As a Roman Catholic, one could expect Gen. Pace to have the opinion that he has regarding sexual practice. We can surely allow Roman Catholics to be Roman Catholic. Certainly, the United Methodist Church holds a similar position, though it is (thankfully) worded a bit more graciously.
I don't understand, however, the General's view regarding gays and military service. What is it about a person's sexual behavior that makes it easier or more difficult to kill? If we believe that murder is a sin, then shouldn't Gen. Pace want an army of gay people, who in his mind are already immoral? Why shouldn't gay people be permitted to kill for their country?
Stanley Hauerwas has an excellent essay found in the book The Hauerwas Reader which the recent story brought to my mind. Entitled "Why Gays (as a group) are Morally Superior to Christians (as a group)", Hauerwas writes,
"I see no good reason why gays and lesbians should be excluded from military service; as a pacifist, I do not see why anyone should serve. Moreover, I think it a wonderful thing that some people are excluded as a group. I only wish that Christians could be seen by the military as being as problematic as gays...However, until God works this miracle, it seems clear to me that gays, as a group, are morally superior to Christians."Hauerwas makes a point that is powerful and dripping with truth. Why aren't Christians ostracized by the military? Why doesn't the Army say, "We can't have Christians in our outfit; they won't kill another human being!"
Human beings are created in the image of God - all human beings (even terrorists) - and Jesus died for all people. How can a Christian kill someone for whom Jesus died? How can a Christian collaborate with Death, the last enemy of God?
We have compromised the Church and soiled the Faith. The early Church would require someone returning from military service to serve a probationary period of penitence before being permitted readmittance to the congregation. Now, we actually celebrate those who have served, ordain some of them, and (appallingly) American flags take places of honor in most local churches...in some cases, they are more prominent than the Cross. I was actually in a church one day when the pastor led the people in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.
Why is this not viewed for what it is...idolatry?
So, I say, let homosexuals serve in the military. They can kill just as easily as a straight person. And I pray for the day when the military sees Christians as trouble, as people who value human lives too much to actually destroy one.