Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Fan Mail

I wrote what I think is my first letter to the editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer yesterday. I've written others to different publications, but this, if published, would be the largest circulation I've been in print - well, except for this blog.

And yes, it has to do with being a homo.

I am for the repeal of DADT and am kind of excited by the steps that have been taken in the last few weeks to move this along. Don't get me wrong - even if I were of age, the military life is not for me, but it should be open to those who do want to serve. I'm just not one of them.

So, while the letter I responded to has all been written and done before, it was early Sunday morning and it just kind of nagged at me to where I picked up the laptop and sent off a hastily written response - all of which the likes of who read this blog have seen and heard before.

But what the hell. I figured I would share.

Here is the original letter:

'Don't ask, don't tell': Maintain moral standards

It's disconcerting that Adm. Mike Mullen has taken the lead to sanction gays in the military. I seek guidance from a higher authority when determining right and wrong, not from another imposing his moral interpretations on me. I look to God and the Bible, the foundation for our greatness as a nation.

I have no animosity toward gays and lesbians. Their personal choices are between them and their creator. However, Scripture is very clear on our moral responsibility regarding homosexuality: It is wrong.

By condoning homosexuality in the military, we're institutionalizing a belief system that allows one to rationalize what is right and wrong based on the circumstances and moral relativism. For example, killing innocent civilians in a war zone may be acceptable if the situation dictates. Genocide may be OK.

We should demand high moral standards in our military. Don't lower them.

Paul Barlow, Brecksville

Barlow is a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain.

Here was my response:

Paul Barlow's letter regarding gays in the military is a contradiction in terms.

While claiming no animosity towards gays or lesbians, he singles them, and only them, out for military service exclusion based on the Bible.

If he sees the Bible as the benchmark for right and wrong there should be no cherry picking. All those hundreds of other things that the book says is wrong - should any offenders who violate these "moral responsibilities" be allowed to serve? And if not, why not? I'm extremely curious to see where the line in the sand is drawn.

And comparing repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell as much of a slippery slope with "killing innocent civilians in a war zone may be acceptable"? Really?

Where exactly does Mr. Barlow's "moral responsibility" lie.

I suppose I could have gone on (and on and on), but then I'd just be like all the old coots who write into the PD. But I guess, in email terms, I have started a "flame war" with Ret. Captain Barlow. So be it.

I do have to give credit where credit is due though. Of the half dozen or so letters that were in the Sunday paper, most (70%?) were pro dropping DADT and having gays serve openly.

...and there should be a distinction. There are a number of people who want DADT pulled and still not have 'mos in the military. They just never thought DADT should have ever been an option in the first place. Like Paul Barlow.

Song by: Blondie


Larry Ohio said...

Great response. I wonder how Mr. Barlow feels about the fact that 80% of the straight men in the armed forces freely admit to committing sodomy (i.e. oral sex) on a regular basis even though sodomy (which includes oral sex) is forbidden by the uniform code of military justice. Shouldn't these men be hunted down and discharged also?

brian said...

We have a game we play at my house. Count the letters published in the PD east of the Cuyahoga. If there are 7 west to 1 east, you win! Fair and balanced.