by Norma Bates
The Arkansas-Democrat’s Sunday (Feb. 28) Guest Column, “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t serve,” by George Schroeder, M.D., begins with a dream, ends with a lie and begs the question, “Why?”
The dreamer, Dr. Schroeder (“I dreamed . . .) awakens in the first sentence in San Francisco, long code in the culture wars for latter-day Sodom and Gomorrah, home to godless gay liberals and “elites” – another culture-war code word that pops up initially in Schroeder’s first paragraph and repeatedly thereafter.
Now we know what we’re in for, Razorbabies, hop aboard! Logic, facts, rationality at their most specious!
1)”Discrimination is claimed by gay-rights activists and their apologists, but it is patently obvious that homosexuality is the only class of sin which has attempted to claim for itself the status of a civil right.”
Dr. Schroeder immediately discounts the factual issue (equal rights for gay Americans) with another code phrase, “gay-rights,” implying special rights for one class of people, a lie propagandized by the right wing. For emphasis he throws in two more code words that turn human beings with real lives, real jobs, real contributions to society, real loves, real hopes, real struggles (and real faith) into dehumanized “activists” and “apologists.”
With "sin," Schroeder immediately places civil rights in a religious contest.
– “Homosexual Sin Activists”
Just in case you MISSED it, Dr. Schroeder hammers home his dehumanization of America’s gay population (some 33 million women, men and children) by making them not living people but the only “class of sin” “which has attempted to claim for itself the status of a civil right.”
Thus Schroeder invites his readers to ignore as he does the whole of human history up to the present. WTF?
The entire history of human civil rights is nothing but various peoples being classified as “evil” by one religion or another and having to fight discrimination “in God’s name” to claim their equal civil rights.
Recently, it was racial integration of America’s military (and, nearly 30 years later, legal recognition of interracial marriage). Schroeder pounces on it.
2) “Although cast in the guise of civil rights, it [repeal of DADT] is inappropriately compared to President Truman’s action to integrate the armed force in the late 1940s,” Schroeder somehow determines.
Why “inappropriately compared?” Because race is an immutable trait; gay is an immoral choice, in Schroeder’s not-so-humble opinion. Except decades of ongoing legitimate scientific research and education continue accruing evidence that gay is no more a “choice” than race or left-handedness. George Schroeder against science (even clearer later).
And a DOCTOR!
3) “For the self-appointed elite,” Schroeder says, “the issue is about acceptance for homosexuality, not about improving the effectiveness of our military.”
That false assertion too redefines facts and truth. Firing highly-trained valuable Arabic linguists and translators simply for being gay, not to mention firing thousands of equally valuable and well-trained gay combat troops and officers, because of DADT, does indeed hurt “the effectiveness of our military.”
The issue is not “acceptance” of gays as Schroeder again falsely claims. The issue is equal civil rights across the board – including improving the effectiveness of our military.
Millions of Americans still don’t “accept” blacks, or even our current President. But Obama enjoys equal civil rights. You can’t legislate “acceptance”. You can legislate civil equality.
Repealing DADT DOES improve our military effectiveness, as increasing surveys and growing numbers of top leaders and troops publicly acknowledge, contrary to Schroeder’s faith-based opinion.
“This debate is about military readiness and not about civil rights,” Schroeder maintains in defiance of facts and truth, again.
Gay equality in the military (and society) HELPS military readiness, in fact-based reality.
More than 30 countries including U.S. allies like Israel, Canada, the U.K. and so on allow gays and lesbians to serve openly with no problems. NONE of the supposedly inevitable “dangers” Schroeder and other right-wingers scarily trot out to oppose repealing DADT.
Schroeder implies lots of gay troops (remember: they’re already serving and always have, though forced to lie) have AIDS. Fact: They don’t.
Battle is bloody (it is). AIDS is transmitted through contact with blood (it can be – though not easily and only under specific conditions).
Schroeder recycles the same long-dismissed fears that plagued Magic Johnson in 1991 when he acknowledged his HIV positive
He returned to play in 1992’s All-Star game and won MVP. Retired again for four years (same unfounded fears from teammates), then finally returned in ’96 for 32 more Lakers games.
Magic isn’t gay, by the way. Would that Schroeder had the enormous and ongoing positive effect Johnson – an elite if there ever was one – has had on American lives the past 20 years.
4) Schroeder finally gets to HIS heart of the matter, though evident since his first sentence when he dreamed he awoke in Sodom and Gomorrah by the Bay.
Repealing DADT “is clearly just one aspect of a multi-faceted attempt to coerce Christians and others of other religious convictions not only to accept but also to affirm sexual immorality as a normal lifestyle choice.”
“A lifestyle considered to be immoral by believing Christians – and Jews and Muslims.”
Schroeder assumes you’ll forget that Christian (and Jewish and Muslim) teachings say that ALL human beings are immoral sinners from birth. Schroeder just wants to Arkansas and America to exclude gays. (Versus all the other classes of immoral “sinners” and criminals allowed in military service.)
Schroeder also ignores the pileup of ongoing polls and results showing the MAJORITY of troops and officers increasingly favor repeal of DADT. Facts and polls don’t matter in Schroeder’s guest column. Facts are elite. Malleable.
Schroeder is neither.
“The real goal,” Schroeder claims all-knowingly, “is to mandate affirmation of their unhealthy lifestyle choice.”
(LEFT: Unhealthy Lifestyle Choice)
Brilliant! Two vague and irrational code words (“unhealthy,” “lifestyle”) and one flat lie (“choice”) in a row! Nobody will notice. Arkansans are dumb. Or they don’t want to know.
The code words work because they encourage readers to imagine what, EXACTLY, “unhealthy” and “lifestyle” and immoral “choice” look like – then project their vilest imaginings onto “gays” and discriminate against them based on pornographic fantasies of an imagined group.
Americans fell for precisely the same crap with blacks, for identical “religious” excuses; persecution of others as immoral, sub-human and evil.
All “in the name of God”; a wholly Unconstitutional theocratic movement that historically assumes the right to legislate inequality for anybody at any time based on state-sanctioned religion.
5) Why would Dr. Schroeder write this column? Why would the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publish it?
All those facts and polls Schroeder ignores or derides? The increasing numbers of top military officials and troops seeking repeal of DADT whom Schroeder contradicts? More and more political leaders coming to the same “repeal DADT” conclusion based on research and facts dismissed by Schroeder? The overwhelming acceptance of gays by upcoming generations, which is totally off Schroeder's antiquated radar? All threaten Schroeder and what he and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette both represent.
Easy to figure it out for yourself.
But Schroeder’s last line helpfully states it in black and white.
Military effectiveness (and America itself, by extension) “would be harmed by such politically motivated social engineering.”
Dear reader, ignore the arrogant presumptuous insult to your intelligence. You’re not supposed to notice “politically motivated social engineering” is EXACTLY what Schroeder and the good-ol’-boy traditional values cherry-picking hypocritical religious theocracy is determined to preserve, grow and control – in Arkansas and the nation.
Bad enough blacks and Jews got in. No way in hell are gays getting in too.
THAT, Razorbabies, is what gnaws at Schroeder and the Dem-Gaz, and gripes a lot if not most Arkansans.
But not, thankfully, all.
Knowledge, understanding, religion, spirituality, common humanity, compassion all grow by leaps and bounds. The globe’s e-connected. Every culture since recorded time now lives and communicates with you on your desktop. Your world changes.
Change frightens some, excites and inspires others.
When you can’t keep up with change any more, you and what you stood for die trying.
Visitation begins NOW, Razorbabies, for the Schroeders and the Dem-Gazzes, extending into the foreseeable future.
Cash bar. Hospitality Hall. Off the Sanctuary.