Systematic Failure: Gays unworthy? Says who?


For a moment there, I forgot what planet we are on. Last time I checked I was living on planet earth – but former Marine general John Sheehan seems to be stuck in a parallel dimension where demeaning gay-bashing comments are socially acceptable.

I am not a member of the LGBT community, but I was Outraged (yes that’s Outraged with a capital “O”) to see reports of Sheehan giving testimony before the U.S. Congress that pegged Dutch troops failures to prevent the Srebrenica massacre to The Netherland’s acceptance of openly-gay individuals in the military.

As the Los Angeles Times reported:

Sheehan opposes President Obama’s pledge to lift the ban on openly homosexual soldiers, and tried to cite the Dutch as an object lesson.
But he triggered outrage on both sides of the Atlantic with the suggestion that incorporating openly gay troops had helped dilute the Dutch army’s battle-readiness, which in turn facilitated the mass killing of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys by Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995, during the war in the Balkans. The massacre came to symbolize the barbarity of the conflict.

Sheehan’s remarks are so repulsive I am actually sitting here simultaneously typing and sputtering (and that’s on top of the coffee I spit on my keyboard when I first read the story!).

I mean, there is just so much wrong with that I hardly know where to begin.  Apparently, being gay makes you less of a person. Being gay makes you less sensitive to those around you. Less able to wield a gun.  So I guess that means gays are just asking for the vitriol spewed at them by narrow-minded fools too. Oh, and, yeah, I guess it’s their fault every time someone contracts HIV/AIDS too.

Of course I wholeheartedly support Sheehan’s right to free speech and personal opinion. He is a human being like I and you are, and, as such, is entitled to live his life the way he deems best. We are all entitled to our individual beliefs – and to share them with others who feel the same. But his comments amount to slander on pretty much every member of the human race.

Essentially Sheehan is saying that you – gay, not gay, black, white, green, Muslim, Jew, Christian – don’t have the right to be who you are without him being able to pass judgment on your private life.

So what’s next – whites shouldn’t be paratroopers because they can’t jump as high as blacks? Atheists can’t be Americans because the pledge of allegiance mentions God?

4 thoughts on “Systematic Failure: Gays unworthy? Says who?”

  1. As you’re aware, Gen. Sheehan’s comments are the remarks of someone who is, at least when it comes to empathy for other human beings, still very much a child. I ceased long ago to be shocked or outraged by such attitudes because it became clear to me the emotional immaturity of such persons in comparison to others and myself. Genuinely mature human beings need only listen quietly to their comments, metaphorically pat them on the head, send them along and then do the right and mature thing anyway. Keeping a piece of native american wisdom in mind, I do not judge my own thinking words and actions by those of past generations but rather I look to the more evolved thinking, emotion and empathy of generations far ahead. What will they think of what we think, what we say, what we do?

    They will think us children if we act as Gen. Sheehan would have us act.

  2. What an absolutely lovely response – thank you!
    I’d like to say I could’ve said it better myself … but that might be stretching. LOL
    ~ Juliette

  3. I was scanning something else about this on another blog. Interesting. Your position on it is diametrically contradicted to what I read in the first place. I am still pondering over the diverse points of view, but I’m inclined heavily toward yours. And no matter, that’s what is so good about modern democracy and the marketplace of thoughts on-line.

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