The Obama administration continues its assault on America’s conservative institutions. Having gone after religious organizations, it is focusing on the military, attempting to radicalize the armed forces in ways that would have been unthinkable only a short time ago.
Last month, the Pentagon itself hosted, and broadcast to American military bases around the world, a conference celebrating LGBT Pride Month. And a week ago — in an unprecedented move that goes against long-established military protocol — the Pentagon gave permission to servicemen and -women to march in uniform in the San Diego LGBT Pride parade. Soldiers who marched in the parade were also invited to an Official Pride Military Party with the men of Dirty Tony, a group of pornographic filmmakers.
A Department of Defense directive of 2008, which has never been rescinded, makes it clear that members of the U.S. military are not to be seen in uniform endorsing political causes. In fact, whether in uniform or not, they are to avoid any appearance of endorsing partisan causes as representatives of the armed forces, rather than as private citizens. Specifically germane to the San Diego parade, American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are not to “march or ride in a partisan political parade.”
Senator James Inhofe picked up on the DoD’s flouting of its own directive. In a pointed letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the senator stated that the directives and regulations forbidding American military personnel to endorse partisan causes are “unambiguous and straight forward with the intent of preserving the military’s apolitical stance. This apolitical stance has served our military well and earned the respect of not just Americans but nations around the world as being a professional organization, set aside from politics and agendas.”
The DOD may wish to portray the gay-pride parade as merely a community event, but, as the furor over the parading uniformed troops grows, the NavyTimesPrime reports that the Pentagon is “reviewing its policies on whether gay pride parades qualify as political events that are off limits to troops in uniform.”
The fact of the matter is that the LGBT movement is inherently political. It has an express political agenda it is working hard to achieve, including same-sex marriage. Therefore, it is a good thing that the Pentagon has not irrevocably decided that allowing military personnel to march in a gay-pride parade is the equivalent of allowing them to participate in the Tournament of Roses.
While the Pentagon mulls over the explosive effect of giving American troops permission to ignore its own explicit directives, it should be thinking over other consequences of allowing military personnel to march in uniform in an openly partisan parade.
For far more than a single injurious precedent has been set. The San Diego incident indicates that the ethics of military institutions are in danger of collapsing under pressure from a radicalized administration. What amounts to gay liberation theology is being used as a powerful weapon to force the military to accede to the LGBT movement’s political demands.
America has always honored the distinction between the military and civic society for good reason. While there is inevitable overlapping of the two, each has maintained its own individual characteristics, standards, and protocols. Erasure of the distinctions would result in either civilianizing or militarizing all of American society. Civilianization would make America like Europe. Militarization would make our country over into a banana republic.
Keeping military institutions apart from civilian life is an attempt to insulate the military from political forces. It is not just odious organizations like the Ku Klux Klan that American military personnel are not allowed to publicly support. They also may not actively participate — give a speech, carry a placard, conduct a survey — in the political campaign of a candidate belonging to a mainstream party.
The armed forces of the United States have one express reason for their existence, namely, the protection of America from her enemies. That raison d’être transcends any particular political agenda. America’s army, navy, air force, and marines exist to fight the enemies of all Americans, not to promote the agenda of any particular group, be it the LGBT movement or the Christian Coalition.
The case of two Washington Air National Guard soldiers who were photographed in uniform while breastfeeding serves as an example of how strictly the military views broaching the line between military and civilian life. While breastfeeding is a good thing for both mother and child, the women involved were breaking protocol by endorsing a cause while in uniform. Military protocol is very strict for good reason. Recruits vow to defend America, not promote a private agenda.