General Pace’s Skewed Morality by David McReynolds

David McReynolds was on the staff of the War Resisters League for many years, and, as the Socialist Party candidate in 1980 and 2000, the first openly gay person to run for the U.S. presidency. He lives with two cats on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. [Blogger’s note: McReynolds is enrolled in the Green Party of New York State.]

When General Peter Pace presented his view that homosexuality was immoral, I thought, “Good heavens, there is a danger the military may be infused with moral concerns—this could lead to mass desertions at the highest level.”

Leaving to one side the question of whether homosexuality is immoral (though not before noting that Jesus, who had clear views on many issues, never uttered a single recorded word on this subject), if the general is to take up moral issues, surely there should be a certain priority. If, in the course of his busy day, he gets a chance to think about it, which would be more immoral: two soldiers making love or any soldier shooting people in another country, at the order of the president, for the clear purpose of gaining control over the oil in that country? If we learned anything from Nuremberg, it was that wars of aggression are a crime against humanity. We also know that torture violates international treaties, and yet torture has been an intrinsic part of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq.

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