Bill of Rights: Amendment I
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….”
Marine Corps General Peter Pace is currently undergoing a series of attacks against him, based on a comment he made in the Chicago Tribune discussing homosexuality in the U.S. Military.
In a newspaper interview Monday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, compared homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.
In a statement Tuesday, he said he should have focused more in the interview on the Defense Department policy about gays — and “less on my personal moral views.”
Gen. Pace is being punished not because of what he said. He could have said, “Living in gated communities and sending your rich white kids to private school is nothing more then a form of racism and bigotry.” Would that have caused the uproar that is going on right now?
Well, yes it probably would have considering most of the people in power in this nation do live in gated communities and are sending their kids to private school so they probably would have started complaining.
But, General Pace would have had the right to say it. The same way he has the right to say that homosexuality is immoral. He also said that adultery is immoral, but I don’t hear any complaints coming from the ‘screwing around on their spouses’ crowd.
General Pace was, according to some staff members, ‘the general was expressing his personal opinion…’ So, ones opinion is now subject to censorship? Good. Can we get liberals to shut up about how bad Bush is? That is their opinion, and if General Pace is not allowed to speak his opinion, they should not be allowed to do so either.
In my opinion, Mariachi music played at an ear damaging level from cars in parking lots is immoral. Ok, not immoral but certainly impolite.
In the original interview, General Pace was directly asked about the military “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve if they keep their sexual orientation private and don’t engage in homosexual acts.
Pace said he supports the policy, which became law in 1994 and prohibits commanders from asking about a person’s sexual orientation. Notice that; General Pace supports the rule. He does not like it, and said so out loud to the interviewer: “I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by a saying through our policies that it’s OK to be immoral in any way.” Pace said he based his views on his upbringing.
“As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of gay behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.”
Advocacy groups are saying that the General’s statements were “insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces.” 65,000? Well, what about the other 1.4 million active-duty uniformed personnel currently serving in the four military branches of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)? Wouldn’t it be more important to find out how they feel serving next to a gay soldier?
The thing is, there is historical evidence that gays and lesbians have always served in the American armed forces. If you check history, you will find that homosexuals and lesbians have served in the military for thousands of years.
In my opinion (notice that word?), we should allow them to fight. What they do behind closed doors (or inside a tent) is between them and God. I don’t have to like it. Neither does General Pace.
But what we do have to like is the fact that he has the right to say what he thinks. Just like the Nazi who parades through a Chicago suburb, or the Klansmen who march in North Carolina, or some Black Muslim when he denigrates white people, or a woman who says all men are pigs. That is their opinion, and millions of men and women straight and gay have fought and in many cases died to give those people their chance to speak even if what they say is unpopular.
Like Pennsylvania state legislator Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia once argued in a legislative debate, “Freedom of speech that is limited to freedom to say whatever a majority of the people agrees with is not real freedom of speech.”
For those who don’t understand, this means that General Pace has the right to express his opinion. And so do you.