Feb. 10, 2010
Lt. Dan Choi is back training with his National Guard unit.
Conventionally, this would be about as newsworthy as saying that paint dries: officers serve with their units all the time. But Lt. Choi is, by his own definition, different - he is openly homosexual. He has been appearing in the media, actively calling for a reversal of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" military policy concerning homosexuality.
According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, homosexuality is incompatible with military service. This is not a statement of preference, but a law. All members of the Armed Forces are required to take an oath to uphold it. Yet here we have a situation where an openly gay man, in violation of the law and, according to news accounts, with the support of his commanding officer, is wearing the uniform of our nation.
Let us say for the sake of argument that homosexuality is a moral good and that those who practice homosexual conduct should actively be recruited to serve in the country's military (of course, Family Research Council and I personally disavow these arguments). I would still be calling for Lt. Choi's dismissal from the service and his superior's discipline. The military code is not a set of arcane rules that can be followed at the personal discretion of those serving. It is the ironclad law of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. It is enacted by the United States Congress and signed into effect by the Commander in Chief.
Lt. Choi is flaunting the law, showing contempt for it for the sake of his personal philosophical agenda. In doing so, he is demonstrating his unfitnes as "an officer and gentleman." What if his peers choose to obey only those orders they want? "Well, sir - and by the way, I don't like calling you sir - taking that hill right now seems like a bad idea to me. Think I'll go take a nap." Order, discipline, duty, respect, achievement of mission: all are, by virtue of Dan Choi's continued role in the Army, placed at grave risk.
Men and women in uniform do not serve at their pleasure or under the human resources regulations of civilian life. Of necessity, for the sake of the life and death circumstances intrinsic to being part of the Armed Forces, they operate under a different, particularly crafted set of rules - rules that are the law.
No American, whether in the military or not, has the right to obey only those laws he or she wishes. This is the path to moral chaos and political anarchy. It is the road to collapse.