I write to stand with David Williams in his disgust for the remarks made by Jerry Boykin. While Mr. Boykin has the right to say any abhorrent thing he wishes, we have neither to agree nor condone such repugnant world views.
Let’s start with the notion that the military is the “bastion of morality and ethics” or the idea that the military is “the anchor of our society.” For lots of reasons, I believe neither is true, but I am willing to debate those points. One needs only to recall the Tailhook scandal in 1991 where more than 100 officers sexually assaulted more than 90 men and women, the recent San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base scandal where nearly 50 female students were sexually assaulted by in excess of 25 instructors, the 1995 Okinawa incident where three serviceman kidnapped and raped a 12-year old Japanese girl, the mutilation of Japanese war dead in WWII, the Incident on Hill 192 were a Vietnamese woman was kidnapped and gang raped during the Vietnam war, etc. to see a crumbling edifice. Given that most of these incidents occurred long before the military was “targeted by the gay and lesbian lobby,” the argument that the mere desire to have gays in the military is the reason that individuals in the military are behaving immorally is at best false and at worst ridiculous. According to a recent AP story, in recent years 10 generals and admirals from one star to four stars lost their jobs because of sex-related offenses; the idea that the gays made them do it, is patently absurd.
I would argue that the “anchor of our society” is the notion that all individuals are created equal with the right to pursue ends of their own choosing. The notion that some individuals do not deserve respect because of some characteristic that someone else does not find to his liking is as far as one can get from the “anchor of our society.” Our society is based on the freedom and liberty of individuals, not some militaristic notion of right and wrong. While national defense is necessary as a protection from invaders or aggressors, it does not imply that it is the sine qua non of a free society. A free society is based on the mutual respect of the individuals that make up the society, anything less will spiral into an unjust, unfree, immoral chaos.
In 2013, the notion that being gay is immoral is laughable, plain and simple. A free society is based in the mutual respect of individuals for individuals regardless of their differences. So, I respect Boykin’s right to share his ideas, as repugnant as they are. He should do the same.
Anthony M. Carilli
Professor of Economics