More Meddling with the Military and Muddying the Constitution
by Dr. Michael Milton, Reformed Theological Seminary
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be an easy integration of progressive thinking on human sexuality into the United States military. It would be the right thing to do. Despite the overwhelming protests from within its ranks, the administration pressed on with its agenda, and the military did what it always does: salutes and moves forward.
Of course it hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been progressive. And it isn’t right.
But everything just got a little more complicated—make that: a lot more complicated.
Just when you thought the Armed Forces couldn’t be more distracted by liberal tinkering, the President of the United States, this week, issued an order requiring same-sex couples in the military to receive the same benefits as married couples. Again, the military salutes and goes forward. This time, however, there is a challenge that was greater than any of the other social experiments. The problem in this latest meddling is the law of the land and the Constitution of the United States. In this case the law of the land is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed by the 104th Congress and signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1996. Section III of that law forbids the Federal government from recognizing same sex marriage. Now, a new Commander-in-Chief has ostensibly usurped a law passed by the legislative branch of government and signed by the executive branch of government and has demanded the military disregard at least the spirit of that law. Military leadership is left scrambling to decipher the mixed signals. Chaplains, personnel officers, and JAG officers rush to try and make sense of it all. Meanwhile, the battle fronts are shifting. The Jihadist Islamic enemy will not pause the war while we are in yet another sensitivity training class.
Should we just disregard yet another attack on the military by an intrusive and constitutionally schizophrenic administration? For all of this deciphering, training, and amending of orders is not to defeat a ruthless enemy bent on destroying us (and there is Iran and North Korea…). All of the new activity at the Pentagon is to keep up with an administration that is bent on redefining us as a people. And it is time for someone in one of the branches of government to at least call into question the unrelenting interference of the other branch of government.
It is time to stop the meddling with the military while they are engaged with operations to defend the Constitution of the United States. We can’t meddle with the military, muddy the Constitution, and march in unity all at the same time.
There is an answer. It is the moral instructions of the Bible. The Ten Commandments are the ethical standard that Western Civilization is built upon and the only ethical ground on which we can find unity that brings lasting victory. That message may be increasingly anachronistic, but is still the proven truth that will bring the greatest benefits to all.
Michael Anthony Milton (Ph.D., University of Wales, Lampeter), an ordained minister and long-time pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America, serves as the fourth chancellor and chief executive officer of Reformed Theological Seminary.