Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - Anonymous Soldier

JMG reader and Afghanistan veteran R.D. tells his story today on the blog of conservative columnist David Frum.

"I had a very bad session with my workout partner tonight. He is the person I am closest to in Afghanistan yet even he knows very little about my life. He asked if I was married and I lied, telling him I was divorced. Damn. I hate lying; I can count on one hand how often I have told a lie in the past 20 years. Yet if I told him I was a never-married, 42-year-old male it would have been too risky. If I told the truth I could be fired and go home to face unemployment. Why in the world would any soldier be fired for being honest? Because I am a gay soldier and it is illegal to say so. It is illegal for me to tell not just anyone in the military but anyone in the world – my parents, my siblings – even my best friend.

"Despite repeated studies by the Pentagon over the past 50 years that clearly suggest gays pose no threat to unit cohesion or morale; social conservatives insist that it is so and have passed laws demanding that gay Americans be fired if we are honest – even with our closest friends or family members. Being honest should never be illegal. This law results in gay military members being socially isolated from our peers, our friends and our families so that others will not get to know us lest they discover that we are gay. We could be turned in by anyone. It also means we cannot date anyone – even on our own time and out of uniform. So we can only keep our jobs if we lie, pretend, and remain isolated — celibate and alone. How is a law with such cruel consequences considered Christian? Lying is never good but it is the law so what else can I do? As a result of being so angry I was quiet during the workout and my gym partner expressed concern but I could not tell him why. It would have been illegal."

Read R.D.'s entire essay.

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reposted from JMG

Liberalism and Religion - We Should Talk


Shambhala Sun | July 1999
Liberalism and Religion - We Should Talk
By: Ken Wilber

The way it is now, the modern world really is divided into two major and warring camps, science and liberalism on the one hand, and religion and conservatism on the other. And the key to getting these two camps together is first, to get religion past science, and then second, to get religion past liberalism, because both science and liberalism are deeply anti-spiritual. And it must occur in that order, because liberalism won’t even listen to spirituality unless it has first passed the scientific test.
In one sense, of course, science and liberalism are right to be anti-spiritual, because most of what has historically served as spirituality is now prerational, magic or mythic, implicitly ethnocentric, fundamentalist dogma. Liberalism traditionally came into existence to fight the tyranny of prerational myth and that is one of its enduring and noble strengths (the freedom, liberty, and equality of individuals in the face of the often hostile or coercive collective). And this is why liberalism was always allied with science against fundamentalist, mythic, prerational religion (and the conservative politics that hung on to that religion).
But neither science nor liberalism is aware that in addition to prerational myth, there is transrational awareness. There are not two camps here: liberalism versus mythic religion. There are three: mythic religion, rational liberalism, and transrational spirituality.
---end excerpt---