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This has turned into Gay Faith News Wednesday! Guess I’ll run with it: While American lawmakers appear poised to lift the ban on gays in the military, they’re getting an earful from religious groups on both sides of the debate. A sample of related stories:
- Jewish groups urge repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (JTA)
- Repealing injustice (Faith in Public Life)
- Don’t ask, don’t tell (about the chaplains) (GetReligion)
- Can military chaplains bless demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” (USA Today)
- Poll finds majority want military leaders to decide on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (Catholic News Agency)
- Tony Perkins: Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” threatens military chaplains (CNN)
I’ll add more links today and tomorrow, as they pop up. Check back for updates.
Two related points to consider, which I haven’t seen covered much this week:
- Israel — a major American ally with strong religious convictions and arguably the most battle-ready defense force in the world — allows gays to serve openly in its military. Doesn’t that essentially negate concerns that ending DADT would compromise our military readiness and clash with our majority Judeo-Christian values? (Britain, another major American ally, also welcomes openly gay troops.)
- With the repeal of DADT, many of the elite colleges that have banned ROTC programs and military recruiters — a policy dating back to the Vietnam era but reframed in the past two decades as a protest against discrimination against gays — may welcome them back, giving America’s armed forces a wider pool for training leaders. Columbia University, President Obama’s alma mater, would probably be one of the first to lift its ban, which would be geographically and politically significant. (One of my journalism students reported on Columbia’s pro-ROTC movement in a master’s project last year, boosted by statements made by then-presidential candidates Obama and Sen. John McCain in their 9/11 forum there in 2008; I’m assuming the campus sentiment hasn’t changed since then,)
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.