Sunday, May 17, 2009

He's Not Superman

There's a quote from The Princess Bride that says, "Don't rush a miracle. You try to rush a miracle and you get rotton miracles."

Now, this is a quote from a fictional character who was asked to do the seemingly impossible task of bringing the hero back to life. But this is the thought that was going through my mind when Rachel Maddow interviewed Lt. Dan Choi.

I disagree with the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". But I didn't agree with the way Lt. Dan Choi went about with this. I can understand one side of it is the discussion that he may have wanted to get the wheels in motion. But it seems more like he did this in attempt to MAKE Obama hurry up with this legislation. Maybe some feel that President Obama should hurry up with the legislation - I mean he closed Guantanamo Bay immediately, he called back several Bush policies in his first days in office, why not just do this too?

Thats a complicated question in my book and I don't know the answers to it. But I remember in grade school learning that even when I thought the teacher was wrong, or that I was within the rules, its not always best to get into a shouting match or to question their authority. Whether we agree or disagree with a law in question, breaking that law is "breaking the law" and there is a punishment for breaking the law.

Nonviolent resistence is all about not following unjust laws, but its also about accepting the consequences and using these irrationality of these consequences to further make your point. So what Lt. Dan Choi does next will be interesting.

But I think its very important to understand who's for and against gays in the military, and how complicated the issue may be. We already have issues with "coming out of the closet" in the non-military US. I cannot imagine what that would be like in the military. How would the other soldiers treat their fellow openly gay soldiers? How much would need to be spent to prevent hate crimes in the military? What about ensuring that all the generals on the ground are not being biased with things like who's on the front line, who's getting promoted, or even who they will let serve under them.

These are just the issues that come off the top of my head. I understand this is an urgent issue, particularly to those who are risking their lives to protect us here at home but are forced to lie about their sexuality. But I also feel like there is a bit of people buying into the hype about President Obama being able to fix every wrong of this country with the flip of a switch. To paraphrase EnVogue, "He's not our Superman".

1 comment:

D the God Awful said...

I think you're right. Some decisions I believe to be simple, cut, and dry; others take time. He's not a genie, I agree with that. The situation is urgent though...and silly. Why does being gay make you any less of a soldier? I don't see how it has any bearing, but still people are harassed, etc. over sexual orientation, so it's an issue that has to be tackled.

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