The Bible in the Moral War over the Rejection of Homosexuality by the Military Services: A View from the Pentagon -- By: Daniel R. Heimbach

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 11:2 (Spring 1994)
Article: The Bible in the Moral War over the Rejection of Homosexuality by the Military Services: A View from the Pentagon
Author: Daniel R. Heimbach


The Bible in the Moral War over the Rejection of
Homosexuality by the Military Services:
A View from the Pentagon

Daniel R. Heimbach

Associate Professor of Christian Ethics
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

formerly Executive Secretary Defense Readiness Council
(February 1993-August 1993)
and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower
(February 1991-February 1993)

[Prepared for delivery at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Washington, D.C., November 18-20, 1993]

Few Americans are unaware of the fact that a battle royal has been waged over the issue of homosexuals in the military. Military personnel policy, a dull subject on the best of days for most American citizens, has in the last year and a half raged as one of the hottest topics of discussion from the halls of Congress to the family living room, and from newsrooms of the media giants to casual conversations with neighbors across the back fence. But, while most have heard the claims by which homosexual militants are seeking to persuade the public that theirs is a case of simple justice, and while most also have heard these claims countered by arguments about what it takes to build and maintain effective combat forces, much less has been heard about the conflicting moral views driving each side. Even less is known about how much convictions regarding biblical moral standards have affected the public policy battle.

It is my thesis that convictions about what the Bible does or does not teach on the immorality of homosexual behavior and the accountability of persons drawn by homosexual desires have in fact been a major factor in the recent policy war over homosexuals in the military. I come to this partly on the basis of what has been written and partly from direct involvement as a policy player, first as an official at the Pentagon responsible for manpower issues and then as a strategist who helped shape the public debate and lead the lobbying effort with Congress.

The Bible in the Larger Social Context

It is not my purpose in this paper to develop a detailed analysis of battles now waging in American society at large spurred by homosexual militants intent on attacking traditional views on family, gender, and appropriate sexual behavior. I do wish, however, to take brief notice of three battles waged in the larger social context that directly impact the military, and to do so with a view to understanding the stake that biblical teaching either has, or might have. These battles are being waged to capture and redirect the public message of three sources of cultura...

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