By Maj. Gen. J. R. Curry, USA (Ret.)
I fear for those in the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who are entrusted with directing the nation’s government and who lack faith and a sense of eternal responsibility, who refuse to uphold the Constitution and its guarantee of religious free speech. It is not a question of advancing personal beliefs or the interests of a political party, Republican or Democrat.
Rather it is a question of following the law, of doing what’s right and good for the country, even if it means opposing one’s own party or president. What is more important for the nation, having a leader who remains faithful to the Constitution or one who for the sake of currying political favor will bend any rule or regulation and break any law just to please a political party or its leaders?
One of the really hot political potatoes today concerns same sex marriage. It is not a question of whether homosexual marriage is acceptable. Rather, it is a question of religious free speech and liberty and whether Congress has the authority to pass laws that restrict an American citizen’s right to freely speak out about and to practice their religion, in accordance with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The First Amendment was designed to protect the church and church members from government, not government from the church.
The First Amendment says that Congress cannot pass laws that prevent a citizen from publicly stating his religious beliefs. Specifically the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …” Freedom of speech specifically relates to freedom of religious speech, which relates to freedom of religion.
So does or does not a citizen have the right to stand to his feet and speak of his faith and his religion in a public assembly, without fear of punishment or retribution, and have freedom to state his religious beliefs? If a citizen exercises his or her constitutionally guaranteed rights, including freedom of religious speech, does the government have the authority to persecute, prosecute or silence that citizen?
Can a citizen, in open assembly, read out loud from the Old Testament book of Leviticus which says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination?”
Or can a citizen openly read from the New Testament book of First Corinthians which says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived … neither homosexuals, nor sodomites … will inherit the kingdom of God?”
The courts have already held that citizens can engage in the homosexual lifestyle in America as a constitutional right. The question is, can we whose religious beliefs consider the homosexual lifestyle to be an abomination, publicly say so? Can we follow and practice freedom of religious speech without fear of governmental punishment or retribution?
The President is bullying them and ramming same sex marriage down the throats of the military because they have no way of exercising their constitutional rights and fight back against their Commander–in-Chief. The purpose of America’s armed forces is to win wars, not engage in advancing a sexually perverted lifestyle.
The troops I’ve talked to say that they believe the open homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with military service, that it undermines unit cohesion, and ultimately marginalizes the military effectiveness of the finest military force in the world. If we continue to force homosexuality on our soldiers, sailors and airmen, eventually the President and the Joint Chiefs will lose their loyalty.
The military is about national defense and winning wars; it is not about advancing cultural ideas.
Serving in the military is not a constitutional right and neither is being able to openly parade and flaunt one’s homosexuality. It is a bald face lie that there is equivalence between the military’s restricting homosexual conduct and racial discrimination.
I agree with my old colleague Colin Powell who once wrote Congresswoman Schroeder that, “Skin color is a benign non-behavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.” Of course it is easy to recommend sweeping social changes to barracks living when you don’t have to live in those barracks yourself.
By their silence, the military high command supports the President’s decision to homosexualize our armed forces though they say they are not sure of how the rank and file will react to such a policy. In short, they will stand idly by while it is rammed down the defenseless enlisted men’s throats. Later on they will find out how this policy will affect reenlistments, readiness, morale and the wartime performance of the nation’s all volunteer force.
In summary: the President makes an uninformed decision, by omission the military brass declares support for the President’s policy, then everyone scrambles around trying to determine how it will affect those who have to live with and carry it out. Isn’t this Alice in Wonderland redox? “Let’s have the verdict first and the trial second.”
I do not believe that it is ever right to impose one’s personal religious and cultural beliefs on another person. In America every person has a right to decide and choose for themselves what to believe or not believe, including atheists. And I acknowledge that religious beliefs do affect how people see the world, how they relate to other human beings, and how they view life.
As for me; I personally believe in the God of our Founders and my personal faith is firmly rooted in the Christian heritage that they passed on to the nation. As a very young person I decided to place my trust in the God of the Old and New Testaments. That God has remained with me throughout my entire life and has helped guide me in my life.
I believe that He has protected me on the battlefield and blessed me with a wonderful wife who has gone on to be with Him; with wonderful children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; and God has comforted me through the loss of a child.
Technically it is still possible to openly exercise the religious freedom of speech that we are guaranteed under the Constitution. But each day it becomes more and more difficult to stand and defend our religious beliefs, particularly if they are Christian. If they are Muslim, it is no problem. You can burn a Christian Bible or an American flag in the street and nothing will happen, there will be no repercussions.
If you simply threaten to burn a Koran in the street there will be all sorts of repercussions including major news media coverage, riots, and personal involvement by the President and misguided Christian leaders who are supposedly just being open minded.
Today there is no fair, evenhanded handling of offenses against Christians or Muslims. If you are a Christian and say something unfortunate and not well thought out about a Muslim or Islam, you are immediately branded a bigot and racist. If you are a Muslim and do or say the same thing to or about a Christian, you are simply exercising your First Amendment rights. The news media and the police will show no interest in the incident.
It causes one to ask; does our government represent the rights and interests of its citizens, or simply those of special interest groups like the Muslims? That’s why I fear for those in positions of responsibility in our government who lack faith and a sense of eternal responsibility, those who refuse to oppose political party and leaders for the sake of the nation.