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Imposing morals in the military

Maj. Daniel L. Davis‘ argument in “Homosexuals in the military” (Op-Ed Wednesday) can be construed as an apologia in support of certain religious morals determining who serves. Is Maj. Davis saying the religious and moral scruples of some members should be shielded against immorality? In that case, let’s prevent heterosexual adulterers and fornicators from becoming or remaining service members. (Didn’t the Zogby poll ask about religious beliefs, too? Why didn’t Maj. Davis “crunch” those numbers? He leaves too much out in his analysis.)

I was in the military and most recently employed by Army Family Advocacy as a civilian instructor dealing with moral, ethical and legal issues. I encountered many heterosexuals who were engaged in very questionable moral practices, especially when held up against certain religious values. Even though it often created problems in the military, seldom was anyone kicked out of the services or otherwise seriously punished for it. If Maj. Davis‘ rule were followed, I’d say there is a very serious problem in allowing heterosexual fornicators and adulterers into the services as well. Or are fornicators and adulterers less immoral?

I’m just trying to avoid the hypocrisy generated by selecting only a certain minority group (homosexuals) for special moral scrutiny by another minority group (religion-based).

When should we stop managing the moral beliefs of service members to avoid offending some other members? And just which interpretation of religion is going to be the basis for establishing these moral rules? This sounds more like an issue of “who speaks for God” than it does who can serve their country.

Aren’t the ethical and moral problems better resolved with rational evidence and debate rather than enforcement of questionable, highly personal religious morals? Isn’t that what democracy and freedom and the American way is all about?

Maj. Davis‘ argument is too hypocritical to be taken seriously.

JOE V. PETERSON

Instructor

Pierce College Military

College Programs

Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, Wash.

Health-care freedom of choice

Reader Elyse Seigle attacks my argument for freedom of choice by patient and doctor (“Is health choice an illusion?” Letters, Thursday) following my account of a tumor being identified and removed quickly and successfully within the current health-care system. I will answer her points:

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