There’s very little that terrifies Americans more than the prospect of nuclear terrorism. In the past decade, we’ve responded to this fear with an amazing readiness to dismantle civil liberties, fight endless wars, demonize religions, races, and ethnic groups, and engage in a wide variety of practices previously considered too barbaric to be tolerated by a free society.
No price, it seems, is to high for safety.*
And yet, in the frightened American psyche, one fear trumps even that of nuclear terrorism: a fear so admirable many of us call it a moral value. I refer, of course, to homophobia.
As the nexus of this law, openly gay soldiers affect unit cohesion, like it’s OK to discriminate or discharge gay soldiers because we are homophobic, we are uncomfortable, and we do not agree with homosexuality, and I can’t focus on the field of duty when I am fighting. “We have a problem with you.” Wasn’t that the defense of Matthew Shepard’s murderers? When they left him to die on a fence in Laramie, they told the judge, ‘Oh, Matthew’s gay, and it made us uncomfortable, so we killed him.’ ‘Oh, he’s gay, it makes me uncomfortable, send him home.’
Lady Gaga (full text here)
Seriously. Since 1993, when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was passed, more than seventy Arabic and Farsi translators have been discharged from the armed services due to sexual orientation, despite a chronic shortage of such specialists.
And that’s not even mentioning countless other qualified gays and lesbians kept out at a time when the U.S. military has continually lowered standards for educational background, criminal backgrounds, and even physical fitness.
Clearly, if there’s one thing more terrifying than the prospect of a nuclear terrorist attack, it’s that of an attack being thwarted…by a homosexual.
Just imagine: Sunday afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Decent Christian America and the kids, just home from church, settle down with hot dogs and apple pie to watch the big game, only to turn on the T.V. and see the president of the United State pinning the Medal of Honor on a suspiciously well groomed military officer. The family cheers, only to see shocking footage of this great American hero embracing his husband and children. Little Johnny, gazing wide-eyed at the screen, puts aside his baseball glove, BB gun, and Jesus action figure, turns to mom and dad, and says when I grow up, I wanna be gay, too!
With decent American parents’ ability to raise decent children in an atmosphere of righteous homophobia so severely compromised, the traditional family collapses. Church membership plummets as millions of Americans marry their cats, dogs, gerbils, parakeets, and even goldfish. As a once proud society descends into a maelstrom of perversion, drug use, and gangsta rap, Islamic forces face little resistance invading and conquering the country soon re-named Binladenstan.**
This past Tuesday, our elected officials did their best to prevent such a terrifying eventuality from ever coming to pass, filibustering the defense appropriations bill that would have ended DADT. Thanks to such valiant defenders, America’s fear can sleep safe and sound.
* short of altering our petroleum-based lifestyle and drastically re-thinking our foreign policy, of course…but that’s a different article…