Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio states he would like to maintain the current military policy of not asking, not telling of one’s same sex attraction. Other web sites and fora are discussing this issue quite ably, if not hotly. In the comment section, you’re free to discuss whatever aspect you wish. I found one quote to be very curious, so I’m drawing it out:
The archbishop likened the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with the ways that alcoholics have benefited from Alcoholics Anonymous. “Like homosexuality, there is rarely a cure,” he said. “There is a control through a process, which is guarded by absolute secrecy.”
The archbishop mischaracterizes AA (if not same-sex attraction). The hallmark of twelve-step programs is anonymity, not “absolute secrecy.” A recovering person may choose to keep his or her addiction a secret from some people and in some situations. Rarely does a recovering person go to a bar and announce, “I’m a recovering alcoholic!” Usually that would be a immature gesture to get attention. But in a deep conversation between friends, it might be revealed that one of the people is a recovering addict. That might be perfectly appropriate.
Is secrecy about sexual orientation a morale issue? I’m sure it is, either way “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” gets decided. In general I would think that honesty makes for a healthier individual. And we want our soldiers to be healthy. No doubt, some people within the military are uncomfortable with what they see as “immoral activity.” Some people serving in the military are teenagers–not exactly the most mature segment of society. I can imagine many issues of concern for morale. Danger to one’s life and one’s comrades would seem to be at the top of most lists. This pacifist has a solution to that morale problem, but let’s hold it for another post, another day.
Archbishop Broglio has heartfelt concerns about changing this policy. I can respect that, even if I’m inclined to disagree. I wish he would tighten up his arguments with regard to AA.