Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
by: Paul W. Sharkey
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A few days ago I happened to be listening to a talk-radio station whose topic was the U. S. Military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. While the moderator did an excellent job of not revealing his own position on this controversial issue, virtually all of those opposed to changing it appealed to “the will of God,” “God’s law,” or some other such “authority” of God or the Bible, while those who favored doing away with it and simply allowing qualified individuals to serve regardless of sexual orientation tended to cite issues like the loss of talented or essential military personnel and the experience of other country’s militaries who have no such restrictions regarding sexual orientation.
What annoyed me in listening to these exchanges was how often religion was being used as a justification for someone to impose their personal views on someone else. Whether one’s sexual orientation is or is not a matter of choice, one’s religious orientation certainly is. No one is genetically, hormonally, developmentally or otherwise predestined by nature to be a Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim … nor are those who so choose any more justified in imposing themselves on others than their homophobic concerns make them fear the possibility of someone imposing themselves on them. Personally, I don’t believe anyone has a right to impose themselves on anyone else, homosexually, heterosexually or religiously.
If only there were a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for religion.