A cartoon shows two Generals, one holding a can of paint and one with a paint brush, painting circles around an arrow lodged on a blank space. The circles make up a bulls-eye with the arrow dead center. "Just shoot the arrow and wherever it lands we will make it a bulls-eye."
The current approach to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is similar to this. In fact, so is the way Obamacare was passed.
When the Obamacare bill was being debated, we heard congressional leaders say that "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it" while admitting that they neither read the bill nor knew what it meant. These are the words of elected officials confessing that political leadership doesn't and isn't about to do the job we elected them to do. And, in the context of DADT, all of America’s senior military leaders — of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines, and even the Secretary of Defense and Admiral Mullen — have requested that the ongoing study of the effect of DADT repeal on the military be completed before Congress act. Yet Congress has ignored this expert advice, choosing to — once again — fire before aiming.
Now that Obamacare has been passed, there is increasing validation for concerns about how well it can function, including how will it be paid for when the savings generated from pre-benefit taxes are used up. Similarly, there are warnings in the thousands about repealing DADT — which are being ignored. 1,150 Flag and General Officers wrote many of these warnings as a matter of national security in a letter sent to the President and Secretary of Defense. And over 40 senior veteran chaplains — of which I am one — described the danger that rushing repeal will pose to our troops’ religious liberty. Yet, political leaders have shunned these concerns and simply state that the repeal should happen. Which sounds an awful lot like,"grab the paint and brush and start painting the bulls-eye".
In America, we enjoy both the best healthcare and the best military in the world. Politicians have endangered the best healthcare in the world. And now they seek to endanger the best disciplined, highest morale, all volunteer military in the world. Why break that force following the examples of nations with lesser militaries?
You and your Doctor will likely no longer determine your healthcare. A government employee will make decisions for you. And if the rush to repeal DADT is allowed, government will decide what is right and wrong behavior and God can accept it or "get out". Pop-culture and sitcom values will now determine the core values holding the life of our society together. With healthcare we were told, "after it passes we will learn what is in it." Concerning repealing DADT we hear, "grab the paint and brush and start painting the bulls-eye".
The future of healthcare and the future of our military raise alarming concerns, particularly because of the similarities between how Congress has treated them. Obamacare has put the health of Americans at risk. Rushing DADT repeal could put the safety of America at risk.
Chaplain (COL) Fred Hudson, Ret.
Do you know someone who would want to learn more about his or her constitutionally protected rights as a pastor?