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General Peter Pace, the top US military officer, recently said, "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.... I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by a saying through our policies that it's OK to be immoral in any way."

Human judgements of morality have led to many poor decisions throughout history.  Burning women at the stake was the "moral" thing to do.  Invading and attacking foreign lands is often justified as the "moral" thing to do no matter who is doing the attacking.  Keeping slaves was often considered the "moral" thing to do.  I'm sure the Nazis thought they were upholding their "morality" as they slaughtered millions of Jews.

The question is who defines what "morality" is.  Humans have many ways of determining morality.  It comes from tradition, religion, culture, historical events, etc...  Sometimes morality is determined based on false information or misunderstandings.  Galileo was ruled to be immoral when he argued that the Earth was not the center of the universe.  He was punished for his immorality by the leaders of his time.

In the case of homosexuality, General Pace argues that he knows what is moral and immoral.  He has ruled that homosexuality is an immoral act.

Where does his judgement come from?  He may be making his judgement based on his background or maybe his religion or maybe from his personal experiences.  I have no idea if he thinks his God is supportive of his decision.

I would not claim to speak for God, nor would I claim to know the intentions of God.  I would, however, argue that religious judgements against homosexuality are more human than divine.

Most people consider "God" to be the creator of all living things.  If this is true, we might want to ask ourselves if animals have the ability to be immoral and if God is immoral for creating animals that are homosexual.

Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "Homosexual behavior does occur in the animal kingdom, especially in social species, particularly in marine birds and mammals, monkeys and the great apes. Homosexual behavior has been observed among 1,500 species, and in 500 of those it is well documented." http://en.wikipedia....

I don't think these animals are choosing to be homosexual.  I also don't think these animals are immoral.

There are other ways to argue for and against the "morality" of homosexuality, but I have always considered the example of animal homosexuality as being convincing.  Human judgements of homosexuality being immoral is full of cultural bias, misunderstandings, and the usual lashing out at things that are different from what we are used to.

The lesson in this story is that major decisions are made based on what is considered to be moral.  General Pace is making decisions based on his own view of morality.  In addition to making public judgements about homosexuality, he also is ordering troops to kill people he considers to be evil.  If he is wrong about the morality of homosexuality, should we trust him with deciding who to kill?  Should we agree with him that the best strategy is to put millions of people out of work and then kill them when they fight against the decisions that have led to the disintegration of their country? 

Originally posted to nathan andover on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well - Pace certainly smacked down (6+ / 0-)

    1/2 the Repub candidates for prez! Adultery is IMMORAL!

    Support our Troops - Stop funding the War!!

    by annefrank on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:24:38 PM PDT

  •  Immoral (7+ / 0-)

    I guess nobody ever told him that killing was immoral...

  •  Freep this poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Freep this poll, now just barely split 45%/55%, from the Chicago Tribune.

    "Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse." St. Cyprian (200-258)

    by valleycat on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:27:43 PM PDT

    •  People change their minds (0+ / 0-)

      It took awhile, but soon people began to believe that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

      The same is happening with attiduted toward homosexuality.  I'm encouraged to see a poll where a majority of people believe homosexuality is not immoral.  I would think that a similar poll just ten years ago would have had a different result.

      This is why we need to keep having discussions like this.

      We also need to speak up when our homophobic friends and neighbors make remarks based on outdated cultural norms.

      Things will contnue to change and we have the ability to influence those changes by being actively involved.  

  •  perhaps, he's a closeted gay man crying out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for understanding.
    all his life he's been hiding his true feelings for individuals of the same gender. Finally, at the pinnacle of success, he cannot continue to betray his true feelings of feminine longing.

    he's a marine, slender, handsome. he's gay.
    Remember, Jeff met someone at those trips to the Whitehouse.  Peter?

  •  This is an important subject.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oibme, blueoasis

    but I believe that it is an Administration head fake.
    Look over there while we are doing something else over here.

    I believe that we all (here) need to discerne that whenever the fascists talk about ANYTHING having to do with morality....they are trying to distract us.

    When we clean up the corruption, we can get down to the liberal/progressive legislation we want passed; gay rights etc.

    -5.13,-5.63 Start saving money for '08 NOW! Darcy Burner is gonna need it. Yup..She's RUNNIN' AGAIN!! WOO HOO!!!

    by rickeagle on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:34:28 PM PDT

  •  He needs to resign (5+ / 0-)

    or be forced to - his non-apology was bullshit

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:40:36 PM PDT

  •  I second the call for his resignation. (5+ / 0-)

    Wearing the uniform means in part you do not get to exercise your first amendment freedom, it is especially true for the brass that must exercise policy.  His comments have shown his inability to effectively carry out the official policy.

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:50:11 PM PDT

  •  General Pace should be fired (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, blueoasis, nathan andover

    for his views. The viewpoint that homosexuality is immoral is unacceptable in 2007. Many many fine men and women that are homosexual are serving in his forces right this very minute. For him to condemn them like this shows his stupidity.

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:52:31 PM PDT

  •  The true nature of this madadministration (0+ / 0-)

    is coming to the fore more and more each and every day.
    Strange how Pace doesn't seem to think the Iraq War is immoral.  Just the people who are fighting, dying and being maimed by it.  He is a disgrace to his uniform and like Gonzo, darth cheney and dumya should resign.  He was chosen for his job one reason only.  He is a sycophantic enabler.  What an insult for the Marine Corps to have to claim him as one of their own.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:08:10 PM PDT

  •  Pace is a tool (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathan andover, Predictor

    of the fundamentalist/neoconservative coup.  He's well-paid to read his little scripts.

    The infusion of fundamental religion into the military is necessary to the continuance of the War on Terror for the foreseeable future.  As it becomes apparent to most people, as it already has, that the war is not patriotic or in the best interests of the country, the only way to continue to justify it and keep fervor alive is to make it a religious cause, Christianity vs. Islam.  Islam = satan, evil. Onward Christian soldiers....

    Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. Montaigne

    by blueoasis on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:08:47 PM PDT

  •  Maybe we should use Pace's comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathan andover, gizmo59

    He's said that he thinks adultery and homosexual behavior are immoral and that immoral conduct shouldn't be tolerated by the military.

    Q. Gen. Pace, sex outside of marriage, including premarital and non-marital sexual relations between men and women are condemned in the Bible, and are still against the law in a number of states.  Do you agree that sexual relations outside of marriage are immoral, including sexual relations between unmarried men and women?

    Q. Since sexual relations outside of marriage are immoral, don't you agree that the military should not encourage such relations?

    Q. Doesn't it therefore make sense that everyone who has had sexual relations outside of marriage should be prohibited from serving in the military, or discharged from the military if they're already serving?

    Q. Gen. Pace, didn't Jesus say that a man who looks at a woman other than his wife with lust in his heart is as guilty as the man who actually commits adultery with her?

    Q. Doesn't it therefore logically follow that anyone who has ever looked lustfully at a woman other than his wife should be prohibites from serving in the military?

    By the time we finish purifying the military of people guilty of immorality, there should be no problem ending the Iraq war, because there'll be nobody left in the military.

    "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

    by leevank on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:23:22 PM PDT

  •  Cure for adultery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathan andover

    If gay people could get married, it would sure cut down on the amount of adultery.

  •  Pace clearly doesn't understand the policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathan andover

    Pace's comments show that he doesn't have a good understanding of his military's own policies.  "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," as flawed as it is, was never about morality, even though that is was Pace stated in his interview.  From ABC News:

    Military experts, however, say morality was never the basis of the policy, which says gays may serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientations private and don't engage in homosexual activity.

    "Morality was never the basis of the policy," said retired Gen. Jack Keane. "It was about unit cohesion."

    In fact, in July 1993, Colin Powell, who was then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and drafted the "don't ask" policy, endorsed the policy with these words to the House Armed Services Committee: "It is not in place in the military, those of us in senior leadership positions, to make moral or religious judgments with respect to homosexuality. Our perspective, and the only perspective we should bring to this issue, is the unique perspective of the military and what is best for military effectiveness."

    Pace has let his personal beliefs cloud his military judgment, which I thought was a big no-no in the military.

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