power to declare once and for all that God has not spoken on sexuality and marriage, and that anyone who believes Him is wrong, immoral, and even a bigot.

This will put a large number of military leaders in an intolerable moral dilemma. Good military leaders take seriously their duty to honor the chain of command all the way up to the White House. They know their role is to put a personal face on the laws and policies passed in Washington, and that to oppose them is insubordination. If the rule regarding gay and bisexual conduct is changed, military leaders will be required to teach, support, enforce, and even to persuade their subordinates that homosexual and bisexual behaviors are morally equivalent to heterosexual behavior. Military leaders who hold religious convictions to the contrary will in essence be required by law to betray their religious beliefs. 

Faced with this dilemma, many Christians, Jews, and others who hold the traditional moral beliefs that have long anchored the military's culture will elect to leave. Behind them will come a crop of leaders who are more comfortable with the new mandatory belief system. They will naturally be more socially progressive, more politically liberal, and more disdainful of traditional Americans and their values. Thus, the new law will change the type of person who aspires to be a leader in the U.S. armed forces. As the leaders change, the culture of military will gradually change in keeping with their more liberal-progressive worldview.

Our military is strong because it fights not for license, but for freedom. Many of its members volunteer to serve because they know the principles of freedom -- the ideas that all men are created equal, that each person possesses certain unalienable rights, and that government power should be carefully limited -- should come from God. If enough military leaders who believe in that same God are forced out, the military will become yet another secular-progressive government bureaucracy beholden to the progressive political class. Will enough people volunteer for such a military? When America faces its next existential threat, will our military fight as well for the secular bureaucracy as it has in the past for freedom? I hope we never have to find out.

Adam G. Mersereau is the author of Uncivil Society: Government's War Against God and the Plight of the Christian Citizen, published in May by Bridge-Logos Publishers. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and left active duty in 1995 at the rank of Captain.