General Pace and General Washington
General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—America’s top military figure—recently evoked a storm of angry protests from gay-rights advocates and liberal politicians (Jelinek, 2007). The reason? He made the following statement: “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way” (Madhani, 2007).
General Pace is in good company. After all, when serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, the Father of our country was apprised of a homosexual in the army. The response of General Washington was immediate and decisive. He issued “General Orders” from Army Headquarters at Valley Forge on Saturday, March 14, 1778:
At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778) Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false Accounts, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and do sentence him to be dismiss’d the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return; The Drummers and Fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose (“George…,” underline in orig., emp. added).
Observe that the Father of our country viewed “sodomy” (the 18th century word for homosexual relations) “with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes.” All General Pace said was that “we should not condone immoral acts”—and many want to hang him!
The nation continues its headlong plunge into the abyss of perversity, immorality, and degradation. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy implemented under the Clinton presidency would be viewed by the Founders of the Republic as a mockery of morality, decency, and military decorum. The Commander-in-Chief of America’s first military would be aghast if he were here today to witness the moral decline that has infiltrated the military and the nation. He was simply reflecting the nation’s commitment to the Christian moral framework on which the Republic was based. He embraced God’s own assessment of the sin of homosexuality: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
“George Washington, March 14, 1778, General Orders” (1778), The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799, from ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field([email protected](gw110081)).
Jelinek, Pauline (2007), “No Apology From Gen. Pace for Gay Stance,” Fox News, March 14, [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Mar14/0,4670,MilitaryGays,00.html.
Madhani, Aamer (2007), “Top General Calls Homosexuality ‘Immoral’,” Chicago Tribune, March 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070312pace,1,4954133.story? ctrack=1&cset=true.
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