Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Little More On The Joint Chiefs

Rob's comments in his blog post on the CJC's "gays are immoral" row are spot-on. However, I am surprised at what's missing in the maelstrom of outrage -- a critique on the "moral" bona fides of the good general himself.

General Pace is, by reports, a staunch Roman Catholic -- one of the largest denominations of Christianity. Having been raised Catholic myself, I have a fairly good recollection of the various moral codes of that religious tradition. I also understand that the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the interpretation of the Holy See are all crucial elements of a Catholic understanding of morality.

So without further ado, let's examine General Pace's morality from a Catholic perspective.

Commandment 3: Do not swear falsely by the name of the LORD.

General Pace's bosses, including Donald Rumsfeld, took oaths to protect and uphold the Constitution, and also took oaths before testifying to Congress that Saddam Hussein had WMDs he was about to use on the country. Both of these were false oaths.

General Pace himself swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Instead, he's working for them as they move to suspend habeus corpus and authorize torture of prisoners. So he's also a direct violator of one of the Ten Commandments.

Commandment 4: Remember to keep the Sabbath holy.

That means you're not allowed to work on Sundays. Does the general work on Sundays, and does he require ongoing combat missions on Sundays? No doubt.

(Now before you point out that there's nothing wrong with this, keep in mind that I'm judging the general by the same standards that he's judging you and me with -- far from an unreasonable proposition).

Commandment 6: You shall not kill.

That one's pretty clear. There are no "ifs, ands or buts" in it.

General Pace works in the military -- perhaps a profession that represents the most egregious violation of this commandment.

Commandment 9: You shall not lie.

Oh dear. This man works in a political office for the Bush adminstration. I could list the likely hundreds of lies he's either told directly or participated in facilitating, but I suspect Blogger would cut me off aeons before that.

Now I don't know whether General Pace has committed adultery, or dishonored his parents, or committed various other violations of the decalogue. I'm assuming that he hasn't -- and he still has violated 40% of the "supreme law." (Note that the Ten Commandments says literally zero about homosexual folk. . . but condemns activities that General Pace participates in every day).

Another key arbiter of Catholic morality is the Golden Rule:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Bomb, kill, destroy, condemn? Is that what General Pace wants done to himself? Doubtful -- but he sure can dish it out can't he?

The Golden Rule is sometimes also expressed as:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

I'm really feelin' the love, general.

In terms of the Vatican's perspectives, which are also supposed to have significance in the moral judgment of every practicing Catholic, gays are condemned, it's true. But so is the war in Iraq. . . the Vatican condemned the war in some of the strongest terms its got.

When I was still a practicing Catholic, and said that I agreed with certain judgments of the Vatican but not others, I was blasted as a "cafeteria Catholic" who picked and chose what he liked.

One wonders if there's a spot in the line for General Pace.

Here is a man who was instrumental in the largest military deception of the American people, the "WMD big lie" of Iraq. . . A man who has presided the senseless loss of over 3,000 American lives and countless more Iraqi ones. . . A man who has staunchly maintained loyalty to an administration whose approach not only to Catholic morality but also humanity in general is profoundly immoral. . . who has the temerity to condemn the "morals" of people he's never even met.

If there's a need for LGBT media and institutions to discuss the issue at length (as there appears to be), perhaps more time should be focused on these simple facts rather than merely demanding that Pace recant his statement.