Posted by: Robin Foster | March 12, 2010

What Is A Christian To Do With The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) Controversy?

In President Obama’s recent state of the union address, he called for an end to the policy initiated under President Clinton’s administration that barred the military from asking if a soldier was a homosexual or not. Before that, the question could be asked and if the answer was in the affirmative then the person could be barred from serving or be immediately dismissed from active duty. With the DADT, the soldier admitting to being a homosexual would still be dismissed, but not forced into answering that question. President Obama’s recent call for the repeal of DADT would normalize homosexual behavior in the military and legitimately allow them to openly serve.

I have read several arguments in support of this move by Obama and the current administration. One is the tried and untrue argument that the military or government cannot legislate morality. Of course that is an outright falsehood. The military and our government legislates morality all the time. There are laws against murder, stealing, and lying. If you are concerned about sexually implicit morals done in the privacy of a bedroom, then prostitution is also barred by the military. So, morality is legislated, even to those private actions in the privacy of one’s bed.

Another argument is that thousands of soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines have been booted out of the military at a huge cost since DADT was initiated. While I would like to see how those numbers have been derived, the pragmatic “cost factor” is given as a reason to legitimatize homosexuality in the face of deficit spending. While I believe we should not engage in deficit spending and I am also a firm believer in smaller government, the cost of enforcing the barring homosexuals cannot be proven to be a legitimate means of adding to our 1.5 trillion deficit woes. It would be like the proverbial drop in all the earth’s oceans. The other pragmatic reason is that with two wars on America’s plate, we can’t afford to lose people who are willing to serve. While I concur that the US needs all the help she can get, I am afraid there may be an narrow pragmatic focus on this one issue without fully seeing it’s far reaching ramifications.

Of course numerous biblical warnings against pragmatic thought that overrides biblical principles can be found. One instance is when King Jehoshaphat married his son, Jehoram, to the daughter of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, Athaliah who were all worshipers of Baal. Pragmatically that was a good choice for the short term. Jehoshaphat had peace between himself and Ahab. In the long term though, Athaliah took control of the rulership of Judah many years later by killing almost all her male grandchildren and nearly annihilating the seed of David. It also gave the opportunity to legitimize Baal worship in the land of Judah. A biblical principle was violated and repercussions were felt years later. If Jehoshaphat had followed God’s principle of only allowing his son to marry one who was devoted to Yahweh, this terrible offense could have been avoided.

So what is a Christian to do with the repeal of DADT and the proposed normalization of homosexuality in the military? We must focus our heart on biblical principles. The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as a grievous offense and an abomination to God’s holiness. Yet we know that Jesus himself went to the cross to pay the penalty for sins including the sin of homosexuality.

Second, We must show the love of Christ to all sinners, including homosexuals, yet not accept their sinful lifestyle choice. Speaking the truth in love as a man who is frantically warning oncoming cars of the bridge being out of service.

While on the surface accepting homosexuals in the service may help alleviate our present woes concerning cost and troop levels, God’s principles are given to us as a guide in leading us to holiness and avoiding unseen dangers. Personally, I believe the DADT policy should reversed to the original policy of asking and barring homosexuals from serving.

I also fear in the long term a move to accept homosexuality as a normal lifestyle in the military will further aid the efforts to legitimize homosexual marriage in our culture. Years ago our society suffered from the ill thought out system of segregation. The military was the first to desegregate and allow African Americans equal status with their fellow white counterparts. I believe President Truman’s decision to do this led to America’s segregation reversal and ultimately the election of her first African American president. I thank God for that decision.

While I do not equate the civil rights struggle to homosexuality in terms of discrimination, civil rights, or any other way similar to these, I do believe if homosexuality is accepted in the military, it will further the homosexual agenda of accepting same sex marriage and further take our nation down the slippery slope to Sodom and Gomorrah. It will also lead to the problem of homosexual military personnel marrying and chaplains possibly being forced to perform those marriages. That could void an evangelical witness in the military chaplaincy if chaplains were expected to perform such acts against their conscience.

So, what is the Christian to do with DADT? Walk faithfully according to God’s principle of loving the sinner and hating the sin and being the salt and light we are commanded to be. We must take advantage of opportunities to show God’s love without wavering from the sexual principles presented in His Word. It is a matter of faith that we stand against principles we feel will be harmful to our nation with the primacy of our witness being the gospel. But, no matter what the decision, I believe we must continue to support those men and women who are sacrificing themselves for the freedoms we enjoy, including the freedom to speak God’s Word in love, even if it speaks against their lifestyle choice.

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