Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

As the band struck up Auld Lang Syne and friends helped toast in 2009 a feeling of optimism spread through the room. True, the economy is a basket case and we did lose on Proposition 8; however, the people responsible for all of that are on their way out the door. The California Supreme Court will begin to hear arguments which could reverse the bigoted law which is proposition 8. An additional reason to be cheerful is the unintended effect which the “yes on 8” forces unleashed. There is a renewed sense of mission and galvanization of the entire gay and lesbian community through out the United States.

There is much to be hopeful about. Many former Generals and Admirals have asked that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” be dumped as a policy for the Armed Forces and that gay and lesbians be permitted to serve openly in the ranks, as they do in many of our NATO allied armed forces. With an even stronger Democratic majority in both the House of Representatives and The Senate along with the newly elected President, we have an excellent shot of changing this discriminatory practice.

When the late President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order as Commander in Chief desegregating the United States Armed Forces, he accomplished much more than simply a more just Armed Forces. He set into motion a national reconsideration of segregation. People fail to realize that the Armed Forces help to socialize a large segment of young adults. Once segregation became unacceptable in the Armed Forces, the stage was set for Brown vs. Board of Education in the mid 1950’s and the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960’s.

A wonderful thing about the military service is that once they say something is unacceptable. It is unacceptable, PERIOD. Once they say that you cannot discriminate against military personnel based on sexual orientation, it will effectively stop. People will then ask: Why did we ever do that stuff anyway? Eventually, those attitudes learned and reinforced in the military will work their way into the civilian population and bigotry will be unmasked and displaced.

So, out with the old and in with the new, Cheers!


K said...

I could not agree more!

I grew up in Monterey near the Defense Language Institute. A few years ago, they dismissed about 30 Arabic and Farsi linguists because they were lesbians or gays. This was AFTER 9/11 ... !!!

At a time when our country is screaming for more intelligence officers, they effectively got rid of an entire class and since it takes at least $200,000 to train each of them, the government threw $6 mill down the drain.

Who is the bigger threat to our national security? Gays and lesbians, or terrorists?


(I just hope a move like this doesn't cause a major backlash in the traditionally less tolerant parts of the government ...)

The Honourable Husband said...

On the other hand, Father Geoff, it may be rather sad that the military has so much influence on the moral tone of the nation.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Fr. Geoff ... Best Happy New Year wishes coming your way. With the changes that took place in your own life following your now well known and well applauded homily and Prop 8 comments at the parish you formerly servedin Fresno, I know that 2008 became a time of challenges for you. I know that I speak for many when I continue to say how the way you have met those challenges has profoundly touched and blessed my own life. Please don't ever doubt that each day your words and reaching out via this blog and other means are touching lives with huge impact. Much love and prayerful thoughts coming your way, Fr. Geoff!!
Will in Concord

Leonard said...

Happy NEW YEAR to you and yours...yes, I´m thinking and feeling we´re in for some nice revelations, more nice revelations that will include everyday people being more RESPONSIBLE in all that they do!


Anonymous said...

I share in your optimism and I hope that there is true discernment in determining this country's future.

My only fear is that we will see more bashing occur as more and more servicemen and women "come out." And news coverage (not necessarily footage) of court martials will become "main stream." And punishment must be severe or it will continue.

Fran said...

Late to the party but here with prayers and good wishes for you as 2009 begins.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Fr Geoff and I hope you are in goood health and being cared for properly.

In you message you write how powerful the ethics and the holdings of the military have an effect on the greater society.

As a Catholic I was greatly embarrased the Church (VATICAN) refused to sign the resolution to decriminalize homosexuality, but I am also embarrased as a citizen of the United States of America that it too refused to sign the resolution.

It seems we live in a Theocracy instead of a democracy