Sometimes it just has to be pointed out: I predicted this. (Here and here as well.) I explained that reversing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military doesn’t mean ushering in tolerance, it means the opposite. Tolerance is what the military has today. Enforced intolerance – not just of religious belief, but of resistance to endorsing gay behavior for others reason (e.g., what you may not want your kids to see at the Post Exchange) – is what the military will come up with. The military operates affirmatively: what it acknowledges, it has a policy on. Deviations from policy are not authorized.
I couldn’t know the senior ranks of the military would demonstrate this so unequivocally in advance, of course. But in a remarkable address to the troops at US European Command in Germany recently, Army Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick did just that. Here are his words, as reported by The Washington Times (via Fox Nation; emphasis added):
Bostick, the Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel matters … spoke about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before several hundred troops at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. “Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them,” Lt. Gen. Bostick said. “But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can’t, they need to get out. No matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you’re always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today.”
This isn’t a random general officer, either: it’s the DCOS for Personnel on the Army staff. It’s the man in charge of administering personnel policies for the Army. Given that he was speaking to the troops in an official situation, he was not expressing a personal opinion. He was enunciating Army policy.
I imagine this will become widely known very quickly, and people will be justifiably incensed. Keep in mind, as this issue develops, that this is what had to happen. The military is an affirmative institution. As long as it doesn’t want to know about homosexuality, it doesn’t have to enforce a policy by which some are labeled “bigots” for their “moral and religious” beliefs. As soon as it does want to know, it has to have a policy that homosexuality is a positive good, and that there is no right to have reservations about it, or to recuse oneself from whatever affirmations or celebrations its activists demand.
Cross-posted at Hot Air.