Another Christian General Trying to Tell Commander-In-Chief What's What on Gays and Lesbians to Openly Serve in Military
Marine Corps Commandant says gays would cause Marines to become casualties, losing their limbs
Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, says he believes gay and lesbians are a detraction that would cause Marines " 'to break or potentially break ... focus. I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen. And I'll tell you why. If you go up to Bethesda [Naval] Hospital . . . Marines are up there with no legs, none. We've got Marines at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] with no limbs," said Amos.
Amos is a self-identified Christian who was a speaker at Shirley Dobson's big National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill in 2009 in Marine uniform, in violation of DoD regulations against endorsing non-federal entities; and was the keynote speaker at Quantico's National Day of Prayer prayer breakfast in 2007, pointed out Chris Rodda, Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and the author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History.
By Craig Whitlock in the Washington Post:
The Marine Corps' top general suggested Tuesday that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because their presence on the battlefield would pose "a distraction."
"When your life hangs on the line," said Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, "you don't want anything distracting. . . . Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines' lives."
In an interview with newspaper and wire service reporters at the Pentagon, Amos was vague when pressed to clarify how the presence of gays would distract Marines during a firefight. But he cited a recent Defense Department survey in which a large percentage of Marine combat veterans predicted that repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" law would harm "unit cohesion" and their tight-knit training for war.
"So the Marines came back and they said, 'Look, anything that's going to break or potentially break that focus and cause any kind of distraction may have an effect on cohesion,' " he said. "I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen. And I'll tell you why. If you go up to Bethesda [Naval] Hospital . . . Marines are up there with no legs, none. We've got Marines at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] with no limbs."
Amos had said previously that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly could cause "distractions" and "risks" for combat units. But his remarks Tuesday were the first time that he or any other senior military leader has suggested that repealing the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" law could directly endanger troops and cost lives.
The propriety of Amos speaking out the issue will likely come under review. From the Christian Fighter Pilot blog that hails Amos:
Should a military Christian publicly oppose the proposed repeal? The military leadership has already made it abundantly clear such opposition is not acceptable. While Christian tenets encourage participation in the culture, they do not necessarily demand such participation. In that regard, a Christian is not explicitly obligated by his faith to publicly oppose the repeal. If a Christian feels compelled by his faith to speak out against the change while in the military, he should be willing to accept the repercussions, which might include official sanction or dismissal.