Bob Franken

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Don’t Even Talk About It

Maybe popular thinking is wrong. It’s entirely possible that when President Obama advocated doing away with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell the other night, the Joint Chiefs of Staff generals were not being stoic, they were stunned…too panicked to move. It wasn’t military bearing, it was fear

Why? It’s not as if the President was proposing that the services’ Chaplain be required to perform gay marriages, simply that we get real about the present policy about the non-straight orientation in our armed forces, which is basically “If You Got It, Don’t Flaunt It”.

And speaking of Gay Marriage, why in the world is it even a controversy to say nothing of one that causes apoplexy like few others?

What is it that causes so many enraged people to make it their business to harshly judge what is none of their business…the private sex of anyone else? How could it be a button the demagogue can so easily push to such political advantage?

When you think about it, too many don’t think, they react with all the fury their ignorance and intolerance can inflame.

Maybe this is a primitive aversion to any sex that doesn’t produce babies. That is an explanation given for the marriage uproar. It’s also an excuse that’s riddled with inconsistency unless the opponents also want to ban the matrimony of couples who will be childless by choice or medical circumstance.

Then there’s the biblical justification used by fundamentalists: Leviticus 18:22. We’ve all been reminded about it:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

Frankly, all the wearisome debate gets kind of abominable itself after awhile.

When and if the Gays in the Military changes actually come out of the Congressional closet , the anger will be, uh, flaming. It is not at all certain that we will finally do away wit the absurd hypocrisy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. In fact, there a good chance reason will be overtaken and we’ll regress to “Don’t Even Think About It” where the law will require an all-hetro military, marching backward instead of forward.

Of all the life and death crises that face our nation, this is among the trivial but also most primal. It’s astonishing that the first definition of another is often based on his or her sexual preferences and that the idea of much beyond the missionary position scares the daylights out of so many.

For that matter, why is this something that frightens the most battle-hardened generals. What is everyone afraid of? Finding out something about themselves?

Now that is the one explanation that makes sense.

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